story continues from part one.
Monday found us back in the training routine with Cathy and Mary. Listening to Mary and Cathy, it became obvious that their main aim was to build up our strength and stamina. It was exhausting but enjoyable, even if all we wanted to do at the end of the day, was eat then sleep. However, as the days progressed, the aches and pains disappeared and the work became easier, then one day, as we were being put back in our stalls, Lady Elizabeth appeared and asked how we were doing. It was Mary who replied.
“Well, My Lady, considering they have just started training, they’re doing really well. They’re a bit clumsy at times and would lose points in competition, but that’s just down to a lack of experience. The important thing is that they both work hard and try their best.”
I think that was probably the best thing anyone had ever said about me. Looking across the aisle, I could see the laughter in Amber’s eyes as she listened. The next words Mary spoke made me sit up though.
“Can I ask when you’re going to fit them with their permanent harness and have them ringed?” Mary asked.
I could see Lady Elizabeth taken aback by the question and she mumbled something about waiting for a more appropriate time. It was then that we found out that our trainers were going to be away for a few days.
“I believe Lady Cavener will be here tomorrow?” Mary asked, and when she was told that was the case, went on,
“Then if she continues with the exercises that would be a help. These ponies seem to have an affinity with her, and she with them.”
The two women left, and Lady Elizabeth turned to us and spoke,
“I think when Lucy arrives in a few hours, we all need to have a chat as I’m sure you’re wondering about the permanent harness and ringing?”
The thought had occurred to me, rather forcefully and I certainly wanted to know just what the hell was going on. Lady Elizabeth then entered my stall and removed my bit then left, closing the stall gate behind her, then she repeated the process with Amber.
“Try and relax, my dears,” she said as she turned to leave. “I have no intention of doing something to you that you do not wish to happen. You may still choose to leave at any time.” She paused. “However, I would be rather sad if either of you did choose to leave.” With that she left the stable and Amber and I stood and looked at each other.
“Tell me,” said Amber, “do you think of me as Amber or Tracy and yourself as Honey or Linda?”
I had to admit that I thought of Amber and Honey.
“So do I,” came the reply. “I don’t know if it’s all the training, but I find I start to look at something and think of it from the point of view of a ponygirl, not a person.”
I hadn’t really considered the matter, but Amber’s words made me think, and I realised that I too was thinking like a human pony. We spent time talking about our way of thinking and how we were feeling about our current situation, until we heard the outside gate open and Lady Elizabeth and Lucy appeared, carrying what looked like ponygirl tack. Our stalls were unlocked and I was invited to join Amber. We were asked to sit down and Lady Elizabeth started to speak.
“The tack you’re both wearing is designed either for those who either wish to play at being pony girls or for those who are thinking about making a commitment to become ponies for the remainder of their lives. Your grooms are under the impression that you have both committed yourselves as permanent ponies.” She held up the tack she had been carrying. “This is what they think you should be wearing.”
The tack was made of the same synthetic leather but there was more of it, and there was a notched steel bar running up the back that linked the waist cincher to the collar. Lady Elizabeth then held up what appeared to be steel wrist circlets. They were about a quarter of an inch thick, two inches wide and were slightly oval. She explained,
“These cuffs lock round your wrists and are then locked to this bar at the rear of your tack. They hold your arms in a reverse prayer position.”
There was a small padlock locked round one of the notches near the bottom of the bar, and I asked what it was for.
“That is to prevent your arms being moved any further up the bar,” she replied, then proceeded to show us the rest of the tack.
The cincher was more severe than the ones we were wearing and the collar was also deeper and more restrictive. In addition, there was a crotch strap, and as I looked at it, I saw that there seemed to be bits attached to it. Lucy saw me looking at it and explained the details as she held it up.
“When the strap is secured, this hollow plug fits up your butt, and this little attachment here allows the fitting of a dildo.”
“Rather crude, but a satisfactory explanation my dear,” said Lady Elizabeth, who then went on. “With the hollow rear plug you would have no control over your bowels, so a plug would be inserted. The daily enemas would be essential in this case. The plug is removable to allow the fitment of a plug with a tail, because ponies have tails you know.”
Our attention was then drawn from the tack to the bridle and bit. Again, the bridle appeared more restrictive, and then we were shown how the blinkers could be closed to make an effective blindfold. The bit too was vastly different to what we had been wearing. It was a curved metal bar with flat pieces that protruded forward and attached to this was a small oval shaped ring. It took a moment before I realised that the ring would slip over the tongue and I thought that this bit would feel very restrictive.
“With this bit in place,” Lady Elizabeth went on, “Speech is not simply difficult, it is impossible. The wearer can neigh, whinny, snort or scream, but nothing else.
I sat looking at what I would be wearing from tomorrow then remembered something.
