Morvaugh (Cornish name for Seahorse)
At the start of 2017 I considered acquiring an ‘Obby ‘Oss of my own. A smaller ‘Oss skull would be ideal so that I could ride her. I originally searched for the skull of a small horse asking the advice of David Pitt who rides Coppertown Mari. I then discovered the skull of an Icelandic foal with Viking heritage which connects us as I was also born on an ancient Viking settlement.
I had to ensure she was in good condition and I was aware that David Pitt had brought a number of ‘Obby ‘Osses into the world. When I purchased her, she was sent immediately to him. David kept me updated with video footage explaining the work needed on her skull in order to make her robust for riding. He showed me her adult teeth embedded deep within the skull that had not fully emerged. (Icelandic foals do not always survive the severe weather in their country and correct nourishment is extremely important for them to do so. )
David worked on her in his free time for the following 3 months and when the skull was ready he constructed her silver ears and tongue. I sent him shiny teal coloured balls for her eyes which he attached to the eye sockets. David also constructed her pole along with other fixtures and fittings so that her jaw had a beautiful ‘snap’.
Her personality was already emerging and I asked our good friend Craig Weatherill the Cornish word for seahorse and discovered it is Morvaugh. I had given her image a lot of thought and with my connection to the sea, the ‘Oss would naturally be a part of this.
The three months that passed without seeing or holding Morvaugh was a little frustrating, but I knew she was in expert hands! David Pitt travelled all the way from Wales to deliver her in person on Beltane 2017.
He was accompanied by his beautiful Coppertown Mari. We bought him dinner at our local pub and visited Boscawen-un stone circle together. Cassandra had the wonderful experience of riding Coppertown while David took video footage of them.
When David left, it was time for me to begin work on Morvaugh. I had already given Penkevyll a new dress, mane and tatters as well as creating two new hearth dolls, so the creative energy was flowing.
I began with her mane, fitting hessian material to her head. I then braided strands of wool together until I had constructed 40 braids from two large balls of wool. The braids were then sewn to the hessian.
When her mane was complete, I attached 120 pearls to it and large mother of pearl shells along the centre parting.
I added a starfish and shells to her skull using a glue recommended by John Exton, ribbons were tied at the sides of the skull along with cockleshells that make a wonderful sound. She has Pirate rings in her ears and her teal dress is made from a sheet along with the netting.
Morvaugh’s first outing was at Penberth Cove on a beautiful warm sunny day. I carried her from the car to the cove.
It was a wonderful moment to be with her by the sea. My close bond with Morvaugh strengthened as I worked with her and by the sea we naturally merged as one.
The ground ahead of me was visible when walking on the stones as the ‘Oss dress has a netted panel at the front. Even though the dress material is cotton, it does not take long for the temperature to rise within it.
Morvaugh will attend charity events such as the R.N.L.I and other sea-related charities throughout Cornwall.
.. a female ‘Oss rider cannot expect to keep a neat hairstyle, but it is well worth it!
We had a fabulous time together but it was getting late and time to return to the cottage.
Morvaugh will be visiting festivals and events with us when Penkevyll is not available. I will keep you updated on her adventures. There is also a Facebook page on this link https://www.facebook.com/Morvaugh/
An extra special thank you to the wonderful David Pitt for all his hard work and preparation, also to the lovely Craig Weatherill who helped name her and the fabulous John Exton for helpful hints in decoration of ‘Osses. Thank you also to Cassandra Latham Jones for her support and taking such wonderful photographs.