48 BLACK BEAUTY.
Oliver, who was dearly fond of his master; to turn the subject I said, " Can any one tell me the use of blinkers?''
" No J" said Sir Oliver, shortly, " because they are no use."
" They are supposed," said Justice, the roan cob, in his calm way, " to prevent horses from shying and starting, and getting so frightened as to cause accidents "
" Then what is the reason they do not put them on riding horses; especially on ladies' horses V said I.
" There is no reason at all," said he quietly, " except the fashion; they say that a horse would be so frightened to see the wheels of his own cart or carriage coming behind him that he would be sure to run away, although of course when he is ridden he sees them all about him if the streets are crowded. I admit they do sometimes come too close to be pleasant, but we don't run away; we are used to it, and understand it, and if we never had blinkers put on we should never want them; we should see what was there, and know what was what, and be much less frightened than by only seeing bits of things that we can't understand. Of course there may be some nervous horses who have been hurt or frightened when they were young, who may be the better for them; but as I never was nervous, I can't judge."
" I consider," said Sir Oliver, " that blinkers are dangerous things in the night; we horses can see much better in the dark than men can, and many an accident would never have happened if horses might have had the full use of their eyes. Some years ago, I remember, there was a hearse with two horses returning one dark night, and just by Farmer Sparrow's house, where the pond is close to the road, the wheels went too near the edge, and the hearse was overturned into the water ; both the horses were drowned, and the driver hardly escaped. Of course after this accident a stout white rail was put up that might be easily seen; but if those horses had not been partly blinded, they would of