“What were you going to say about being ringed?” I asked and it was Lucy who replied,
“Many ponies have their nipples pierced and rings fitted. It’s so that small bells can be attached. When ponies are working as a pair the bells ring in unison if the ponies are working in synch.”
“Not my idea of fun,” I replied, “I don’t like the thought of being pierced. I don’t even have pierced ears. I’m allergic to pain.”
“Oh, we would use a local anaesthetic,” Lucy replied.
Amber spoke up. “Oh what the hell. If it isn’t going to hurt, then let’s just go the whole hog and get ringed.”
After a moment’s hesitation, I agreed. Lady Elizabeth smiled and Lucy came over and kissed us.
Again, it was Amber who spoke.
“Would all this tack, by any chance, have been made for us?”
Lady Elizabeth and Lucy looked at each other before Lady Elizabeth replied,
“Yes they were, but only on the off chance that I thought you would accept being harnessed into them.”
“Well, we both keep thinking of ourselves with our pony names, and we’re allowing ourselves be ringed, so why not?” Turning to me, she asked, “How about you?”
I replied, “I have to say yes, even if only to satisfy my curiosity.”
Lady Elizabeth and Lucy both cheered, then Lucy said,
“Will you allow us to have your hair cut? It’ll be a pageboy style which is easier with this bridle, and the hair will be used to make your pony tails.”
When we agreed, we were told that we would stay as we were for the night and after getting our hair sorted in the morning, we would be fitted out in our new tack. I was led back to my stall and we were both locked in for the night, but we weren’t bitted. Looking across to Amber, I asked,
“Are we crazy or what?”
“Probably,” was the reply, “but it still beats living on the streets, and I’m finding it fun, despite those bloody whips.”
With nothing else to say, we ate some food and settled down for the night.
Next morning, we were woken early by Lucy and a woman we had never seen before. First Amber, then me, were taken in turn, had our hair washed, brushed then cut. When I saw myself in a mirror, I found that I quite liked my new hairstyle. It would be very easy to take care of, then thought, very easy for someone else to take care of. I didn’t expect to have my hands available. When the woman left, we were joined by Lady Elizabeth, and after being taken to the wash area and receiving our morning enemas we were outfitted in our new tack. Everything was much tighter that before, and thus much more restrictive. I found that if I wanted to look and something, I had to turn my whole body from the hips as my head was practically immobile. It was pointed out to us that the posture collar had an adjustment that would allow the wearer to turn her head a little.
“This is only allowed when you’re in your stall at night or out in the field,” Lucy explained. “At all other times, your head will be held firmly to ensure correct posture.”
The bridle harness was also tight and the blinkers much more effective than the old set, but it was only when I was fitted with my bit that I came to appreciate just how helpless I now was. As the bit was put into my mouth, two flat indentations settled over my back teeth as my tongue slipped through the ring. As everything was tightened, I found that I could not move my tongue, but I could just about get my lips to come together. It didn’t prevent me from drooling however, but Lady Elizabeth explained,
“After a couple of days or so, your body will adapt and you’ll find that you no longer drool.”
I also found that, as Lady Elizabeth had said, I couldn’t make anything resembling a human sound, but could whinny and neigh, but I didn’t want to know what would make me want to scream! I was told to make a fist and a small synthetic leather bag was pulled over my hand and buckled tightly round my wrist. The other hand was similarly treated then the wrist cuffs were put on. They were in two halves, and clicked together, and I noticed a small pin protruding from one half. Lucy saw me examining it and told us,
“That’s part of the locking mechanism. It allows someone to remove the cuff.”
My arms were gently pulled behind me and twisted up until I heard the click as the cuff locked into the bar. As the other cuff was locked into place, it also locked to the other cuff, then my wrists were pushed up and I heard a series of clicks as my wrists were pushed up the bar. As I stood there, Lucy produced a tube of something and began rubbing it into my shoulders and upper arms, and as she did so, the pain I felt, especially in my biceps, disappeared.
The only items not replaced were our pony boots, but they were removed then refitted, and tightened. Reins were attached and with only a gentle pull, the flat pieces of my bit swivelled, part digging into my tongue and part pushing into the roof of my mouth. Obedience to the reins was immediate and with no conscious thought. We were then led into one of the rooms we had never been in before. A fitting room, Lady Elizabeth described it as. It was brightly lit and in the middle of the room were two what I can only describe as tall narrow vertical cages with no front. The cages were facing each other, and Amber and I were each backed into one of these cages and numerous straps tightly buckled round us, and other straps secured to our pony tack, even our bridles. When Lady Elizabeth and Lucy had finished, we couldn’t move anything except our eyes.
“There now,” Lady Elizabeth said, “that should hold you until the vet has finished putting your nipple rings in. She’ll be here shortly and if Lucy or I are busy, she knows where to find you. See you later.”
