I recently had the wonderful opportunity to interview Humanorhorse, founder of the South Louisiana Pony And Puppy Play group and organizer of the Ponies, Puppies, and Perves event.
Although I have not met him in person - a situation I hope to remedy at his second annual Ponies, Puppies, and Perves next March - I have chatted with him off and on over the past couple years. He's an experienced bio-horseman and, like me, somewhat of a bit afficionado. Over the last year, he's spearheaded the organization of a local pony group and a cool, outdoor pony event that combines classes with hands on fun, and, of course, the option to be a pony for the whole weekend.
So, without further ado, here's the interview:
Can you give us a little background about your pony self? My pony self is taken from the movie War Horse, where a Thoroughbred named Joey, with a will to never quit, fulfills every task asked of him. One would have to see the movie and know me to better understand why I've chosen this character, but in pony mode, like Joey, I have unlimited stamina and can keep going as long as I'm asked to do so.
What first got you interested pony play? I first realized I had a fetish for horse tack at a very young age. I've been around bio horses all my life and currently own 5 horses. It was a turn on just thinking about horses having to wear bits and bridles. I was very curious what it would feel like to have a bit in my mouth. So one day I strapped a curb bit in my mouth and just loved the feeling. I was hooked instantly, but for over 35 years I kept this to myself. I would play with all sorts of tack and restraints, using them for self bondage. It was just 2 years ago that I even told anyone about my fetish. That happens to be Cpony on his web page. It was his web site and his recommendations that got me turned onto Fetlife, where I found my first play partner.
Do you feel that your bio-horse experience has helped you in your play? Has it influeneced your choice of discipline or how you play? Yes being around bio horses all my life has had, and continues to have, a big impact on how I play. I know the basic behavior of horses and how they react to the equipment (tack) used on them. While in pony mode I yield full control to the handler: if they fail to ask me to turn and there is a pond - or anything - in the way, I will continue on until I'm asked to turn or we both get wet. Similarly, I do not follow curves in the road automatically.
I prefer riding western on bio horses, which requires neck reining and leg pressure cues. This is hard to imitate in pony play. No matter which bit is used, the handler has to plow rein a human pony to get them to turn. Thus, I prefer pulling a cart. This to me is the most realistic way of being controlled by a handler. When harnessed to a cart, the pony cannot escape the pressure of the bit by backing toward the handler because the control is coming from the driver on the cart to which the pony is attached. Namely, if the pony backs up, the whole cart backs up, handler and all, and the rein pressure remains unchanged. If a handler is ground driving a pony the pony can evade the bit pressure by backing toward the handler. I have not really chosen to do much ground work other then being led around by my handler at indoor play parties.
What aspect of pony play is most appealing to you? What's most appealing to me is being treated like a horse and giving up all control to my handler(s). While in pony space, all I have to worry about is following simple commands. I no longer think about the stress and chaos of day to day life. Yet I'm in control of my destiny: if I'm looking for stricter bondage or feel like taking a little punishment, all I need to do is disobey commands or act up and then suffer the consequences.
How did you find a trainer? Do you have any tips for ponies [trainers] looking for trainers [ponies]? Finding a trainer was difficult. I first found a bondage play partner and was basically a bottom for bondage play, which I love, for awhile. It took me 2 years to get my partner interested in pony play, but now she loves it. Once people are exposed to pony play, they realize that it's not just role play but that it is, in fact, a very strong form of power exchange as well. Once they realize how close a bond this can forge between a pony and handler, they are very eager to give it a try.
What do think is the general public's impression (if any) of pony play? Although most of the general public may not have an understanding as to why people are involved in pony play (nor do they usually get to see the "dark" side such as severe bondage or harsh punishments), most people actually accept pony play in public and many are quite often very curious and friendly towards the ponies and handlers.
You started a local pony play group and have worked to bring the local pony community together. How did this come about? For quite awhile I have been trying to find people in my area who were interested in pony play without much luck. I eventually decided to join an active pony play group in Houston, Texas and started going to some of their outdoor play events. I made some great friends and had a good time doing pony play at their events.
