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An Illustrated History
Tamsin Pickeral, Photos by Astrid Harrison - All books by this author

H orses have played a central role in human societies for millennia, and this magnificently written and beautifully illustrated volume celebrates that long, eventful history. It pays homage not only to the physical splendor of the horse—its grace, beauty, strength, and adaptability—but also to its remarkable diversity. Equestrian specialist Tamsin Pickeral traces the evolution of many different horse breeds from the dawn of written history to the present day. Separate chapters are devoted to —

  • The Ancient World—the nomadic horse peoples of the Eurasian steppes, the Gotland Pony, used by the Goths as chariot horses, the Camargue, an ancient working breed that was taken into Spain by the Romans, and many more
  • From the East—Mongolian stocks, the influence of Ghengis Khan, the introduction of polo, the spread of the Arabian horse breed, and more
  • The War Horse—the rise of the heavy cavalry horse, Charles Martel and the influence of the Crusades on horse breeding, the Spanish and Portuguese originators of horse-riding cowboys, the horse in the Napoleonic wars, and more
  • The New World—the horse’s arrival in South America, brought in by the Spanish, and the subsequent development of American breeds
  • Racing, Hunting, and Sports Horses—Racing thoroughbreds, Irish hunters, Holsteins, Australian breeds, and more
  • Harness Horses, Carriage Driving, and Trotting—the development of horses mainly used today for show and skill work, and German Oldenburg carriage horses, now widely used in riding competitions
  • Agriculture and Industry—The transformation of war horses into widely varied breeds that were developed for working the land, working in mines, serving as police horses, and more.
Magnificent color photos by distinguished equine photographer Astrid Harrison are complemented with reproductions of equine artworks from around the world—a total of 400 beautiful illustrations.

From the Reviews:
“Both writer Pickeral and photographer Harrisson have a background in art and a love of horses. This lovely illustrated volume is more than a coffee-table book. Pickeral and Harrisson traveled across the world to research and photograph more than 80 breeds of horses—some common, some rare. The book shares little-known facts that explain the survival of horses in difficult environments; e.g., the purpose of the thick hairs that grow along the upper lips of Kazakh horses is to sift sand from the grass before they eat it, and the double coats of Exmoor ponies help them survive harsh winters. This volume is highly recommended for horse lovers, animal lovers, and art lovers.”
—Patsy E. Gray, Library Journal, January 01, 2012

About The Authors:
Tamsin Pickeral
grew up in the English countryside and has lived in Europe and North America. She has extensive experience in practical horse care, health, and management, and has published several books on horses, ponies, and dogs.

Astrid Harrison has many years of experience in photography, creative direction, and graphic design. She first began photographing horses while working on a ranch in Argentina, and has since traveled around the world capturing award-winning photos of equine subjects.


Hardcover w/jacket / 288 Pages / 9 3?8 x 11 13?32 / 2011


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