There followed the sound of a door closing, then silence. The only thing I could see was Amber secured opposite me. Her reaction was to just roll her eyes, about the only thing she could do.
After an unknown time, I heard the sound of a door opening, then a voice,
“My. What a fine pair of fillies Lady Elizabeth has found herself.” A dark haired woman who must have been in her fifties came into view. “Just relax, and I’ll be done with you both in a jiffy.”
I heard the sound of running water then the woman reappeared pulling on a pair of surgical gloves. She reached down to something out of my sight and produced something that she brushed over my nipples and part of my breasts, then did the same to my nose. I stood wondering what was going on then realised that my nipples and my nose were going numb. Why my nose I thought, then I realised, ‘She’s going to put a ring through my nose. It’s only supposed to be my nipples!’
I tried to say something, but all that came out were whinnies, snorts and neighs.
“Easy there, girl,” the woman said as she stroked my cheek. “There’s nothing to worry about. You’ll feel nothing and you’ll soon be proud of your new rings.”
Despite my best efforts, I couldn’t move nor make myself understood. By this time, Amber had realised that something was wrong and she was creating a fuss as well, but all to no avail. First my nipples were pierced and ringed, then my septum was pierced and the ring passed through the hole in my nose. The nose ring, as I saw, when the woman held it up, was about an inch in diameter and made from thick shiny steel.
“It’s surgical steel,” I was told as it was fitted and the woman used a tool to clamp it closed.
A few minutes later, she was working on Amber who, having realised the futility of struggling, stood placidly and allowed the woman to fit a similar ring through her nose.
“There now, told you there was nothing to worry about. I’ll just go tell Lady Elizabeth that you’re all done. Bye bye.”
It must have been only a short while later that I heard a commotion and Lady Elizabeth, Lucy and the woman came rushing into the room. Amber and I were released from our restraints then our bits and bridles were removed.
“Oh my dears, I’m so sorry,” said Lady Elizabeth in an anguished voice. “Mrs Kennedy wasn’t able to speak to us so she came straight here. She’s ringed ponies for others in the past and didn’t know that you were only getting nipple rings. I shall make arrangements to get the nose rings removed, however, it is quite an undertaking as they are made from surgical steel and the locking tangs are designed to make the rings a permanent feature.”
Amber and I looked at each other and I felt a strange thrill running through me. By allowing myself to be fitted into the pony tack I had surrendered all and any control to others. The nose ring emphasised just how much I had lost control of my own body.
“Mistress,” I said, “it’s been an unfortunate mistake, but is there any need to rush about and get this ring removed?”
“What do you mean, my dear?”
“Well, I’ve agreed to become your pony, and I haven’t said I want to stop and leave, so why don’t we just carry on?”
Amber then asked, “Honey, do you get the same sort of tingly feeling at the loss of control that I have?”
I had to agree that was the case, but added, “It’s only because I’m being controlled by people I trust.” I couldn’t turn and look at Lady Elizabeth or Lucy, but they knew I meant them and I was showered with caresses and kisses. There was much relieved laughter when Amber said, “Don’t I get hugs and kisses too?”
Our bridles and bits were refitted and Amber and I led back to our stalls and left to rest while Lady Elizabeth, Lucy and Mrs Kennedy, who I later found out was a surgeon who played vet when needed, all left.
Next morning we were released from our stalls by Mary and Cathy, who were pleased to see us in our new tack. The morning ritual of cleaning was carried out then it was back to the various exercises. We learned how to eat and drink with these bits in place, and as Lady Elizabeth had said, our bodies adapted, and after a few days we stopped drooling. Our tail plugs appeared and were fitted. It felt strange at first as the hairs tickled the backs of my legs, but Amber and I soon worked out how to wiggle our hips and get our tails swishing from side to side.
The days turned into weeks and the routine continued. When the piercings to our septums had healed, our trainers, and Lucy, when she was home, would simply attach a lead to our nose rings and lead us round. Even if I had been inclined to fight, the slightest tug on my nose would have brought instant obedience, however, I never even thought about resisting.
When she was home, Lucy took us for buggy practice, concentrating on working us as a pair. Small bells were attached to our nipple rings, and Amber and I soon came to notice that when we were working in synch with each other, our bells jingled in time with each other. At first, our bits were removed every couple of days but then the interval increased until spring arrived and we were never free from the restrictive bits. By that time I was accustomed to it and felt no discomfort. Possibly one reason our bits weren’t removed was the result of a conversation we had with Lucy in the early days. She and Lady Elizabeth were planning on teaching us some new steps one weekend. Our bits had been removed and Lucy was starting to explain what she wanted us to learn when Amber interrupted.
“What’s wrong Amber?” asked Lucy.
