Black Beauty led a life that is typical of most of humanity, actually. His life had many happy moments, but there were certainly bleak points throughout. His early years were very pleasant - spending days galloping around the meadow and receiving kind treatment. However, when the mistress fell ill and the horses had to be sold, Black Beauty was sold to a very rich family who promised kind treatment but delivered callousness. Caring more for fashion than the animals' well-being, Black Beauty's life as a carriage horse at Earlshall Park ended with an accident as Ginger (a chestnut mare) lashed out against the bearing rein being applied. He later suffered serious scarring to his knees when ridden with a loose shoe by a drunken groom. When his knees were considered not up to standards, he was sold to a series of owners. He lived as a cab horse with Jerry Barker and worked hard in harsh conditions but had love. He lived as a livery horse and was rented to anyone with the desire, but not necessarily the know-how, to ride. His work life came to an end at a grainery when he had neither the strength nor the desire to continue. At a sale, looking fit for nothing but the slaughterhouse, he finds Joe Green, his best (human) friend from Birtwick Hall. Joe gives Black Beauty a restful, loving home for his retirement where he is to spend the rest of his days.