AGE OF THE HORSE: An Equine Journey Through Human History


AGE OF THE HORSE: An Equine Journey Through Human History

SUSANNA FORREST    Book Number: 88435    Product format: Paperback

Horses are so commonplace throughout history that we scarcely notice them, but in this highly enjoyable book the author draws our attention to their presence in eight important areas of life through the ages, from evolution to war via domestication and culture. Men and women of the past lived alongside horses, taking for granted their strength, character, and the cost of their shoes. 56 million years ago the "zero horse" weighed 12 pounds and grazed on low branches. By the time the Early Humans left Africa, 1.8 million years ago, there were horses as we know them on all the continents. The author travels to Mongolia in search of today's wild horses, the swift rare breed of Takhis who are not just symbolic but sacred to the Mongolians. Wild horses were also a feature of Nazi mythology, used in experiments to prove a fake process of natural selection and breeding. Forrest's next stop is a world away, the Baroque barracks at Versailles where a huge manège or courtyard for horse-dancing is located. The ancient Greek historian Xenophon gave instructions for horse-dancing in high-stepping, prancing victory parades, and the skill was developed and codified in the Italian Renaissance, with the famous courtier Castiglione recommending that the rider be almost motionless as the horse performs ever more sophisticated manoeuvres. The author visits Chinese riding stables and asks a crucial question: are horses natural warriors? The horse has historically represented power, drawing farm machinery, buses, flour mills and cement mixers. Before World War II the government calculated that if Britain were to be self-reliant in terms of food, it would have to turn to tractors, and thus the days of the workhorse were finally numbered. 420pp, paperback, colour photos.
Published price: $18
Bibliophile price: £6.50


Additional product information

ISBN 9780802127976
Browse these categories as well: History, Pets, Nature/Countryside

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