I finally just started a group here in Louisiana. It was lsow going initially (I only got 2 interested people to join the group at first). However, after I put on our first event, we had a big increase in new members. In fact a large portion of the Texas group joined my group as well after the first event. Now more of our Louisiana Kinksters are steadily joining the group. It's still a small group, but it's slowly growing.
This year you organized the first annual Ponies, Puppies, and Perves event, and are running the event again next year. Can you take us behind the scenes of coordinating a successful pony event? How did you find speakers, publicize, etc.? After I attended my second event in Texas, I left with such a high on pony play I could not quit thinking about wanting a local event here in Louisiana. I began doing research the second I got home from the Texas event.
It turns out there is a kink friendly camp site only 20 min from my house. As soon as I discovered it, I contacted the owner and went to look it over. I could see immediately that it was perfect for pony play and any other fetish play one could want to do, so I reserved the site for a 3 day weekend (Fri-Sun). I then spoke with a local Dungeon group I'm a member of. Although there are no ponies or handlers in this group, they were very curious about such an event and agreed to sponsor it.
We decided to open the event to all types of BDSM play in the hope of drawing a larger crowd, and this actually worked out well for us. We drew in a lot of people, and a large portion of my Texas pony friends attended as well, which made the pony play games a success. We announced the event in most of the common pony play groups on Fet. I got lucky and did not have to look for a speaker: Foxy saw the post about our event and contacted me about presenting. We agreed on his terms and he did an awesome job. He presented 3 different pony play classes, and out of the 32 people that attended the event, 27 attended all 3 classes. Everyone was very interested in what Foxy had to say, and they were all engaged, asking lots of questions. Some of attendees, who were new to pony play, even entered the pony competitions, and everyone left the event with a very different outlook on pony play.
There was plenty of opportunity for general dungeon play because we brought in dungeon furniture and equipment for people to use. However, despite the space and availability, the dungeon was never touched the entire weekend: everybody stayed where the pony stuff was going on. The only other popular place to be was the heated pool and hot tub on the premises. I also provided everyone with free moonshine, about 6 Gallons of it.
The event was a great success, so much so that I've already set up the next one for March 2015. SubMissAnn will be a presenter for that one, and it will be a Queens cup event. We have much more time to prepare for this one (the first one was thrown together in less then 7 weeks).
If any one wants to put on an event, my suggestion is to open it up to everyone and provide them the opportunity to enjoy all of their kinks. I've noticed that the ponies always stop any other play in it's tracks. Almost everyone will stop what they're doing to watch the pony play, and there are always some in the crowd that will want to give it a try.
Do you have any tips for ponies interested in starting their own local group or event? As mentioned in #8, don't try to limit a group to pony play: leave it open for everyone. Lots of areas do not have ponies or handlers because they have no idea what pony play is all about. Once they learn more about it, their interest will grow. It has worked in Houston, and it's working here in Louisiana. It won't happen over night, and it does take a lot of work, but it's been worth it to me. Get a good spokesperson at group meetings, one who can explain what pony play is really about and how it is multifaceted. Just make sure they don't try to say there is only one right way to play. This is far from the truth; pony play can be done any way you want to suit your needs.
Is there a pony play (or other fetish) event that you would particularly like to attend? I would love to attend any competitive pony play events that are within a days drive (so I can haul my cart there). I'd also like to attend events that will help promote pony play.
Do you have any suggestions for ponies who are just starting out (or experienced players for that matter)? Don't worry too much about people that try to tell you pony play has to be done a certain way; there is no right or wrong way to play; there is no right or wrong way to wear pony tack. Just do whatever works for you and is safe and comfortable for your needs. I personally only play with metal bio horse bits, which to most people are not comfortable, and can be rather harsh in the wrong hands. I've never had a problem wearing metal bits and never chipped a tooth, but for someone starting out, or someone with an inexperienced handler, I would not suggest a metal bit unless wrapped with vet wrap or something. For a new handler I'd suggest taking a bio horse riding lesson or 2 just to learn the basics in control and how to be light on the reins. This may prevent an injury to your human pony's mouth.
Thank you Humanorhorse for your time and wonderful answers!