Chapter 11 Summary

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Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 429

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The longer Black Beauty lives at Birtwick, the prouder and more satisfied he grows. The Squire and his wife are beloved by everyone who knows them, and all animals are treated kindly by the family as well as the servants. The Squire and Farmer Grey have worked for more than twenty years to ban the use of bearing reins on cart horses; anytime Mrs. Gordon sees a burdensome cart pulled by a horse with his head strained uncomfortably, she stops and reasons with the driver in her “sweet serious voice,” attempting to show him the foolishness and cruelty of using bearing reins.

The master, too, tries to stop abuses when he sees them. Once he and Black Beauty see a pretty, delicate horse gaze at them for a moment as they pass by him. The driver is infuriated by this apparent lack of obedience and yanks so hard on the horse’s reins that Black Beauty can only imagine the pain it must have caused the creature’s jaw. The driver proceeds to whip the horse, and the Squire turns his own horse around to address the offender. He calmly reasons with the man, whom he knows, and then scolds him for giving way to his passions and displaying such weak character. Then he reminds him that man is judged by his works, whether toward man or beast.

Another day he talks with a friend of his, a captain who proudly displays his new team of horses, their heads erect. When the Squire mentions the bearing reins, the captain says he likes his horses to hold their heads high; the Squire...

(The entire section contains 429 words.)

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