The Warhorse in the Modern Era
Black Tent Publications, 28 December 2009
ISBN 978-1-907212-02-4 Hardback 10" x 7"; 262 pages; b & w photographs, line drawings and maps
Descriptions abound of military actions in which cavalry have played a major part, yet little is said about the horses themselves, without whom very little would have been achieved in the military sphere, in any era. This may be because, with rare exceptions, military historians are not horsemen or women, and the latter are seldom military historians. Ann Hyland is both of these things. In this latest volume in her acclaimed Warhorse series, she gives a comprehensive account of the horse in war from the beginning of the 17th century to the end of the American Civil War. Two chapters are devoted to the Napoleonic era.
The modern era saw a period of tremendous transition for the warhorse which began with the change from the accepted, but erroneous, concept of the Medieval Great Horse whose body mass was not always so great, to the better bred, more mobile, speedier animal that evolved from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century. Using many eyewitness accounts, as well as official sources, Ann Hyland gives us a moving picture of the sacrifices demanded of – and made by, with so little complaint – this most noble of creatures. In the midst of dreadful carnage and in often appalling conditions, we catch glimpses of the bond which existed between these horses of war and the men who rode and cared for them. The Warhorse in the Modern Era is a fascinating and readable book which will appeal to both military history buffs and horse lovers alike.
Ann Hyland is a leading expert on the history of the horse, and has written a number of books on the subject.Formerly a professional horse breeder and trainer who has taken part in endurance rides all over the world, she founded the Endurance Horse and Pony Society of Great Britain. She is a consultant on equestrianism for several publications, among them the Oxford English Dictionary; she has also acted as a consultant for a number of TV series, such as Battlefield Walks (BBC) and The Warhorse (History Channel).