These days horses are mainly used for leisure activities the non-rider knows little about them in a modern context, let alone a historical one.
For those who would like to know more, this book encompasses the whole spectrum of horses in the British army over a 200-year period, from their acquisition and training, through their care and feeding and their transportation to theatres of war overseas.
Janet Macdonald describes how, until mechanization took over in the twentieth century, the British army used horses on a grand scale.
The cavalry, messengers and officers rode horses, and horses pulled guns and wagons full of supplies.
Their versatility made them almost as important as weaponry.
But most men of the time were unlikely to know how to ride and had to be taught, and the horses had to be trained to tolerate situations in which the civilian horse would panic and run and this process is explained here in fascinating detail.
Janet Macdonald's study promises to be the standard work on this neglected aspect of the British army's history.