Where would you start if you are interested?
I've been doing this for several years and all I can really say is it can be kind of hit or miss. There are some good books out there, Rebecca Wilcox's The Human Pony and Sub Miss Ann's Pony Play With Submission being the best ones I'm aware of. https://www.cpony.com/home/ is an excellent resource on one pony's lifelong take on pony play. The resources definitely exist, but as I've noticed and many of you brought up, if there's not a scene near you, or if there's no one around to be the other half of the equation it gets tricky. Some areas have established groups and you might find groups on Fetlife as a way of finding them. You can try local munches and see what you find. Unfortunately, the best way is to travel to events that include or center around it. And since we all know now that it can be an expensive hobby/fetish to start with, adding travel to that only makes it rougher. So my best advice is to track it down on social media, make friends in the scene and keep your spirits up.
What type of events are there and what could you expect from these events?
Most of the events I'm aware tend to revolve around Dressage/Show pony kind of event. One I go to is sort of the decathlon for ponies and mix carting, dressage, jumping, racing. Fox hunts are kind of the cadillac of events involving pups, ponies, handlers and one or more foxes to be hunted. Some may have more of a western feel with barrel racing and some other more rodeo-like things, though I don't know if they do anysort of "calf-roping" or anything like that though it sounds hot as f***. Some riding may occur but I've not seen it as much of a part of competition.
What is expected of either party?
In a nutshell, the handler is responsible for the safety of the pony, in most cases they do give the commands, do the training and are in control. Whether they are actually dominant or more of a service dom position depends on the situation and the pony.
What kind of activities could you get upto as a pony?
Besides doing Dressage, which is based on English riding and training, they pull carts, either singly or in teams. Being ridden as a two or four legged pony. Being groomed/bathed is always nice in my opinion and makes for a good cool down after a workout. Brushes and all are easily found at farm or tractor supply stores or tack shops. Breeding scenes are possible. There's a nordic sport called skjoring which is a horse pulling someone on skis. Really, most anything you can do with biohorses can probably be simulated. I even combine impact play with being a pony as a way to get into a warhorse space. What are the sexual aspects of it? Outside of straight breeding, or handler and pony getting sexual as part of the dynamic, there are some other aspects. Being groomed usually gets me aroused and has often resulted in a hand or blow job. Things can easily get sensual with any sort of pet play. Besides getting a stallion to mount a mare, horse breeding sometimes uses artificial insemination. Stallions are basically milked for their sperm as a less costly way of mating a horse in Florida with one in California, so just milking your stallion or injecting fluids of some sort into your mare's vagina could be done.
How long have you been into it?
I think it was 2008 when I first experienced anything along those lines, though I had seen it in bondage porn magazines before that. I've been into kink at some level for most of my life that I can remember, even before I understood anything about sex. What made you get into being a pony? The black unicorn has been a recurring symbol in my writings and fantasies since my teen years, and when in 2006 we were selling at a small in Ren Faire in Michigan I met an artisan named Beckalyn Masters who made the most beautiful and glorious masks I've ever seen. I commissioned the mask I'm still wearing today from her and when we started doing furry conventions shortly after that he became my constant companion. We are also in the Society for Creative Anachronism which does medieval reenacting and they have a huge 10,000+ person gathering called Pennsic War. The Society does have its members that are in the scene, some of which are quite well-known. Amy had some interest in learning to do rope bondage so we got introduced to Lord Percival. He helped the two of us try and find some kinks we wanted to do together and he brought it up after seeing the mask. So I found myself in our selling tent, wearing nothing but the mask, arms tied down to my side and a raging boner and, well, I knew then I wanted to do more of this. Since then it has been a sporadic occurrence but I enjoy every chance I get.
Do people close to you know?
Yes, and no. Most of my friends I'm open with, but most of them these days are also in the scene. We don't go into things like that with family, though. They know we sell at adult events, but they don't ask if we do anything but sell and we don't volunteer any information. I also worked at Wright Patterson Air Force Base and had a security clearance so I didn't advertise at all then but that was back around the turn of the century, before I was into pony play. Have you ever attended events abroad? No, unfortunately, I've never had the money to travel outside the country, and we only travel in country because we make money while we go. I want to do Camp Crucible this year because it attracts a good number of European ponies.
Are there times or occasions where it may be difficult for you to enter pony play?
Not having a wife really into it makes it feel difficult to enter into it all the time. That being said, it depends to some degree on who I'm doing it with, if I know someone and we're really connected I can get it into it easily and immediately. I can do things as part of a class situation, but I can't go full pony in those circumstances because I either I want to pay attention and learn, or I have to be ready to answer questions.
As I said at the start of the presentation that everyone ponies differently, so this is from my point of view and experience. Your mileage may vary. Some people include sexual activities, some don't. Some are more into bondage involved in it, or the leather gear, or latex suits and some are from more of a d/s. Some do it for the humiliation of being only an animal. People go into it for different reasons, do it different ways, and get different things out of it. Some go deep into ponyspace, some don't. I love bondage of all types except maybe the mental bondage of being told to keep a specific position. I love the feel of the restraints, the smell of leather, the connection with a good rope top and the sensuality of it, which is why I enjoy being groomed. It can easily be a form of exhibitionism as well. Anyone who wants to ask me things, or talk to me about pony play or for any reason really, I'm Don Hanson on Facebook, Rhyl on Fetlife. I'm also pretty much a camera whore if you want to take pictures at an event, or privately. Thanks for letting me prattle on about pony play and I look forward to future presentations and hearing more questions from any interested parties.
Ciao for Now R'hyl