BLACK BEAUTY - online book

The Autobiography Of A Horse, With Fifty Illustrations.

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86                                   BLACK BEAUTY.
tighter, the coachman and his master thinking we looked more stylish so. We were often driven about in the park and other fashionable places. You who never had a check-rein on don't know what it is, but I can tell you it is dreadful.
" I like to toss my head about, and hold it as high as any horse; but fancy now yourself, if you tossed your head up high, and were obliged to hold it there, and that for hours together, not able to move it at all except with a jerk still higher, your neck aching till you did not know how to bear it. Besides that, to have two bits instead of one, and mine was a sharp one; it hurt my tongue and my jaw, and the blood from my tongue colored the froth that kept flying from my lips, as I chafed and fretted at the bits and rein. It was worse when we had to stand by the hour waiting for our mistress at some grand party or entertainment; and if I fretted or stamped with impatience the whip was laid on. It was enough to drive one mad."
" Did not your master take any thought for you?" I said.
" No," said she, " he only cared to have a stylish turn­out, as they called it; I think he knew very little about horses; he left that to his coachman, who told him I had an irritable temper, that I had not been well broken to the check-rein, but I should soon get used to it; but he was not the man to do it, for when I was in the stable, miserable and angry, instead of being soothed and quieted by kindness, I got only a surly word or a blow. If he had been civil I would have tried to bear it. I was willing to work, and ready to work hard, too; but to be tormented for nothing but their fancies angered me. What right had they to make me suffer like that? Besides the soreness in my mouth and the pain in my neck, it always made my windpipe feel bad, and if I had stopped there long I know it would have spoiled my breathing ; but I grew more and more restless and irritable; I could not help it; and I be-
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