Any novice dreaming of buying a horse and simply turning him out to graze in a buttercup meadow may skid to a halt after a few pages of admonitions; nevertheless this intensive manual does reflect a healthy insistence on responsible care and use. Keeping a horse will set you back approximately sixty dollars a month in northern rural areas -- much more in suburbia. Just why becomes evident in subsequent chapters as the authors discuss purchase and selection criteria, housing, pasturage, feed, grooming (equipment is listed with prices), hoof care (treat your reliable smith royally in exchange for his promise to come back every month or six weeks), illness (a list of supplies and what to do until the vet comes), tack and good maintenance, exercising and training of both horse and rider; there is a chapter on ""Etiquette, Attire and Events"" and general tips on horse/owner rapport. Only one quibble -- inexperienced owners are apt to regard the horse as a machine or fourfooted child. With the new interest in animal psychology (cf. Fox's Understanding Your Dog) perhaps more could have been done with a horse-eye view of humans. However, as a guide to horse care and maintenance, this is knowledgeable and comprehensive.