Chapter 3: My Breaking In
I was now beginning to grow handsome; my coat had grown fine and soft,
and was bright black. I had one white foot and a pretty white star
on my forehead. I was thought very handsome; my master would not sell me
till I was four years old; he said lads ought not to work like men,
and colts ought not to work like horses till they were quite grown up.
When I was four years old Squire Gordon came to look at me.
He examined my eyes, my mouth, and my legs; he felt them all down;
and then I had to walk and trot and gallop before him.
He seemed to like me, and said, "When he has been well broken in
he will do very well." My master said he would break me in himself,
as he should not like me to be frightened or hurt,
and he lost no time about it, for the next day he began.
Every one may not know what breaking in is, therefore I will describe it.
It means to teach a horse to wear a saddle and bridle,
and to carry on his back a man, woman or child; to go just the way they wish,
and to go quietly. Besides this he has to learn to wear a collar, a crupper,
and a breeching, and to stand still while they are put on;
then to have a cart or a chaise fixed behind, so that he cannot walk or trot
without dragging it after him; and he must go fast or slow,
just as his driver wishes. He must never start at what he sees,
nor speak to other horses, nor bite, nor kick, nor have any will of his own;
but always do his master's will, even though he may be very tired or hungry;
but the worst of all is, when his harness is once on,
he may neither jump for joy nor lie down for weariness.
So you see this breaking in is a great thing.