This brass animal stands on a pierced base, his front legs raised on a low platform or bench. He wears an elaborate patterned high saddle with central pole and his bridle is attached to reins of twisted ropes. His mane is gathered in neat plaits. The horse is smartly turned out for what appears to be a formal procession, suggesting that there would have been a princely rider, now missing. Rather than a secular ruler, however, it is likely that the original mounts were Khandoba and his consort Mhalsa, local folk deities worshipped mostly in Maharashtra and Karnataka, which over the centuries have become assimilated with Siva and Parvati. For a horse ridden by Khandoba and Mhalsa in the British Museum, see Blurton, T. Richard, Hindu Art, London, 1992, p. 95 and also Bussabarger & Robins, The Everyday Art of India, New York, 1978, p. 90.