Use this skill to ride any kind of mount, including horses, mules, and elephants, among others. Animals ill suited as mounts provide a -2 penalty on their rider's Ride check.
Check: Typical riding actions don't require checks. You can saddle, mount, ride, and dismount without a problem. Mounting or dismounting an animal is a move action. Some tasks, such as those undertaken in combat or other extreme circumstances, require checks. In addition, attempting trick riding or asking the animal to perform an unusual technique also requires a check.
Guide with Knees (DC 5): You can react instantly to guide your mount with your knees so that you can use both hands in com-bat or to perform some other action. Make the check at the start of your round. If you fail, you can only use one hand this round because you need to use the other to control your mount.
Stay in Saddle (DC 5): You can react instantly to try to avoid falling when your mount rears or bolts unexpectedly or when you take damage.
Fight while Mounted (DC 20): While in combat, you can attempt to control a mount that is not trained In combat riding (see the Handle Animal skill). If you succeed, you use only a move action, and you can use your attack action to do something else. If you fail, you can do nothing else that round. If you fail by more than 5, you lose control of the animal. For animals trained in combat riding, you do not need to make this check. Instead, you can use your move action to have the animal perform a trick (commonly, to attack). You can use your attack action normally.
Cover (DC 15): You can react instantly to drop down and hang alongside your mount, using it as one-half cover. You can't attack while using your mount as cover. If you fail, you don't get the cover benefit.
Soft Fall (DC 15): You react instantly when you fall off a mount, such as when it is killed or when it falls, to try to avoid taking damage. If you fail, you take 1d6 points of falling damage (see page 214).
Leap (DC 15): You can get your mount to leap obstacles as part of its movement. Use your Ride modifier or the mount's Jump modifier (whichever is lower) when she mount makes its Jump check. You make a Ride check (DC 15) to stay on the mount when it leaps.
Fast Mount or Dismount (DC 20; Armor Penalty applies): You can mount or dis-mount as a free action. If you fail the check, mounting or dismounting is a move action. (You can't attempt a fast mount or dismount unless you can perform the mount or dismount as a move action this round, should the check fail.)
Special: If you are riding bareback, you take a -5 penalty on Ride checks.
You can take 10 when making a Ride check, but you can't take 20.
A character with the Animal Affinity feat gets a +2 bonus on all Ride checks.
Time: Ride is a move action, except when otherwise noted for the special tasks listed above.