Book Review: Horses and Horsemanship Through the Ages by Luigi Gianoli

Reviewed by Nancy O'Neill aka Violante von Oesterreich

This is a 10-chapter book, with many sub-sections in each chapter, 439 pages. It starts from the author views of the origins of the horse, Equus caballus and runs through to the early 1960’s and the sports that were popular then. I have highlighted the chapters that start with the Dark Ages and run through to the development of the classical riding schools and the artwork associated with each period.

In my point of view, the author’s chapter titled “Equestrian Amusements” includes The Circus, The Rodeo and Gymkhana Events as his subjects for this chapter is amusing!
What I found surprisingly lacking is this author's breeds section and the lack of the then known horse breeds. His heavy leaning towards all things Thoroughbred in the latter chapters is predominant and understandable for the era that this book is written.

This is a small slice of what this wonderfully detailed book has between its covers. There are numerous drawings, paintings, plates for each section. I appreciated the lengthy bibliography section, as I will use it for more research avenues .

Luigi Gianoli was a Professor at the University of Milan. The book was originally published in Italian in 1967 under the name Il Cavallo E L'Uomo. In 1969,  Crown Publishers republished it in English.

If you can find a copy of this book, I highly, highly recommend ascertaining it. The medieval section alone is worth the purchase!

Horses and Horsemanship Through the Ages
By:Luigi Gianoli
Published by Crown Publishers 1969
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 68-9102,

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