Black Beauty remembers a lot about his early life, which is just as well, as it forms an idyllic contrast to the more troubled times he encounters in later years. Given his carefree start in life, it's instructive that the first place which the young horse can remember is a large, pleasant meadow with a pond of clear water in it. Shady trees leaned over the pond, with rushes and water-lilies growing at the deep end. It was all very picturesque.
Black Beauty had a close relationship with his mother. In the daytime he ran by her side, and at night he'd lay down close to her. When his mother went off to work each morning, Black Beauty would run with six young colts in the meadows. They would all go off and play together, galloping gaily through the fields. It was a lot of fun.
But Black Beauty's mother is a bit of a snob and solemnly instructs her son that the colts are mere cart-horses and so not very well-bred. Black Beauty, on the other hand, comes from impeccable stock; his grandfather won the cup two years at the Newmarket races. His mother tells the young foal that he must live up to the standards of his noble lineage by never kicking or biting, not even when playing.
Black Beauty also remembers that he was fortunate in that the humans he encountered in his early life were, for the most part, kind and friendly. (Contrast this with how they appear later on in the story). His master was a good man, who always ensured that his horses were well taken care of. Old Daniel, the man responsible for looking after the horses, was also a very gentle man. The plowboy Dick could be a bit of a pain, mind you; he'd throw sticks and stones at the colts to make them gallop. But his fun and games came to an abrupt end one day when the master caught him in the act and boxed his ears.