Page:Black Beauty (1877).djvu/146

This page has been validated.
142
BLACK BEAUTY.

used to them. One day an old gentleman was riding with him, and a large piece of white paper or rag, blew across just on one side of me; I shied and started forward—my master as usual whipped me smartly, but the old man cried out, 'You're wrong! you're wrong! you should never whip a horse for shying: he shys because he is frightened, and you only frighten him more, and make the habit worse.' So I suppose all men don't do so. I am sure I don't want to shy for the sake of it; but how should one know what is dangerous and what is not, if one is never allowed to get used to anything? I am never afraid of what I know. Now I was brought up in a park where there were deer; of course, I knew them as well as I did a sheep or a cow, but they are not common, and I know many sensible horses who are frightened at them, and who kick up quite a shindy before they will pass a paddock where there are deer."

I knew what my companion said was true, and I wished that every young horse had as good masters as Farmer Grey and Squire Gordon.

Of course we sometimes came in for good driving here. I remember one morning I was put into the light gig, and taken to a house in Pultney Street. Two gentlemen came out; the taller of them came round to my head, he looked at the bit and bridle, and just shifted the collar with his hand, to see if it fitted comfortably.

"Do you consider this horse wants a curb?" he said to the ostler.