BLACK BEAUTY - online book

The Autobiography Of A Horse, With Fifty Illustrations.

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114
BLACK BEAUTY.
get to take it off at the bottom of the hill, and more than once I have had to pull half-way up the next hill, with one of the wheels held by the brake, before my driver chose to think about it, and that is a terrible strain on a horse.
Then these cockneys, instead of starting at an easy pace, as a gentleman would do, generally set off at full speed from the very stable-yard; and when they want to stop, they first whip us, and then pull up so suddenly that we are- nearly thrown on our haunches, and our mouths jagged with the bit—they call that pulling up with a dash ; and when they turn a corner, they do it as sharply as if there were no right side or wrong side of the road.
I well remember one spring evening I and Rory had been out for the day. (Rory was the horse that mostly went with me when a pair was ordered, and a good honest fellow he was.) We had our own driver, and, as he was always considerate and gentle with us, we had a very pleasant day. We were coming home at a good smart pace, about twilight. Our road turned sharp to the left, but as we were close to the hedge on our own side, and there was plenty of room to pass, our driver did not pull us in. As we neared the corner I heard a horse and two wheels coming rapidly down the hill toward us. The hedge was high, and I could see nothing, but the next moment we were upon each other. Happily for me, I was on the side next the hedge. Rory was on the left side of the pole, and had not even a shaft to protect him. The man who was driving was making straight for the corner, and when he came in sight of us he had no time to pull over to his own side. The whole shock came upon Rory. The gig shaft ran right into his chest, making him stagger back with a cry that I shall never forget. The other horse was thrown upon his haunches and one shaft broken. It turned out that it was a horse from our own stables, with the high-wheeled gig that the young men were go fond oŁ
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