Chapter 7: Ginger
"There was one -- the old master, Mr. Ryder -- who, I think,
could soon have brought me round, and could have done anything with me;
but he had given up all the hard part of the trade to his son
and to another experienced man, and he only came at times to oversee.
His son was a strong, tall, bold man; they called him Samson,
and he used to boast that he had never found a horse that could throw him.
There was no gentleness in him, as there was in his father,
but only hardness, a hard voice, a hard eye, a hard hand; and I felt
from the first that what he wanted was to wear all the spirit out of me,
and just make me into a quiet, humble, obedient piece of horseflesh.
`Horseflesh'! Yes, that is all that he thought about,"
and Ginger stamped her foot as if the very thought of him made her angry.
Then she went on:
"If I did not do exactly what he wanted he would get put out,
and make me run round with that long rein in the training field
till he had tired me out. I think he drank a good deal,
and I am quite sure that the oftener he drank the worse it was for me.
One day he had worked me hard in every way he could,
and when I lay down I was tired, and miserable, and angry;
it all seemed so hard. The next morning he came for me early,
and ran me round again for a long time. I had scarcely had an hour's rest,
when he came again for me with a saddle and bridle and a new kind of bit.
I could never quite tell how it came about; he had only just mounted me
on the training ground, when something I did put him out of temper,
and he chucked me hard with the rein. The new bit was very painful,
and I reared up suddenly, which angered him still more, and he began
to flog me. I felt my whole spirit set against him, and I began to kick,
and plunge, and rear as I had never done before, and we had a regular fight;
for a long time he stuck to the saddle and punished me cruelly
with his whip and spurs, but my blood was thoroughly up,
and I cared for nothing he could do if only I could get him off.
At last after a terrible struggle I threw him off backward.
I heard him fall heavily on the turf, and without looking behind me,
I galloped off to the other end of the field; there I turned round and saw
my persecutor slowly rising from the ground and going into the stable.
I stood under an oak tree and watched, but no one came to catch me.
The time went on, and the sun was very hot; the flies swarmed round me
and settled on my bleeding flanks where the spurs had dug in.
I felt hungry, for I had not eaten since the early morning,
but there was not enough grass in that meadow for a goose to live on.
I wanted to lie down and rest, but with the saddle strapped tightly on
there was no comfort, and there was not a drop of water to drink.
The afternoon wore on, and the sun got low. I saw the other colts led in,
and I knew they were having a good feed.