Now that we're far enough into the New Year that I'm no longer dating my checks Year of The Snake, I thought it might be fun to celebrate the Year of The Horse (it's the wood horse this year BTW...how hot is that! (though it kinda makes my balls hurt just thinking about it)) by throwing out thirteen suggestions (one for each lunar month of the year of the horse) for getting more pony play into your life and how I'm trying to implement each personally.
Go to (or create) a Munch Consider dropping by a munch in your area. If you don't like it, you can always leave early (my favorite trick for a hassle free escape is to say I'm going to get a soda; what I don't say, of course, is that the soda is at my house), and you don't have to go back. If there aren't any pony or animal roleplay munches, then try a general BDSM munch. Alternatively, you could start your own pony munch and publicize (Fetlife is good for this).
My goal: Make it to all the Stampede munches and start going to a couple other local munches as well.
Get that piece of Tack What better time to buy that piece of tack you've wanted than the year of the horse! Not only are bio-horse tack stores getting into the spirit, but adult stores too. The Stockroom has a sale on their pony gear in celebration of the year of the horse with some pretty good deals (e.g. hoof gloves for $139).
Attend an Event (bonus points for going as a pony or trainer) Try to attend one of the larger kink or animal role play events this year. Not only is it great fun to participate in a human fox hunt, or a human pony show, but it's also a great way to meet people involved with, or interested in, pony play. You'll probably have to spend some money for travel expenses, etc., but if you live in a sparsely populated area, going to a larger event once every year (or couple of years) can be an invaluable way to meet other ponies/trainers. Also, it's unspeakably cool to see pony play live, right in front of you.
My goal: Attend SF Pride, Dore, Folsom, the Northern California Fox Hunt, and at least one non-local largish event. Also attend a least one of them as a pony.
Take a Riding Lesson After all it is the year of the horse. Given that pony play is modeled after bio-horse activities (even bondage ponies are dressed and act (or are forced to dress to and act) like horses. Without the "pony", a bondage pony is just some random guy in bondage, and that's just plain vanilla), you can learn a lot of directly applicable handling, training, and grooming techniques from a single bio-horse lesson. Plus, riding's fun.
My goal: Ride (and be ridden) more.
Make a Piece of Tack Even if you're not strapped for cash, try making a piece of tack this year. If you do it yourself, you're making something unique and special (and if you're like me and tinker with shock collars and the like, you get a certain satisfaction when the device is performing well even when that means that it's inflicting its wrath on you). Moreover, it also gives you a feel for how different styles of tack may affect the amount of control a trainer has over a pony (e.g. what strap positioning is needed to make a bridle effective).
Be Part of the Pony Census If you have time, take a couple minutes and be counted as part of the 2014 pony census. It's anonymous and the results will likely be interesting. Who knows, the results might even inspire new event organizers and lead to the long wished for pony play convention.
My goal: I already took part in the census, but I look forward to seeing the results when they are compiled later this year.
Join an Online Herd If you can't make it to events or munches (or even if you can), check out some of the online kink and pony communities such as Fetlife and The Human Pony Registry. They're great resources, not just for networking, but for learning more about pony play through articles and discussion forums.
My goal: Make time, and be more involved in the online communities (as well as the offline ones).
Learn More about Pony Play You might find a great style of play you simply hadn't heard about before (or a different explanation of one you knew about, but the explanation resonates with you and makes you want to try it), or learn about an awesome piece of tack or equipment that you didn't know about (or inspires you to create a new piece of equipment), or maybe you might just learn more about yourself and why you love pony play. Point is, learning is fun. Learning more about pony play: doubly so. So my suggestion is: read a non-fiction book on pony play. Read an erotic pony play story. Check out some of the great blogs and websites on pony play, and be open to hearing about different forms of play.
My goal: Use this resolution as an excuse to subscribe to more ponygirl porn sites (and maybe a ponyboy porn site if I can ever find one). Also, make a point to learn more about what pony play means to others.
Try Something New You probably already have a whole list of hot ideas you're eager to try out (I know I do). Good! Try those. But...also consider trying other things (e.g. something your pony/trainer is keen on that you may be lukewarm about). It doesn't always work out, but sometimes you can introduce a whole new dimension to your play. For example, I thought - no, I knew - I would hate castration play (I'm not terribly big on CBT), and so I would put up the biggest stink every time T brought up the idea. Eventually though, she wore me down, and we played with an elastrator...and I freaking loved it.
My goal: Actually try at least three new forms of play this year.
Play More Take more opportunities to play and/or practice. If you're willing to be a handler (a handler only has to be able to lead a pony around or stand holding a pony's reins, as opposed to having to train a pony to do new things), this can actually be a great learning experience. Also, you can practice gaits on your own (and it can be a less monotonous way to work out), as well as balancing in hoof boots (if you wear them).
My goal: Make more time to be a pony in 2014, but don't overlook opportunities to be on the other end of the reins.
Tailor Pony Play to Your Interests NOT the other way around. Certainly, explore different aspects of pony play and don't be afraid to try something new. However, don't confuse that with molding your play to fit another person's vision of the perfect pony/trainer. The point of trying something new, something that may not hold obvious appeal, is to see if you like it, not to force yourself to do something distasteful. Tailor your style of play to what you like. If you try something and love it, keep doing it, otherwise forget about it.
My goal: Use more bits, bridles, bondage, and hooves. Oooh, and more shock collars and e-stim devices. And crops!
Support Pony Play Don't get out your wallets: I'm not talking about financial support. Instead, support pony play through little things like bringing up your positive experience with it at a BDSM munch when appropriate (animal role play can still seem a little fringe even in BDSM circles), flying a mini (or full sized) pony play pride flag at a pride parade, chiming in on relevant discussions online, or just spreading the word that there is such a thing as pony play and it's actually pretty fun. There's no way to make everyone comfortable with pony play, but good publicity doesn't hurt, especially within the kink community.
My goal: Buy a full sized pony play pride flag and fly it with pride.
Be Proud It's our year, so play with pride. Regardless of how you express yourself as a pony (you can enjoy incorporating humiliation into your play without being humiliated because of your play), be proud of yourself for doing something you enjoy. You don't have to advertise your play to everyone (or even anyone) you meet, but when you do show it to others, wear it with pride.
My goal: Be proud and have fun.
Happy Year of the Horse! Have fun and play safely.