“You explaining things to us. That’s what wrong”
Lady Elizabeth asked, “What do you mean my dear?”
Amber replied, “You don’t stand and give an explanation to ponies and discuss things with them. You train them, encourage them and reward them when they get it right. While we’re wearing this tack, we’re ponies. Just teach us.”
Lady Elizabeth looked at Lucy then at me. A strange feeling ran through me as I responded, “Amber’s right. Just teach us.”
“Oh, I knew you were the ideal choices,” Lady Elizabeth exclaimed. Our bits were refitted and our training recommenced. We received correction and encouragement from the whip and praise and treats when we got it right. In addition, we learned that our dildos, that had given us a great deal of pleasure, could also give us a shock, as could our butt plugs. Along with the use of the whip, words of encouragement, and the occasional treat, they were used to reinforce our training.
One day, after our morning clean, instead of being taken into the barn, we were led outside to the field. It was a warm sunny day, our hooves were hobbled and we were turned loose. The field was enclosed with a five foot high chain link fence. Easy to climb over if you had hands and weren’t hobbled, but I didn’t even think of trying to get out, and from her behaviour, neither did Amber. We spent the morning just wandering up and down, enjoying the sun and fresh air, until we were called in for more practice.
During the spring and summer, Lucy was home all the time and spent that time with us, working us in a double buggy dressage routine. We also had other ponies staying with us for varying amounts of time and we all enjoyed spending the mornings out in the field. Some were part time ponies, but there were a few secured in tack just like ours. Then one day, two male ponies were brought into the stables and put in stalls near us. I was nervous, but they didn’t even look at us, and I wondered why. Lady Elizabeth was present and she came over to me.
“Don’t worry about those two Honey. They’ve been gelded.”
She laughed as she saw my reaction and went on to explain.
“These two used to belong to a rather well known family, but they were rather arrogant and were known for causing trouble with the ladies.”
I thought that was a very polite way of saying sexual assault, but Lady Elizabeth was old school! She went on,
“They were acquainted with the pony lifestyle and they had upset more than one owner over the way they acted towards their ponies. They were also inveterate gamblers, and made the mistake one day, when they had too much to drink, of accepting a challenge from Lady Brockhurst.”
I had no idea who this Lady Brockhurst was, but later found out that she owned several ponies that she raced.
“They bragged at how good they were at poker, so Lady Brockhurst invited them to join a high stakes poker game. Needless to say, they were completely outclassed, and soon out of cash. That’s when Lady Brockhurst offered them a double or nothing option. If they won, they would get their money back. Several hundred thousand pounds, if I remember correctly.” She paused, then continued with a rather cruel smile. “If they lost, then they would sign themselves over to Lady Brockhurst as her property, to do with as she pleased. There were a number of, shall we say, rather prominent figures in the room who happily witnessed these two signing the documents that were produced.” Lady Elizabeth stopped then sighed,
“As you can guess, they both lost and even their father wouldn’t let them back out of the deal. They were stunned knowing they were going to be ponies for the rest of their lives, and it was no doubt a shock to their self esteem when they were given the pony names of Posie and Pixie. I can’t imagine how they felt when they learned that they were to be castrated as well.” Lady Elizabeth looked at the two males and laughed again. “I think a great many female ponies as well as a number of young ladies took great delight in finding out what happened.”
At that point Lucy appeared and Amber and I were led out for more practice and told that we had been entered into a competition later in the summer. When the time came, we were secured in a modified horse trailer, and taken somewhere. We had no idea where we went, but ponies don’t need to know. We didn’t win any prizes, but we did receive a commendation from the judges as best new ponies. We were happy. Lucy was happy and I saw and heard Lady Elizabeth proudly proclaiming to have the best behaved ponies in the circuit.
Summer faded to autumn and as the weather became colder, the number of visiting ponies dried away and we were kept inside more and more until eventually, it was just Amber and I being groomed and exercised by Cathy and Mary. Lucy had left for what she had told us was her last term at the finishing school her aunt had sent her to. It was at this time that I thought about the fact that neither of us could communicate if we wanted to end our situation. We had no arms to wave and we could not speak, yet I felt no fear or worry. I trusted Lady Elizabeth, and knew that if, for some reason, we were not going to be released, she would still take care of us.
So it came about, one evening, after our night plugs had been fitted and our grooms had departed, for the weekend, we were told, Lady Elizabeth came into the stables. She opened our stall doors and had us both come out, then she led us to a stall that we had never seen used. When we entered, I saw that the stall was much bigger than the one I had lived in, and the sleeping platform had to be about five foot wide. It was obvious that this stall was designed to hold two ponies instead of the usual one. Our bits were then removed and we were given something to drink that Lady Elizabeth assured us would help get our vocal chords working properly. Sure enough, after about twenty minutes of coughing and spluttering, Amber and I could talk, albeit hoarsely to begin with. However, most of the talking was done by Lady Elizabeth.
