Chapter 8: Ginger's Story Continued
The next time that Ginger and I were together in the paddock she told me
about her first place.
"After my breaking in," she said, "I was bought by a dealer
to match another chestnut horse. For some weeks he drove us together,
and then we were sold to a fashionable gentleman, and were sent up to London.
I had been driven with a check-rein by the dealer, and I hated it worse
than anything else; but in this place we were reined far tighter,
the coachman and his master thinking we looked more stylish so.
We were often driven about in the park and other fashionable places.
You who never had a check-rein on don't know what it is,
but I can tell you it is dreadful.
"I like to toss my head about and hold it as high as any horse;
but fancy now yourself, if you tossed your head up high and were obliged
to hold it there, and that for hours together, not able to move it at all,
except with a jerk still higher, your neck aching till you did not know
how to bear it. Besides that, to have two bits instead of one --
and mine was a sharp one, it hurt my tongue and my jaw,
and the blood from my tongue colored the froth that kept flying from my lips
as I chafed and fretted at the bits and rein. It was worst
when we had to stand by the hour waiting for our mistress at some
grand party or entertainment, and if I fretted or stamped with impatience
the whip was laid on. It was enough to drive one mad."
"Did not your master take any thought for you?" I said.