Mounted combat is still very much a mystery to me in LOTRO. Most of the questing I’ve been doing in East Rohan doesn’t require it and when I have tried it (since Update 13), it has been a somewhat painful experience.
Mostly this is down to me having progressed through the levels of the Rohan expansion not doing enough of it – the opponents I’m facing now at level 79 (they are 80-82) are not the basic warg-riders of the early zones. These orcs are actually a threat to the settlements I’m visiting according to the story, they certainly aren’t a pushover in mounted combat.
Having read guides to customising my war-horse, I’ve created a new “heavy war-horse” spec with mostly tanky, defensive traits. My original click-something-at-random spec was a medium one but it didn’t suit my playstyle at all. My main character, a heavy-armour wearing champion, has always been built to be moderately durable. So I’ve also read up on some basic tactics and one suggestion was to use the follow command. So I’ve created a “follow” alias shortcut key to set my war-horse to follow my current target (link to LOTRO alias creation guide).
In testing this massively simplifies basic mounted combat. Now I can concentrate on learning my mounted combat abilities without having to constantly worry about speed and direction as well. Longer term if I continue having to do mounted combat I’ll try to wean myself off this probably – following a lone orc as it charges through a pack of other orcs would be a bad idea for instance. What’s worse your mount will slow and speed up based on your opponents mount, this means fury generation is unpredictable at best so my attacks are generally weaker as a result (i.e. attacks are faster at full charge speed).
Still the alternative experience seemed to be riding in circles around my opponent never getting much speed up and, almost invariably, wildly pulling extra monsters by accident. This way seems a lot better!