A hobby horse is one of a number of animal disguises adopted by perpetrators of many folk customs. It is also the riding stick toy horse for children.
The famous Hobby Horses are the one at Padstow and the one at Minehead which are both May celebrations.
Morris teams and Mummers often have a Hobby Horse associated with them to aid collection of money, although other animals are known such as Dragons.
Hoodening or Hodening is entirely predicated on a Hobby Horse character and represents another facet of the tradition celebrated normally in Winter.
Hobby Horses are normally categorised as:
Tourney Horse: This kind is a frame suspended by straps from a person's shoulders
Sieve Horse: Another kind of frame horse
Mast Horse: A head fixed to a pole and the pole is held
Stick Horse:A head is fixed to a pole and the pole is ridden