Synopses & Reviews
Award-winning horse photographer Astrid Harrisson and equestrian expert Tamsin Pickeral spent a year combing the world in search of the best examples of more than eighty diverse horse breeds. This book is the result of their ambitious project: a fascinating read accompanied by sensitive and striking photography. Discover the vital role that the magnificent horse has played throughout history, from plow horse to racehorse. Trace the development of the most striking and significant breeds, and learn intriguing tales about breeds that are now almost forgotten. Sumptuously illustrated throughout, this unique book was written and produced for everyone who loves horses.
Written as a glorious celebration of this noblest of animals, The Majesty of the Horse explores the sheer beauty and grandeur of horses, revealing the central role they have played in human societies throughout the world and across the ages. The book also showcases equine photographer Astrid Harrisson's amazing portraiture and stunning images of horses in motion, with pictures that capture the essence of many different breeds. This lavish book pays homage not only to the physical splendor of the horse--its grace, strength, and extraordinary adaptability --but also to the animal's remarkable diversity. Equestrian specialist Tamsin Pickeral traces the evolution of the most significant and fascinating breeds, among them, the tiny, fiery Caspian, a native of the Caspian Sea's south shore; the proud Thoroughbred; the genetically pure Icelandic Pony; the heroic Shire horse; and many others.
For millennia, horses have enabled humankind to work the land effectively, travel across vast territories, go to war, and ride for sport and pleasure. Open this richly illustrated book and you'll discover the stories behind more than eighty breeds, including the world's oldest known horse breeds, workhorses bred for specific tasks, horses bred for specific sports, and still other horses bred to suit specific environments. With evocative text and photos of exceptional quality, The Majesty of the Horse is an essential volume for everyone who loves horses.
Tasmin Pickeral, horse expert and art historian, grew up surrounded by horses in the English countryside, where she developed a continuing passion for these magnificent animals, their history, and their relationship with human beings. She has lived both in Europe and North America, working with horses, tending to their care, health, and management. A widely published author, she has written several books on animal themes.
Astrid Harrisson has many years of experience working as a graphic designer, photographer, and creative director. She began photographing horses in 2008 while working on a ranch in Argentina, and has since traveled widely in Europe, the Americas, India, Africa, China, and Australia, capturing award-winning photos of equine subjects.
"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
Horses 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 Harrisson are complemented with reproductions of equine artworks from around the world--a total of 400 beautiful illustrations.
About the Author
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.
illustrator Astrid Harrisson 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.