In Chapter One of Black Beauty, Black Beauty reflects upon his childhood next to a lovely meadow where he lives with his mother, Duchess, and six other colts. Black Beauty loves to play with his fellow horse friends, although Duchess scolds him for consorting with horses who have poor manners. Black Beauty, on the other hand, is a "well-born" horse and the descendant of a racehorse; his mother wishes for him to grow up to be a gentle, hard-working creature.
We are introduced to Black Beauty's master, Farmer Grey, who is a kind man who seems to favor Duchess and "Darkie" (Grey's nickname for Black Beauty). Farmer Grey intently protects his animals, and when he catches Dick, a ploughboy, throwing sticks and stones at the young horses, he punishes him severely and bans him from the farm.
Finally, we are introduced to Old Daniel, who is the horses' caretaker, a man who is described as being "just as gentle" as Farmer Grey.
From what we can assess from this first chapter, Black Beauty leads a happy life and is well taken care of by those responsible for him, both human and horse.