On our way down to Ilfracombe with Dave and Hannah, we drove past Dunster. From the road, you can see the Castle. The kids looked suitably impressed. Yes, it's a fairy tale castle. We decided to visit it on the way back. Dunster is just outside Minehead and I've subsequently discovered some great connections with horses about the place (that is feeding into the work Hippomania which will be appearing in the next Wyrd Tales).
So, both Neptune and Poseidon are the "God of Horses", as well as the sea. Neptune Equester is the God of horse racing.
which suggests the origin of the hobby horse:
"... be in commemoration of the wreck of a vessel at Minehead in remote times, or the advent of a sort of phantom ship which entered the harbour without Captain or crew. Once the custom was encouraged, but now is much neglected, and perhaps soon will fall into desuetude"
"King Neptune" plays a central role in the long-standing tradition of the "Line-crossing ceremony" initiation rite still current in many navies, coast guards, and merchant fleets. When ships cross the equator, "Pollywogs" (sailors who had not done such a crossing before) receive "subpoenas" to appear before King Neptune and his court (usually including his first assistant Davy Jones and Her Highness Amphitrite and often various dignitaries, who are all represented by the highest-ranking seamen).
And this is where it gets crazy!
Davy Jones is really an epithet for the state of death of drowned sailors... possibly a corruption of Devil Jonah...
Davy Jones (the dimunitive singer with 1960's pop band Monkees), orginally harboured ambitions to become a jockey.
In July 1992, Hampshire-based Anita Jones, wife of said pop star Davy Jones, had two mares attacked within days of each other. One received a wound to the shoulder. One had her genitals slashed and a fence post driven inside her. This was perhaps the most infamous incident in the horrific phenomenon of horse mutilation.
For more on horse mutilation see: