I recently had the wonderful opportunity to interview Ponygirl Bixy, founder of the Ottawa Pony and Critter Club (OPCC) and an all around cool ponygirl. The OPCC is a local group for animal role players in Ottawa, Canada that has regular munches and events.
I stumbled across the OPCC's Fetlife group a few months back and immediately started devouring the content (just as any pony does when he comes across a new pony play website, group, book, etc.). The content was wonderful, and I was especially impressed by the dedication of the group's organizer, Bixy, to foster an organised pony play community (she has even offered a shuttle service to help Ottawa area ponies and critters get to OPCC munches and events).
After reading all about the OPCC, I thought it would be really cool to interview Ponygirl Bixy, and she was kind enough to agree! I'm sure you'll find her experiences and advice as interesting as I have.
Can you give us a little background about your pony self? I am a Human pony, so I go into a headspace that is similar to that of a bio- pony. I am a Gelderlander mare. Gelderlanders are tall, sturdy Warm blood horses, suited for jumping, cross country, light carriage pulling. They are pretty and refined like other riding class horses, just a bit bigger overall.
I see my human self in the same way- fitting into the norms of femininity, but a bit larger and stronger. I love, love, love Dressage, but really am happy doing anything that my Trainer asks of me in a ‘work’ sense. I’m curious about BDSM pony play, and sensuous play, and can see exploring that with the right Trainer, but my main passion and focus is in the D/s aspect of pony play that you see at shows and events.
How did you get into pony play? I answered a call- out for a demo pony at Brimstone II, by my mentor, Miss Ann. I had been intrigued and my Owner encouraged me to respond to the call out. I did, and was given some videos to watch, and with a lot of nervousness, I showed up and had my mind blown away by the sheer joy of pony play.
What was your first time as a pony like? It was nerve- wracking, but in a fun way. I was a bit overwhelmed by the change in my headspace- it felt akin to being in a deep subspace, only without all the endorphins and familiar physical sensations that usually got me there. I felt lighter, a bit more curious and wondrous about the experience happening to me than when I am in my ‘usual’ headspace. I really opened up the part of myself that identifies with horses, and just let the instincts and trust take over.
You have some experience with bio-horses; do you feel this has helped you in your play? Yes, I have experience with bio horses. I have loved them, pretended to be them, dreamed of them since early childhood. I feel my ‘spirit animal’, if I was a practitioner of a religion that had spirit animals, would be a horse. This has helped me in my play only so much that I have a working vocabulary of terms, and understand somewhat how bio horses operate- both physically and mentally. It’s helpful as a means to getting to the headspace faster, but I think anyone who spends a few hours at a barn, and researches horses will get the same value. I think it helps too, to ride a bio horse for the tactile experience. However, all that said, pony play is about play and individual expression to me, so I don’t think anyone should feel held back by not having experience with bio horses. Just express yourself.
What does pony headspace mean to you? It means leaving the cares of being a responsible human to the side for a while. It means being able to be vulnerable and trusting, and simply just love your Trainer during the time you have together. I live for the commands, when I’m in pony space, because it is a way I can please and do for my Trainer that feels easy- even when what she is asking of me is not easy. It means I can give 100% and not worry that I’ll get emotionally hurt during that time.
How did you get your pony name, and what does it mean? Originally my name was Skittles, because when I first got into pony space I was skittish. However, I’ve always used ‘Bix’ as a secondary name, since it has a personal resonance with my actual name. Very quickly, it became obvious that ‘Bixy’ was a stronger name than Skittles, and so it ‘won’ out.
Do you have a preference on style of play? As of right now, my preference is Dressage play. I like showing off, but more in an active role, where I feel challenged and can overcome the challenge. I am very keen to try cart play, and jumping, as well as the Western Styles of play. As I mentioned earlier, I could get into BDSM and sensual play, but with the right Trainer.
You founded the Ottawa Pony and Critter Club (OPCC), organize regular events, and you even offer a shuttle service to help ponies and critters get to events. How did all this come about? When I came back from Brimstone (I live in Ottawa, Canada, and Brimstone was in New Jersey), I wanted something like the Pony Track and Show in my own community. There are a few ponies, and a few critters in Ottawa, but no organized community. I really just wanted to find a trainer, but then I realized that there were a lot of people interested in pet and pony play, and I seemed to be one of the few who would talk about it. So, I thought I’d start a group, in hopes that a local trainer I was compatible with would turn up, and things have progressed from there.
What do you think is the public's (non-BDSM people) perception of pony play? How about those interested in BDSM but new to pony play? I’m not sure how pony play is perceived by the public. I think it is looked upon with a combination of wonder at the aesthetic, perhaps like the Carnivale dancers, or as fringe, like practitioners of body modification. I recently explained it to a relative, who responded, “Is that the people who wear hooves and the rest in the Pride Parade? I guess if they are in the Pride Parade, it’s all right”. So, I think that the perception widely varies- just as some of the public would find it fanciful and beautiful, others might find it strange or frightening, as with Cosplay, body modification, Burlesque, etc.
I think you get a similar response from the BDSM crowd, who are new to pony play. I myself was turned off pony play when I first came into the BDSM scene, because much of what I saw was in porn and was a specific kind of aesthetic and play that I found off-putting. For myself, I eventually went from not being interested to intrigued because I wanted to explore why I didn’t like it. In exploring the why, I realized I actually really really did like it, but was intimidated. I think perhaps those in the BDSM lifestyle who don’t know about pony play see it as an aesthetic, as perhaps very intimidating because of the possibilities for gear, but also as a really great way to express oneself in so many different ways. I see it being embraced and included in more and more ‘mainstream’ BDSM events, so overall I think pony play is becoming a welcome and well known style of play.
From your experience with the OPCC, do you have any tips for those interested in starting a local group? Just go ahead and do it. Look at groups you like- look for how the groups you like are organized, and get in touch with the organizers. Ask if you can model yours after theirs (it’s courteous to ask first), most people will be thrilled that something they are doing is useful to someone else. My other advice is promote, promote, promote! I am not that good at that part, but it really pays off. I also try to reach out and engage with other groups locally and online, to network and cross- pollinate. For me, this is really about building community, and what better way than to say ‘hi’ and make friends with others whose interests you share?
Is there a pony play (or other fetish) event that you would particularly like to attend? All of them! I am competing in the North American Leather Pony/Trainer Contest this upcoming August. I’d love to go to The Farm, or Pony Camp. There are starting to be a lot- I want to go to as many as I can. There is the International Pony Play Championships at Beyond Leather, Floating World and Brimstone, Leather and Leis- everywhere I look it seems there is another event that has pony play, or is all about pony play!
Do you have any suggestions for ponies who are just starting out (or experienced players for that matter)? Join a group, ask questions. Don’t be afraid to message someone with a question. Gear is not everything. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on gear to get into the headspace, even just making a bit gag and grabbing some rope can bring about the best scenes. For Trainers, I would say that pony play with Human ponies requires a bit of awareness that you are playing with someone in an altered headspace. Make sure to go over physical needs, communication, and any special issues they may have. Most of all, always work from love and joy. Your pony will follow you anywhere.
Thank you Ponygirl Bixy for your wonderful answers!
Check out the Ottawa Pony and Critter Club Fetlife group. Even if you don't live in Ottawa, the OPCC has a lot of great info and is definitely worth a look. They even have their own flag! And if you do live in Ottawa or the surrounding area, drop by one of their munches or other events.