Page:Black Beauty (1877).djvu/135

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A Job Horse and his Drivers.

Hitherto I had always been driven by people who at least knew how to drive; but in this place, I was to get my experience of all the different kinds of bad and ignorant driving to which we horses are subjected; for I was a "job-horse," and was let out to all sorts of people, who wished to hire me; and as I was good-tempered and gentle, I think I was oftener let out to the ignorant drivers, than some of the other horses, because I could be depended upon. It would take a long time to tell of all the different styles in which I was driven, but I will mention a few of them.

First, there were the tight-rein drivers—men, who seemed to think that all depended on holding the reins as hard as they could, never relaxing the pull on the horse's mouth, or giving him the least liberty of movement. They are always talking about "keeping the horse well in hand," and "holding a horse up," just as if a horse was not made to hold himself up.

Some poor broken-down horses, whose mouths have been made hard and insensible by just such drivers as these, may, perhaps, find some support in