Feb 6, 2015
"Cast Horse" represents one classic puzzle idea. There are two horse-shoes linked with chains, forming a closed structure, and one additional horse-shoe should which is closed. The closed horse-shoe seems to be put around the other structure, but cannot be taken out by just sliding it on one direction or the other. The solution to the puzzle is not complicated, but it requires some thought.
I got this puzzle relatively late in my collection (for Christmas two or three years ago, by my sister) - I already had other Hanayama Cast puzzles of higher level of difficulty ("Cast Horse" is rated at level 2 out of 6 by Hanayama). And although I already had "Cast W-U", which is a bit more complex than "Cast Horse", and an idea about how to solve "Cast Horse", I still had some difficulties in finding out how it works. That is because Hanayama did what they do best - making the puzzles so tight that the solution is very precise. Don't be mislaid by the size of "Cast Horse" - the solution is tight to get. It took me several tries (and I would say a lot of tries, as they were more than I expected) to get the correct solution. But it was very rewarding. It was my first level 2 puzzle at that point, but I did not regret it. Later I would find that level 2 puzzles have some very attractive features.
My ratings for "Cast Horse" would be the following:
Implementation: 3 (if it was not a Hanayama Cast puzzle, I guess the design would be less interesting and precise)
Difficulty: 3 (it would be 2, but again, being a Hanayama Cast puzzle, I give it 1 more, just because they do make their puzzles look unique, even if you find something similar somewhere else)
If you are a beginner to such puzzles, you should start with this one. Give it a try and have fun!