Drawing on archaeology, biology, art, literature, and ethnography, this singular study illuminates the relationship between horse and human throughout history. From the Ice Age to the post-industrial age, horses have provided sustenance, transportation, status, companionship, and the ability to establish and expand empires. Included are stories of horses at work, at war, at play, and in art, film, and books, starting with the first equestrian encounters in which early humans in Asia and Europe hunted native horses for food. The dualities in the horse–human relationship are explored, such as humans' ability to both care for and slaughter horses, and the travel benefits that horses have provided that have enabled devastating warfare. Training techniques and breeding practices are examined from a global viewpoint, discussing cultures as varied as the Persians and the Nez Perce and looking at breeding stock that range from Lippizaners to quarter horses. Written in lucid prose full of wisdom, passion, and wonder, this far-reaching story explores a vital shaping force in the history of the world.
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