My Ponyplay Activities
|There are many ways to enjoy ponyplay, ranging from quite
serious to just plain fun! In the UK ponies are either driven pulling a
cart, or controlled on a rein. In the USA the pony often
carries a rider on their shoulders, but I have only seen it done a couple
of times here or
What I describe here should not be considered the only activities possible - almost anything can be tried, as we keep demonstrating! Unfortunately I don't have many pictures at the moment for illustration, but I will add them as I get them.
|This was probably my favourite day of the
year - the SM Pride March through
Central London! The picture shows me being driven by the delightful Lady
Sharlotte of De Ferre in 2003, the
third year that I attended. Unfortunately it's no longer held. :-(
The march started at Whitehall Place, close to Downing Street, went around Trafalgar Square and up towards Oxford Street, finishing near Southampton Row. We were very close to the front, immediately behind the drums that were leading the parade.
As it took place in July or August, the tourist season is in full swing. I can't help wondering what the foreign folk thought of it - a lot of them kept up with us taking pictures, perhaps to prove that they really did see it! :-)
Early in 2009 Miss Morgan contacted me to ask if I had a two-seater cart and would I be prepared to attend Her wedding in role. I didn't have a cart, but was not prepared to give up such an opportunity - so I made one! Time was tight, and the paint was still wet the day before the wedding, but I made it. Master Phil knew nothing of the plan.
A couple of folk tacked me up in the overflow car park of the park by the harbour in Bideford, Devon, and we waited for the newlyweds. Master Phil's face was a picture when he spotted me. They climbed aboard and we trotted off across the grass, passing a couple of bemused youths playing football and several families sitting having picnics until we reached the bandstand where the wedding party were assembled in their fetish outfits - probably the first such wedding in the UK - about a 600m transit! I then took many guests for a spin around the bandstand and posed for many photographs before being driven back to my car by a couple of the Mistresses present.
A really memorable day out!! :-)
This is a popular event, attracting 20 or more competitors. The variety
of activities ensures that all ponies will find something that they are
Here you see Mistress Delta, of PonyprideUK fame, driving me through the first gate of the slalom - the cones are actually toner cartridges from a copying machine, collected over several years by Sir Guy for just such an occasion. Some have black caps and others white, and they are set in pairs. On the downhill run the driver keeps black to their left, and uphill white to their left, with absolutely no help possible from the pony. It is run against the clock, and a 10 second penalty is added for every cone knocked down.
This is run as a knockout competition, pairs of pony and rider racing over a 50 yard track, the winners of each race going through to the next round, until one pony/driver is left.
The race is held over much of the perimeter track, and covers about a mile. Ponies are started with a time interval between each, much like a car rally. The winner is the one with the shortest time.
As you might expect, no carts are used in this event. Two show jumps are set up in the dressage ring, with the cross-bar set reasonably low. The ponies are led 'round on a lead rein at a trot and encouraged to clear the bars one at a time. All ponies that make a clear round go through to the next, where the bar is raised. Eventually, only one will clear the highest, and thus wins. This is not one of my favourite activities, and I only take part if my driver insists. A pony wearing trainer-type shoes and with arms free has a distinct advantage over one with heavy boots and arms secured behind! But we're British, so it's the taking part that counts, right? :-)
This is an interesting event for both driver and pony, as it requires a certain amount of learning by both before the competition. The dressage ring has six fixed points around it's perimeter and two in the middle. The driver has a whip 5 foot or so long, and uses it to give the pony commands - no vocal instruction is allowed. Examples are:- one tap on the buttock means 'walk on', two means 'trot on' and the whip placed across the front means 'stop'. A tap on the right ankle means the pony should take a step to the left, passing the right foot over the left. Having mastered the various commands, it is time to compete. The driver will be given a routine through which they must take their pony, and this is where the markings in the ring come in. For instance:- Walk from (a) to (b), trot from (b) to (c), pass diagonally from (b) to (c), etc. In the past, the routine has been called out as each competitor was taking part, but this has several disadvantages, the main one being that the pony can hear them too and therefore doesn't need to pay much attention to the subsequent command from the driver. The pairs that follow have an added advantage of being able to watch those that go before. I think it would be more fun if (a) the routine was written down on a card and presented to the driver as they enter the ring, and (b) the routines contained the same moves but in different orders.
Unlike the dressage, neither pony nor driver need to think much at all for the log pull. About 1 cwt of logs are chained together. Two further lengths of chain have one end fixed to the logs and the other to the ponies harness. When the whistle blows, the logs have to be pulled along a 50 yard uphill track, with encouragement from the driver using both mouth and whip! The quickest time wins.
