BLACK BEAUTY - online book

The Autobiography Of A Horse, With Fifty Illustrations.

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90
BLACK BEAUTY.
The next day at three o'clock we were again at the door, and the footmen as before; we heard the silk dress rustle, and the lady came down the steps, and in an im­perious voice she said," York, you must put those horses* heads higher; they are not fit to he seen."
York got down and said, very respectfully, " I beg your pardon, my lady, but these horses have not been reined up for three years, and my lord said it would be safer to bring them to it by degrees; but if your ladyship pleases, I can take them up a little more.''
" Do so," she said.
York came round to our heads and shortened the rein himself, one hole, I think. Every little makes a difference, be it for better or worse, and that day we had a steep hill to go up. Then I began to understand what I had heard of. Of course I wanted to put my head forward and take the carriage up with a will, as we had been used to do; but no, I had to pull with my head up now, and that took all the spirit out of rne, and the strain came on my back and legs. When we came in, Ginger said, " Now you see what it is like; but this is not bad, and if it does not get much worse than this I shall say nothing about it, for we are very well treated here; but if they strain me up tight, why, let 'em look out! I can't bear it, and I won't."
Day by day, hole by hole, our bearing-reins were short­ened, and instead of looking forward with pleasure to hav­ing my harness put on, as I used to do, I began to dread it. Ginger, too, seemed restless, though she said very little. At last I thought the worst was over; for several days there was no more shortening, and I determined to make the best of it and do my duty, though it was now a constant harass instead of a pleasure; but the worst was not yet come.
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