The first snapshot for 1.6 has been released by Mojang. As teased earlier, it includes a new horse mob based on DrZhark's horses in his famous Mo' Creatures mod. The update also added carpets, leashes, name tags and a new launcher for the game still in development. Read on for the details…
The horse mob is the biggest addition of not only this snapshot, but also the flagship for 1.6. There are several kinds of horses. Normal horses have lots of colors and patterns, making for a total of 35 possible combinations. In addition to these normal breeds, there are donkeys that spawn normally and mules that are the result of a horse and a donkey breeding. There are also skeleton and zombie horses in the code, however they do not yet spawn naturally. Since they cannot be tamed even if you spawn them via code editing, they could be added as hostile mobs later on, not unlike Mo' Creatures which has hostile horses spawn during the night.
Taming a horse is fairly simple. You walk up to it and right click to sit on it. You will immediately be thrown off. You have to keep this up until the horse stops throwing you off and is then tamed, indicated by hearts like the ones that appear when breeding animals. A tamed horse will hang out nearby and can be saddled (new item called a horse saddle), armored with 3 tiered armor (iron, gold, diamond). Horses are the fastest method of travel for now, out speeding minecarts at full speed, though not all horses are the same speed, or jump the same height. Jumping is a mechanic that replaces your XP bar when riding. It's fairly simple, just press space and try to release when the bar is as full as possible.
A new item, the name tag, allows you to name it in the anvil, then give that name to any mob via a right click. Named mobs do not despawn, meaning you can have a squid tank or a group of tiny pet slimes now.The update also introduces the leash, a new item that allows you to tether a mob to you to make it follow you. This is useful for making tamed mobs follow you, or even mess around with hostile ones. Finally, a we have a new block in the carpet. This simple addition allows you to make floors on your floors (I do realize how ridiculous this sounds) different from the ceiling below in a more compact fashion. Unfortunately as the carpet is a block, you cannot place anything on it, so chests and furnaces are out. It's still a cool addition nonetheless.
Last and also least for now is a new launcher. It does not seem to do much differently from the current one except for some developer stuff, but it is still in early development so we'll have to wait and see how it turns out.
You can read more about it and download this snapshot below:
Download the 13w16b snapshot here! [CAUTION: For advanced users only]
Stay tuned for more information as it comes out, and as always, feel free to discuss these new additions in the comment section below.