Pony play or pony training is a type of BDSM play in which the bottom assumes the role of a horse, and the top the role of a trainer, rider, cart rider or caretaker. It is a form of human animal roleplay that is often preceded by doggie training. Some practicioners appear at public events. There is also a vast international social network of pony play organizations and private clubs.
Pony play is sometimes referred to as "The Aristotelian Perversion," in reference to a legend that the Greek philosopher Aristotle had a penchant for being ridden like a horse.
Basic training and equipment
In pony play, the bottom (who is then often referred to as a ponygirl or ponyboy, respectively) is usually put into a special harness and will not speak; he or she may also wear other horse-like attributes such as a bit gag, bridle, saddle and/or a tail (the tail can either be attached to the harness or inserted into the anus when mounted on a butt plug as in the illustration below).
The master/mistress will treat him or her like a horse and initiate various equestrian-related training exercises. Essential elements include adapting to the overall discipline, deportment, and learning to obey commands or signals, often with the help of a riding crop or a whip.
Ponies of both genders are often taught to prance like high-stepping show horses (as seen in the cover illustration for Le Dressage de la Maid-Esclave below). A ponyboy is usually trained to carry his mistress around on his shoulders in piggy-back fashion. There are also a variety of two-wheeled carts specially designed to be used for human pony play.
Types of ponies
The "pony" is often two-legged: the emphasis is on the treatment of the pony, what the pony does and the mind space it is in, rather than making the person physically look like a horse. People involved in pony play generally divide themselves to three groups, although some will participate in two or perhaps all three:
- Cart ponies: ponies who pull a sulky with their owner.
- Riding ponies: ponies who are ridden, either on all fours or on two legs, with the "rider" on the shoulders of the "pony" (also known as shoulder riding). Note that a human back is generally not strong enough to take the weight of another adult without risk of injury, so four-legged "riding" is generally symbolic, with the "rider" taking most of their weight on their own legs.
- Show ponies: ponies who show off their dressage skills and often wear elaborate harnessess, plumes and so on.
Pony play can come with many typical BDSM elements (power exchange, obedience training, harnesses, gags, etc.) but can also be considered a fetish costume or erotic fantasy of its own. Ponygirls occasionally appear in non-BDSM pornographic literature marketed to men.
Pony play on film
The earliest known fetish films depicting pony training sessions (Riding the Human Pony Girl, Training the Pony Girl) were made in the 1950s by Irving Klaw, always with an all-female cast. These and other short films, many with bondage icon Bettie Page, were re-released on DVD by Cult Epics as Bettie Page: Bondage Queen (2005).
- Dressaging the Pony Girl, a lost film-loop by Irving Klaw, is faithfully recreated in the Cult Epics biopic Bettie Page: Dark Angel (2005).
- The Libertine (1968) is an the erotic Italian film about a widow (Catherine Spaak) who explores her sexuality with a variety of men, including a sadist. The film, directed by Pasquale Festa Campanile, includes extensive pony play scenes.
- The Perils of Gwendoline in the Land of the Yik-Yak (1984) was adapted from the Gwendoline series of stories by fetish artist John Willie. The movie, which stars Tawny Kitaen, features several scenes of pony carts being pulled by topless female slaves. (See video clip on YouTube.)
- Pony Girl At The Ranch (California Star, 1986), one of the earliest made-for-video pony fetish releases.
- Slave Farm (House of Milan, 1991), BDSM video with Marilyn Rose and Desi d'Angelo features the pony-cart discipline of female slaves.
- Preaching to the Perverted (1997), mainstream British comedy-drama based on real events. The main male character is punished by being harnessed to a carriage for the amusement of a mistress's slave. A harness and butt-plug tail is used to further his humiliation.
- Secretary (film) (2002); Maggie Gyllenhaal plays a submissive who wears a saddle on her back in the on-all-fours position on a desk covered with hay. Her dominant partner (James Spader) has her bite down on a large carrot as he adjusts the leather straps around her waist. A brief but nonetheless evocative scene.
- Pony Passion, a 2003 documentary film, was produced by British pony play club De Ferre showing their club's activities.
- Born in a Barn (2005) is a documentary depicting the lives of several pony-play enthusiasts.
- Skye & Summer's Pony Show (London Enterprises), fetish video.
- New Pony from Whipped Women (PainGate division) focuses on harsh pony training and severe whipping.
- The Slave Huntress 2 (2009), a sexploitation film from BoundHeat in the Czech Republic, features many scenes of F/F whipping and pony cart training of slaves. (video clips).
- Training Beauty (Severe Society Films, c. 2012), BDSM video on dressage training featuring (Madam) Rebecca Wilcox, author of The Human Pony: a handbook for owners, trainers and admirers (Greenery Press, 2008).
Videos on YouTube
- YouTube has dozens of short films covering all aspects of pony play such as Public pony girl training, to Human pony dressage and even a burlesque review of Ponygirl dancers.
- Latex Pony (20 min.), fetish film with fancy equipment and outfits.
- Ponygirl, a pony training fantasy short film from Lupus Pictures, can be watched online. Here a girl is put into a leather harness with horse bit-gag and butt-plug tail and put through her paces.
- Pony girl trained by her fiance (34 min.), fetish film
- Pony Girls 1 (19 min.), German video with elaborate costumes and gear.
- Pony Training (7 min.), scenes of pony discipline.
|Pony cart mishap.||Riding the Human Pony Girl by Irving Klaw (c. 1955).||Girls horsing around with a pony cart.|
|Femdom scene from The Libertine (1968).||The Perils of Gwendoline in the Land of the Yik Yak (1984).|
Aristotle and Phyllis, woodcut by Hans Baldung Grien (1513).
Le Dressage de la Maid-Esclave (1930) by Bernard Valonnes (aka Don Brennus Aléra).
Chéri Hérouard illustration, Cinglants châtiments (1932).
Carlo illustration from Dolorès Amazone (1934).
Carlo 1930s illustration.
Pony training, c. 1930s (Ostra Studio)
Male in elaborate pony costume (Biederer Studio, c. 1930s).
Pervertible rubber horse bit with added strap for use on humans.
- Ponygirl Erotica
- Pet and Pony Girls (video producer)
- Pony Girl video (20 min.)
- SM-Circus (producer of pet and pony play videos)
- Photo: M/F sulky-pulling pony girl
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