The Essential Horse
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A book to accompany a Millennium Festival Exhibition at the National Horseracing Museum, Newmarket, 18 April to 31 Oktober 2000
Published 2009, 175 pages, pictures
This book looks not only at the origin and development of horse breeds, the use of horses in warfare, agriculture, transport, sport, entertainment and literature, but also at the changing attitudes to the horse and its welfare. It is illustrated throughout with depictions of the horse in art – including medieval illuminations and paintings by Stubbs and Munnings – and with horse-related equipment such as Queen Elizabeth I’s riding saddles and examples of horse armour.
Today, only our frequent use of horse-related phrases reminds us of the historic interdependance between people and horses. However, for the past 2000 years-at least until the end of the nineteenth century-the horse has pulled the plough, carried messages and people, turned the mill, participated in sports at breakneck speed, and carried man to war. In return, the horse has been housed, fed, tended and even worshipped. The relationship is one of mutual trust.