“It has been almost a year since you both came here,” she stated. “In that time you have answered and responded to the challenges I have thrown at you, but now we come to what I have called the ultimate challenge.” She paused before continuing. “Firstly however, I will tell you what will happen if you choose to reject the challenge. Should you choose to leave, you will be taken to a private hospital that handles matters in a discreet fashion. There you will undergo therapy.”
“Why?” asked Amber.
“You will need help to regain the use of your arms as they have been locked in their current position for the past ten months. You would have to have your nose ring removed, and the ones through your nipples as well if you chose. In addition, you will need help before you can place your feet flat on the ground and finally, although you may not have realised it, you would have to wear an adult nappy.” She turned to Amber. “Sorry dear, diaper. That plug in your anus has been there so long that you will have to relearn the art of going to the toilet on your own.”
I had to laugh. 23 years old and undergoing potty training. I heard Amber laugh as well.
“Point taken Mistress,” she replied.
Lady Elizabeth continued, “When you are ready, you will be able to move into a flat I own in London, rent free for six months. If you wish to stay on after that time, you will pay the usual rent.” She paused then went on, “You will also have bank accounts opened in your names, your real ones, not your pony ones,” she added with a laugh and I had to stop and think, ‘What was my real name?’ Then she added, “and you will each be credited with £30,000.” She looked at Amber and added, “Today that is about $40,000.”
I felt that Lady Elizabeth was being rather generous, and Amber and I sat for a moment taking all this in, then Amber spoke.
“That’s very generous of you Mistress, but I think we would both like to know what this ultimate challenge is all about?”
Lady Elizabeth paused for a moment, looking at us, then quietly said,
“I want you to submit yourselves to becoming pony girls on a permanent basis. You will be classed as owned livestock and will surrender any possibility of ever being treated as a human being for the rest of your lives.”
We sat stunned, yet at the back of my mind, I had the thought that something like this was what Lady Elizabeth had planned. Then another thought struck me.
“You want us as a birthday present for Lucy, don’t ‘you?”
“Miss Cavener to you my young filly,” she responded, but smiled as she did so. “Yes, I want you to be her present. She would become your owner. Now, I intend leaving you both locked in here for the next four days. I’ve removed your bits so you can talk things over. I will disable the stable audio system so you may talk in private. However, if you do decide to accept the challenge, you must know that first, the locks on your arm restraint will be removed and your wrists gradually pushed up until your fists are touching your collars and your elbows will be touching. The position will be permanent. You both have seen the pins that allow the wrist cuff to be unlocked?”
We both nodded.
“When your wrists are pushed up one more notch, a mechanism in the bar will shear the pins and the cuffs will be permanently locked round your wrists. I think the only way to get your arms out once that has happened would be to amputate your hands.” She stopped for a moment, watching us, probably to make sure we understood exactly what she was saying, then continued,
“In addition, you will both be chipped, with an RFID tag I believe it is called.” We both nodded in agreement.
“You will also undergo a series of treatments that will result in no hair anywhere on your bodies except your head. I will leave you now. Be assured, that I will hold no ill will against you if you choose to leave. You have behaved yourselves with dignity and humour, and although I would be sad to see you go, I would hope that you would keep in touch with me.”
She rose and left the stall and the gate hissed shut behind her, followed a few minutes later with the sound of the outer gate also being closed.
For several minutes, we just sat and looked at each other before Amber spoke.
“Do you want to sleep on the inside or outside?”
We both burst out laughing. The situation was so unbelievable that we couldn’t really take it in. Eventually we settled down and started to talk things through. We didn’t make any decisions on the first day, or the second and not even on the third. Every morning, Lady Elizabeth appeared, clipped a lead to our nose rings, then led us, in turn, to the cleaning area for our daily enema then returned us to our stall. She would ask us if we had slept well, but asked nothing else. On the third night, as we were talking, Amber suddenly said,
“Did you know that I’m a thief?”
“What? What do you mean?” I asked.
“On the day Lady Harrington’s letter arrived I was in my local supermarket. I overheard the manager complaining that the store surveillance cameras were down and took the opportunity to steal some food. I hid it in my pockets and then paid for a small bottle of milk. It was the first meal I’d eaten that week, and paying for the milk cleaned me out.” She sat looking into space then went on,”
“I’ve never been looked after or cared about so much as I have since I came here.” She sighed deeply. “I’m staying. What about you?”
