Synopses & Reviews
Horses have a shared history with man going back millennia to their domestication around 4000 B.C. Yet only in very recent years have scientists begun to turn the tools of modem science on this remarkable animal that has been so wrapped up in human dreams and legends. Now modern scientific research is beginning to explain long-standing mysteries about the true nature of the horse. How well can horses really see? What causes breakdowns in racehorses? How intelligent are they compared to other animals, and are some breeds smarter than others? Does nature or nurture matter more in creating a great sport horse? What causes cribbing and other vices? In this beautifully illustrated, compelling narrative, Budiansky tells the story of the origins, behavior, intelligence and language of the horse.
For the first time, horse lovers will have access to cutting-edge research on topics of interest including new information on horse vision, horse biology and movement. Introducing the latest archeological findings, Budiansky presents a fascinating discussion of how the horse evolved as well as a dramatic and provocative history of man's use and abuse of the horse from prehistoric times to today. In a revealing chapter on horse intelligence, he debunks the commonly held belief that horses are stupid and also presents compelling new scientific information on horse language which will greatly benefit the horse rider and trainer. Finally, drawing together the latest research on horse physiology, genetics and biomechanics, Budiansky asks the million dollar question -- what makes for a winning racehorse? Anyone who loves horses will find this an invaluable resource as well as a fascinating read.
Professor David Grene Unversity of Chicago Horse Trainer, Member -- Cornwall Hounds This is a wonderful book, of the greatest value for the imaginative understanding of the horse on the part of those of us who train and use it, and the far greater number of those who love and admire.
Julie Krone Jockey, Author -- Riding for My Life Dedicated and devoted horse lovers have waited for a book that gives thorough, authoritative information on the horse. Detailed, yet understandable, this book tells you why horses do what they do and provides fascinating insights on how horses think. If a horse came with a translator, this book would be it.
Stanley Coren Professor of Psychology, University of British Columbia Author -- The intelligence of Dogs Few books on horses consider what is going on in the animal's mind. This book provides insights into how horses think, what their level of intelligence is, and how they approach and solve problems. It also demonstrates that horses experience complex feelings such as anger, fear, or affection, and shows how you can read what a horse's emotional state is from its behavior.
Franklin M. Loew Dean of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University A marvelously informative book. I know of no more complete source on the newest scientific findings than The Nature of Horses. The reader who invests in this book will be amply rewarded by an unsurpassed understanding -- in modem terms -- of the horse.
Mary Anne Grimmell President, International Arabian Horse Association An entertaining, provocative and educational view of the evolution and domestication of "the horse".
Includes bibliographical references (p. -272) and index.
About the Author
Stephen Budiansky, formerly U.S. Editor of Nature, is currently Senior Writer at U.S. News and World Report. He is the author of Covenant of the Wild and Nature's Keepers: The New Science of Nature Management. He lives in Leesburg, Virginia.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Franklin M. Loew, D.V.M.
Chapter 1 The Improbability of the Horse
Chapter 2 From the Brink of Oblivion
Chapter 3 Equine Nature, Human Nature
Chapter 4 Socioecology
Chapter 5 Seeing and Perceiving
Chapter 6 Horse Talk
Chapter 7 Horse Sense
Chapter 8 The Mechanics of Movement
Chapter 9 Assume a Spherical Horse
Chapter 10 Nature or Nurture?
Conclusion The Fate of the Horse