But I could not live without horses, of course I couldn't, so I took to the hotels. And I can tell ye it is a downright pleasure to handle an animal like this, well-bred, well-mannered, well-cared-for; bless ye! I can tell how a horse is treated. Give me the handling of a horse for twenty minutes, and I'll tell you what sort of a groom he has had.
Look at this one, pleasant, quiet, turns about just as you want him, holds up his feet to be cleaned out, or anything else you please to wish; then you'll find another fidgety, fretty, won't move the right way, or starts across the stall, tosses up his head as soon as you come near him, lays his ears, and seems afraid of you; or else squares about at you with his heels. Poor things! I know what sort of treatment they have had.
If they are timid it makes them start or shy; if they are high-mettled it makes them vicious or dangerous; their tempers are mostly made
when they are young. Bless you! they are like children, train 'em up in the way they should go, as the good book says, and when they are old they will not depart from it, if they have a chance."
"I like to hear you talk," said James, "that's the way we lay it down at home, at our master's."
"Who is your master, young man? if it be a proper question. I should judge he is a good one, from what I see."
"He is Squire Gordon, of Birtwick Park, the other side the Beacon Hills," said James.
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