I thought back to my life before coming here. The hassles with guys that saw a blonde and thought with their hormones. The troubles trying to find work, again facing the attitudes of people thinking I was just a dumb blonde. I thought of the troubles I was facing, about to be made homeless, having no savings and being in such a depressed state that I couldn’t really think straight. Turning to Amber – I no longer thought of her as Tracy – I replied,
“£30,000 is a nice sum, but it wouldn’t last for ever. Apartments in London would probably cost around £1500 to £2000 a month and if we couldn’t get a job, the money wouldn’t last for long. As well, after about 18 months out of circulation, I would have to retrain, and that would cost money.” I paused and sighed in turn. “I’m glad you’ve decided to stay, I wasn’t looking forward to pulling a buggy on my own.”
It took a few seconds for what I had said to sink into Amber’s mind then she uttered a scream of pure joy. She leant into me and kissed me, and at the fervour of that kiss, we rolled onto the sleeping platform and tried to suck the breath out of each other. We were both happy and frustrated. Our pony bondage, as Amber described out tack, prevented us from doing anything else but kiss and cuddle into each other. I was in no hurry to move away, as I felt that very soon, our bits would be refitted and we would once again become just a matching pair of totally controlled ponies.
We lay snuggling up to each other, kissing and talking even when the stable lights went out, but next morning when Lady Elizabeth appeared and came to our stall, she saw the two of us on our knees waiting for her. She opened the stall gate, came in and asked,
“Am I to assume that you have come to a decision?”
Amber replied, “Honey can speak for both of us.”
Taking a deep breath, I said, “Mistress, it is our decision to submit to you and place ourselves at your disposal as pony girls for the remainder of our lives.”
Lady Elizabeth smiled, came over and knelt down beside us and gently stroked our faces and shoulders.
“Oh my dears, you don’t know how pleased I am, and so proud of you for accepting this way of life. You may have doubts and regrets in the years ahead, but rest assured, Lucy will care for you and love as if you were her children.”
She rose and taking a pair of leads, clipped them to our nose rings and said,
“Lucy will be here shortly, so let’s get you both ready to meet your new Mistress.”
We were cleaned and groomed before being put back in our stall, but our nose rings were linked together with a 3 foot length of light chain, then left, while Lady Elizabeth went to bring Lucy into the stables. She duly appeared guiding Lucy who was wearing a blindfold.
“Now dear,” Lady Elizabeth said as she led Lucy to the middle of the aisle, “wait here and do not touch that blindfold.”
“Don’t worry, Aunt Elizabeth,” Lucy replied, “I don’t want to spoil your surprise.”
Our stall gate was opened and a lead attached to the middle of the chain joining us, and we were led out until we stood in front of Lucy. Lady Elizabeth whipped off the blindfold at the same time as she called out, “Happy Birthday Lucy!”
Lucy stood for a moment staring at us before understanding what she was seeing.
“Oh my! Honey, Amber. Are you really mine?”
As if we had rehearsed it, we sank to our knees in front of her and at the same time called out, Mistress.”
Lucy came over and threw her arms round our necks.
“Oh you’re just too good to be true. I love you both, and I promise that I will take care of you for the rest of your lives.” She paused and sat back before continuing with a smile, “but we shall have to work on your dressage. It’s been rather sloppy and if we’re going to enter competitions, I want more than commendations.”
At that we both smiled and replied, “Yes Mistress”
Lady Elizabeth interrupted us at that point to say that there were certain formalities that had to be undertaken. The first of these was a video recording of us committing our lives to Lady Lucy Cavener as a pony girl for life and surrendering all and any rights as a person from that time on. We had to use our human names, and Amber actually had to ask what her name was, as she had thought of herself as Amber for so long that she forgotten it. I could remember mine, but had to think about it first. Once we had made our statements, our bits were refitted, rendering us speechless animals again.
Lady Elizabeth then produced a key and unlocked the small padlocks that had been fitted to the steel ratchet bar, then turned to Lucy.
“Now my dear, you know what you have to do.”
“Yes auntie,” she replied and walked behind me. I felt her hands on my wrists and she said,
“”Now Honey, are you really, really sure about this? Stamp once for yes and twice for no.”
I had already made my decision, and I raised one hoof and firmly stamped down once.
“Good pony,” was the reply and I felt my arms being pushed up. There were several clicks then I heard a metallic sound as the pins in my wrist cuffs snapped. I breathed deeply, knowing that I was now irrevocably committed to life as a pony girl. Lucy stroked my cheek, then walked behind Amber and repeated her question, then having received the same affirmative response, pushed her arms up until they too were permanently locked. She walked over to stand beside her aunt and said,
“Goodbye Linda. Goodbye Tracy. Welcome, Honey and Amber. Welcome to your new home.”
