YA-A comprehensive examination of the horse. Each of the approximately 150 breed descriptions is accompanied by information on its development, size, and historical significance. Separate chapters cover special contemporary uses of horses that range from police mounts to steeplechasing and trotting competitions, as well as their place in history. Photographs of the Lascaux Cave drawings, the Standard of Ur, and Egyptian tomb paintings are among the many illustrations showing humankind's earliest records of our interaction with this animal. Sculptures and paintings from numerous later cultures and eras portray not only the ways horses have been used, but also their beauty. Hundreds of clear, full-color photographs are included. A section on anatomy and coloration makes this book useful for reference, while the straightforward, lively writing style makes the short chapters enjoyable to read.-Carolyn E. Gecan, Thomas Jefferson Sci-Tech, Fairfax County, VA
Edwards is a noted authority on horses and horsemanship with three other books on this subject to his credit. This beautifully illustrated encyclopedia covers 150 different breeds. More than 1,000 full-color illustrations, maps, photographs, and portraits are included
The work is divided into 10 parts: the evolution of the horse, domestication, Eastern influences, classical riding, stud farms, ponies, American influences, work horses, war horses, and sporting horses. A glossary with brief explanations of terms used and an index round out the work. The index is a guide to breeds (in italics), people, equipment, geographic locations, etc., within articles and picture captions. Entries are dominated by color portraits of the breed with brief text on development, uses, confirmation, and temperament. Map inserts show the locations where the breed developed. Scattered among the entries for horse breeds are such topical entries as "Police Horses" and "The American Cowboy"
The work does have some curious omissions. For example, Man o' War is listed, but not Secretariat. Famous pairings such as Alexander the Great and Bucephalus, Napoleon and Marengo, and Wellington and Copenhagen are mentioned, but not Robert E. Lee and Traveler
Several other horse encyclopedias are still in print, such as the "International Encyclopedia of Horse Breeds" by Jane Kidd (HP, 1986); "The Horse: A Complete Encyclopedia" by Pam Cary (Octopus, 1987); and Hartley's own "Horses" (Dorling Kindersley, 1993). Unless demand is high for information on horses, one of these titles will answer most basic questions. "The Encyclopedia of the Horse" is a beautiful work with outstanding pictures and interesting text. The author's knowledge of horses is apparent in all of the articles. It would be a good purchase for school and public libraries that do not have an illustrated horse encyclopedia.