It's A Knockout
This event is based on a TV programme from the 1970's, and the intention is simply to have some fun. The drivers and ponies are split into three teams, each with a team captain. Points are awarded to the team winning each game, and each team has a Joker card they can play at the start of a game of their choice - if they win that game, they get double points.
There are three piles of different coloured footballs in locations around the woods - not hidden, and within 100 yards or so of the start/finish point. One at a time, a pony and driver must collect one ball of their designated colour from each pile and return it to the game coordinator. The quickest time wins.
A series of poles, each having several balloons attached to the top, are set up as a slalom. One at a time, a pony and driver pass up and down the course once, and must burst a set number of balloons as they go. The quickest time wins.
One at a time, drivers navigate a slalom course while their pony dribbles a football. The quickest time wins.
Leaky Bucket Race
One at a time, a pony and driver transfer as much water as possible from a container at the start to a bucket 50 yards away using a bucket with holes in the bottom. They can make as many trips within a specified time. The quantities collected by each team member are added together, and the team with the most water wins.
Custard Pie Joust
The 'pie' is a pile of shaving foam on a paper plate. A pony and driver from two of the three teams face each other at either end of the track. On the whistle they run towards each other, and the drivers try to hit their opponent with the pie as they pass.
As you can see, it's all a bit silly - but what the heck, it's great fun!!
Very loosely based on a possible tournament - perhaps!
Chariot Time Trial
A race against the clock. The pony is driven up the hill and down, weaving through a slalom of flexible poles.
Balloons of different colours were attached to the top of the previously mentioned poles. The driver was armed with a short pole tipped with a nail. The idea was to drive the length of the course and back, popping as many of their designated colour balloons as possible on the way. Unfortunately, the nails were not quite sharp enough, and the drivers with the sharpest finger nails faired much better than those less fortunate. Great fun nonetheless.
Follow The Leader
This was similar to a rally. Each pony and driver set off around the perimeter track at half-minute intervals to complete two circuits. The winner was the pair with the shortest time.
A circular track was outlined in the woods, and sandbags with a green target painted on them placed at intervals along it. One at a time, the ponies were driven around the track while the driver attempted to strike the target with their sword. The circuit was timed, with bonus seconds taken off for each successful hit.
Six-inch diameter hoops were placed on edge either side of the main track. The driver was armed with a lance, and they had to drive down the hill on one side and up on the other, picking up the hoops with the lance as they went. This was not as easy as it sounds, because there were a dozen or more to collect, and they had to remain on the lance. As it was tilted to collect another hoop, those already held had a tendency to slide off the end! The most hoops collected won, with time kept should a decider be needed.
There were five cryptic clues secreted about the wood, each indicating where the next one might be found.
Again, another crazy but fun day out for one and all!
And There's More
In Denmark at Petweek we had a competition that was a test of various skills for both driver and blindfolded pony. The course consisted of a slalom, which led to a 'cul-de-sac' - a log across the end of the path, and another at right-angles to it. The idea was to approach but not touch the first one, then reverse while turning until the back of the cart came close to the second, then out again through the slalom - a bit like a three-point-turn. Since the ponies could not see, communication between them and their drivers became very important, and my driver developed special taps with the whip to help me know when to stop. The course then took in the pony walker, the driver having to grab it and hold it for half a turn. It then went full circle around a tyre, then the pace quickened as it went around the dormitory and along the finish straight. Penalty points were given for obstacles hit and for more than previously agreed 'standard' commands, essentially 'walk on' and 'whoa'.
An interesting alternative to single-pony driving is - well, multiple pony driving. I have modified one of my carts to enable a second set of shafts to be fitted. Because ponies come in all sorts of heights, I made the assembly swivel so that it is comfortable for both ponies. Having first used this idea in the late 90's, I mentioned to Gord, a long standing inspiration to me for all things kinky, that I beat him to it for once - he used it on a chariot. He told me that it is called a whiffle-tree, and that it was in fact centuries old! Great minds think alike......
Going up a notch, De Ferre have a four-wheeled cart, capable of carrying four people. The shafts accommodate two ponies, and then two more can be attached in front with chains. From the comments I hear from behind me, the four sets of reins make an interesting experience for the driver! :-)
Taking things to the extreme, I helped Sir Guy make a front axle for his trailer to convert it to a pony cart. At Petweek he harnessed 12 of us to it, and actually managed to control it!
As you can imagine, the woodland at De Ferre needs constant maintenance, as do the paths. This gives an opportunity to use the ponies for something other than recreational activities. Here you see Mistress Jessica leading me down from the car park with a load of aggregate, and Lady Sharlotte unloading it to repair one of the paths. They also have a rake to clear the leaves at the start of the season, and a roller to help keep the grassy tracks in order.