We were then returned to our stalls and later that day, the vet appeared and we had our RFID chips inserted under the skin near the collar bone. Later still, someone else appeared and we each received an identical tattoo on the top of the right thigh. When I looked at Amber’s I saw the letters LC inside a heart shaped border. Amber’s name was just above the heart, and I knew that my tattoo had my name. The whole thing was about two inches across and three inches high, and I thought it looked cool. Later that same day, we started the course of treatment that would remove all bodily hair. That night, as I settled down, it was with the knowledge that I was now no more than an animal, regarded as livestock, even by those who loved us.
It’s warm in the stable, and I lie here in the dark listening to Amber’s slow steady breathing and think back over the years since I became Honey. To somebody who doesn’t know this lifestyle, they would be surprised and possibly even shocked to find that for me, these have been good years. We’ve travelled all over Europe to shows and gymkhanas, taking part in double buggy dressage competitions. We’ve had our share of wins and haven’t ever been out of the top four places. Mistress Lucy is always coming up with new ideas and routines but this year was the best as we took part while blindfolded. The only cues we had were her voice and the reins, and much to the delight of our Mistress and Lady Harrington, we won.
We found out that we were valuable animals when I overheard Lady Elizabeth tell someone that we were each insured for £300,000. A few weeks later, I learned that we were valued a great deal more than that, and not only financially. When we travelled to an event, we were taken, restrained of course, in a modified horse transporter and looked after by Mary and Cathy who were now our full time grooms. We never knew where we were going, but as ponies, we didn’t need to. We travelled, we were taken out of the van, stabled, competed and then transported back to our home stable. On this occasion, when we were taken out of the transport, we found ourselves on a ship, together with four other ponies that we knew. Several days later, we were put back on our transport and driven away. When we were taken out that night and settled in a strange stable, the voices we heard told us that we were in the United States. Several days travel took us to an isolated ranch where a sign pointed to the town of Timber Trails. There, we were reunited with Mistress Lucy and Lady Elizabeth and found out that along with the other two teams that had travelled with us, we were to give demonstrations of the double buggy dressage event.
We spent several days with Star, Firefly, Mina and Sparkle, who made up the other two teams. Although we were all friends and liked to nuzzle up together, we were also competitors, so not having to actually compete was like a vacation for us. When we had finished our show for the day, but before being fed and stabled, we would be hobbled, secured by our nose rings and left for anyone who wished, to come and see us. Early in my ponygirl life I discovered that there was an etiquette involved. Anyone could look but if they wanted to touch or even come close to a pony, they had to get the pony’s permission. Possibly because of that I have overcome my fear of being approached by men, especially as I am now physically defenceless.
One day, as we stood there, being admired and admiring back, a rather large florid faced woman pushed her way through the crowd, walked up to Mistress Lucy and in a loud voice demanded,
“O.K. girlie, how much do you want for ‘em?”
Behind her I saw Lady Elizabeth smiling, and it wasn’t a nice smile!
Mistress Lucy turned to the woman and quietly said,
“I’m sorry, but Amber and Honey are not for sale.”
The woman was obviously used to getting her way, because she immediately responded,
“Look Girlie, I’m in a hurry. I want them, so just name your price.”
Inside, I had to laugh as I saw Mistress Lucy draw herself up to her full height, and in a voice backed by countless generations of aristocrats and nobility, loudly replied,
“Madam, I said that they are not for sale, and I meant that they are not for sale.”
The woman either wasn’t sensitive to atmosphere, or she was just too self centred as she replied,
“Oh come on girlie. Tell you what, I’ll give you $3,000,000 for the pair. That should give you enough money to buy a herd.”
Before Mistress, who was now becoming angry, could respond, there was an interruption.
“Is there a problem Lucy?”
The woman turned and gasped, “Lady Harrington. What are you doing here?”
“Keeping my niece company.”
The woman turned and looked at Mistress,
“You mean, you’re…..?”
“Yes,” was the cold reply. “I am Lady Harrington’s niece. As I have already said, Amber and Honey are not for sale at any price.” She paused, then continued, “And certainly not to someone who has a reputation for cruel treatment to her staff as well as her livestock. Good day.” With that Mistress turned back to us and winked as the woman turned and walked away with the sound of laughter coming from the crowd. I gathered the impression that whomever she was, she wasn’t popular.
Shortly after we returned home, we were visited one evening by Lady Elizabeth who told us that the woman had a very bad reputation among the pony owners. It appeared that anyone who become one of her ponies quickly succumbed to continuous harsh treatment and eventually lost any trace of intelligence, becoming traumatised animals.
“She will have to be dealt with sooner rather than later,” Lady Elizabeth said, “but we’ll leave that to our American cousins.”
Some time later, we found out, through Mistress, that our American cousins had taken drastic action as the woman had kidnapped a young woman and turned her into a ponygirl. She was rescued before any serious harm came to her and the woman in turn was turned into a ponygirl herself. According to Mistress, she has now lost considerable weight and leads a much healthier lifestyle, but doesn’t like it very much as many of the people she abused or bullied have arranged to have her shipped around the States to their various stables. It has also given notice to anyone who owns a pony, girl or boy, that certain standards of behaviour are expected.
