The Horse

The Horse itself is shaped like a small boat, upturned with a mask and tail added, the first ones were possibly based on old Bristol Coracle frames with sail cloth skirts, we will never know as there are no records to show how, or why the Hobby Horse started, and obviously all the materials used from that time has perished.

The modern construction is a willow frame (made of willow grown in Somerset), covered in hessian (the skirts) and painted with brightly coloured circles, there is a wooden box frame inside that the carriers climb inside and hold the bottom rails.

The mask is generally made of metal and painted with a garish clown type mask and has a plume of feathers on the top, usually Pheasant or Peacock probably taken from the Dunster Castle estate!

The Tail is a long piece of hawser rope with a cows tail fastened on the end, this can fly around very fast and hurts if it hits you so make sure to stay away! local children will dare each other to get as close as they can before the horse spins and catches them with its tail.

It is considered bad manners to ask to see under the skirts.