A fascinating opening section tells the history of the horse and how modern breeds evolved. With words and handsome pictures, a following chapter tells the story of the working horse, with emphasis on army horses, draft and pack horses, police horses, horses on ranches, and horses bred for racing and dressage competition. A thirty page directory identifies and describes the 50 most common horse breeds, and succeeding sections on horse anatomy and the equine life cycle are supplemented with detailed illustrations. The remaining chapters focus on practical details for horse owners--stabling and general care, recognizing and dealing with health and injury problems, understanding horse behavior, learning how to choose and buy a horse, purchasingthe correct equipment for riding, and developing the skills that transform a beginner into a competent rider. Extra eye-catching features show pictures of famous horses in art, film, and literature, characteristic horse markings, and descriptions of famous stud horses. And for readers interested in knowing what it is really like working with horses, there are fascinating personal accounts of typical days in the lives of jockeys, veterinarians, and others whose lives are focused around horses. There is an extensive glossary, an index, and more than 400 full-color photos and drawings.