Later that same year, we were taken to a competition that was in the north of England and where two other events of interest took place. Amber and I were resting after competing in a double buggy dressage event. We were in an open field, hobbled and held in place by tethered nose rings when a group of young guys walked past. One of them suddenly reached out and grabbed my breast.
“Always wanted to feel their udders,” he said but the rest of the group immediately told him to stop.
“Why?” he replied, “It’s not as if they can complain.”
There was a whistling sound and the guy leapt into the air with a cry of pain as he was struck hard on his arse by a riding crop.
“The ponies may not be able to say anything, but I certainly can,” came a cold voice and the group turned to face an angry Lady Brockhurst. Mistress Lucy appeared at that point and was told what had happened. Lady Brockhurst then said,
“Perhaps this young man would like to see what it’s like in pony tack.” My feelings went from anger to sorrow as I saw the expression that crossed the guy’s face. He obviously knew what happened to male ponies in Lady Brockhurst’s stable. Lucy turned to me and asked,
“You are the injured party Honey. Do you want the matter taken further?”
At that point, the guy’s father, whom I recognised as the CEO of a large multi national. Arrived. When told what had happened he immediately stated that he would back any decision I chose to make.
By now, the young guy, who couldn’t have been more than 19 or 20 was white faced and I thought he was about to be sick, so I looked straight at him and slowly stamped twice for no. His father immediately made him publicly apologise to me and Amber for any distress, but Lady Brockhurst insisted, and the father agreed, that the boy should spend the next six months working as a hand in Lady Brockhurst’s stable, and I nearly wet myself with laughter at the range of expressions crossing his face. Relief at not becoming a pony, probably a gelded pony, then anxiety at working under Lady Brockhurst’s scrutiny.
As he was led away, Mistress Lucy stood stroking us and then we became aware of a young girl standing watching us. When Mistress spoke to her, it turned out she was one of the waitresses who was serving refreshments and had heard the commotion while she was on her break.
“Can I have a closer look?” she asked. “You see, I’ve never seen a ponygirl before, except in photos.”
Her name was Rhona and she was full of questions that Mistress was more than happy to answer, although she told Rhona,
“If you want a simple yes or no, just ask Honey here or Amber. They respond with one stamp for yes and two for no.”
Did we really choose to become ponygirls? Did we miss the use of our arms? Did it hurt? Did we really have a whip used on us? Did we miss not being able to speak? This last question was answered by Mistress and she explained that on or near the anniversary of us choosing to become her ponies, our bits would be removed and we could spend the weekend talking with each other and with her. At that point, we were called to hear the judging, so Amber and I were hitched back to our buggy with Rhona as an interesting audience and we were driven back to the competition field. We came first.
Earlier this year Lady Brockhurst visited and introduced us to her newest pony, Sapphire. In an earlier life her name had been Rhona, the waitress who had asked so many questions about ponies.
“Surely you don’t race her, do you?” asked Lady Elizabeth.
“Oh no. She’s much too delicate for that. She spent about three months with me, asking about ponygirl lifestyle and eventually asked to experience it for herself, then about six weeks ago, she asked to become my permanent ponygirl. To me, she’s a pet pony. She is being trained in dressage, and she’s quite good. In fact, I think that by next summer, she will be in with a chance of a prize or two.”
Sapphire spent a few weeks with us and we enjoyed spending time in the field together. She has a mischievous look in her eyes, and listening to Lady Brockhurst talking to Mistress Lucy one day, I found out that Sapphire does have great sense of humour, but knows when to stop acting up and behave properly.
I can see that I’ve missed out so much. For instance, weather is very important to a pony. It can be very nice pulling a buggy round the estate when the weather is warm and sunny, but not so nice when you have to go out when it is cold and damp. It can feel nice being out in the sunshine, but then the temperature will drop, or there is a sudden rain squall. Our Mistress, grooms or riders have to be prepared to do anything from applying sunscreen, to making sure we get warmed up and dried if it rains. We have our health constantly monitored, including our teeth. We’re groomed, washed, massaged, have our nails cut, have makeup applied if we’re in public, then removed at the end of the day, and generally fussed over and loved. Thinking back to the day I was first shackled in Lady Elizabeth’s house, I realised that since that day I have never experienced that encroaching blackness that signalled another period of depression. In fact, my health and wellbeing is so carefully monitored that I have never even had a cold since I became a pony. I think back to what my life could have been if I hadn’t accepted the invitation in that letter, snuggle closer into Amber and think, it’s a good life, then settle down and go to sleep.