Our fate was sealed, and no mistake. Back to the corrals we went, where preparations for the next phase of our breaking in had been made. Kandrin was leading Fifteen, Sixteen and me. On the grass next to the short path between barn and paddock area the sulkies were parked, ready for us. To say I had a sinking feeling in my guts as we high-stepped past them would be an understatement. The handlers made us stay, not quite in line, but in a somewhat looser formation. Whatever they had in mind would need a bit of space.
From the direction of the barn a rumbling sound grew louder. Kendrick approached with a laden pull wagon in tow, whistling a tune. Unsurprisingly the stuff in the cart turned out to be even more tack. Harnesses like those of Group 2, an assortment of bits, several boxes of unknown content. Now I also recognised the melody:
“When Johnny Comes Marching Home” – Yee-haw!
He beckoned the other handlers to take what they needed for their ponies. From my earlier keen observations I suspected that even without officially holding a superior rank Kendrick commanded quite a bit of authority amongst the staff. He appeared to be some kind of doyen and a contact person between the group leaders and the other handlers. Maybe he had got his own petting zoo not earlier than today because he first had to show his colleagues the robes.
Kandrin took a harness from the cart, too.
“I tend to your trio, if you don’t mind, Mr Kendrick.”
“Sure, love. Be my guest.”
She started on Fifteen. I could not see them due to my “stay” pose, and with Kendrick looking in our direction I didn’t dare turn my head. But the girl’s gasps and groans gave me a pretty nice picture of what was going on.
“Tighten that one first,” came Kendrick’s advice in regards of the buckling order at one point. He then told Kandrin how to avoid chaffing “there and there”, yet saw no need to further interfere.
Following his sage instructions, my group leader had Fifteen properly harnessed within minutes. Sixteen was next. She, too, was rigged under sounds of distress. Visibly pleased with his pupil, Kendrick handed Miss Cuntling her third harness. That one was for me. Finally – I’d almost felt left out. She scrutinised my uncovered physique longer than necessary, then pre-adjusted some straps with nimble fingers. For me, she was only holding a Gordian mess. Leather belts of various widths, nickel plated buckles and rivets. Yet she seemed to know her way around enough to match Kendrick’s standards. The waist cincher part came first. Kandrin wrapped it around my midsection, pushing my sheathed arms this way and that. The waspie was buckled, not laced, and she put some back into it. I was expecting an unasked-for comment about my alleged paunch or, alternatively, scrawniness, but nothing happened (the first point would have been very far-fetched for sure, and if anything, she was even thinner than I). She pulled it definitely tight, yet not to the point of discomfort. Kind of supporting, actually. The leather was bevelled and oiled, every edge smoothed.
From the waspie a broad belt went up, tapering between my breasts and gaining width again at my upper sternum, where it met the shoulder yoke. This part had nothing in common with the wooden type of yokes, at least not appearance-wise. Two amply dimensioned pieces of shaped leather, almost plates, formed the front and the back, covering my shoulder region. The yoke could be opened and adjusted at both sides of the neck and under the armpits, so that there was no need to manoeuvre it over the lucky pony’s head. It became clear to me rather quickly that this element would be of major importance when it came to pulling the sulky.
Kandrin loosened the shoulder straps of my armbinder and re-arranged them above the yoke, where they were fastened again. Clasps rivetted to the plates secured them further. Mirroring the frontal layout, a belt ran down between my jutting shoulder blades to the waist cincher and thus completing the main harness. This however didn’t mean for me to be adequately dressed yet. An elaborate system of auxiliary straps reached down my sides and across various parts of my body. Miss Cuntling elicited groans from me as she was pulling them taut. Every so often her hands would brush over my skin, preferably my boobs. I could not tell whether it was intended, but it caused me to flinch each time. Her tugging was methodically, meant to work out any slack, and I understand this would be my personal harness from now on. As she happily buckled her way around me, Kendrick fitted Fifteen and Sixteen with their bits again. So it was drool time once more.
I squealed as Kandrin shoved the last piece of leather through between my legs. It was a crotch strap, although I would hear many more names for it, none of which quotable. While it started as a longish triangle covering my pubic region, the strap became worryingly narrow and even split at my feminine parts. It ran up my bum crack to find a corresponding buckle at the back of my waspie. For some reason Kandrin fitted it only loosely.
I felt like I had half a ton of leather and metal on me. It wasn’t so much the weight itself but the sheer amount of tack that triggered this picture. And of course I still wasn’t done. Kendrick approached with my bit. Once again I was facing the untold dishonour of being gagged.
“Wait a moment with that one,” Kandrin intervened.
She helped herself to a different bit model from the cart.
“I saw her breaking discipline when having her armbinder put on, and later at the hot walker. Her behaviour may benefit from a more advanced bit.”
Perhaps my behaviour might benefit from a less shitty treatment.
Kendrick showed a disapproving frown, but gave her free rein (so to speak). Needless to say I wasn’t eager to open my mouth. I had loathed my first bit, and I had no interest in finding out what features made this one “advanced”. That the new bit was different I could tell at first sight. Instead of a straight bar with a rocker this model had a curved middle section. At both sites it ended in shanks reaching down in right angles.
My mouth grew dry as I recognised the contraption in Kandrin’s hand as a curb bit. She nudged my lips with the port, the curve in the middle of the mouthpiece.
“Don’t worry. It’s not that you’ll receive a shock from it.”
The reference was clear. It was either the curb bit or the spark stick. Frankly, the spark stick didn’t sound so bad; five seconds of vicious cramping and the general sensation of muscle strands turning into wires, then some convulsions in the dirt. If it was what it took to not feel a suspiciously shaped piece of metal between my teeth for the next three to six hours, so be it. But Miss Cuntling struck me as a sore loser, and hence there was no doubt that after receiving my first ration of electrons we would be playing the choosing game all over again.
The bit tasted of disinfectant and anguish. It was just as unyielding and relentless as its predecessor, but the foreboding additions made it even more menacing. Kandrin fastened it to my cheek rings as well as to two so far unused anchorage points further up. A curb chain replaced the leather chin strap. On a human being – as I kept trying to think of myself – a curb chain couldn’t be utilised the way it would be on a horse (where it would dig in the chin groove when pulled at). So here its main purpose was to discourage me from jaw movement.
“The trouble I’ve got with you, Seventeen,” she sighed. “But you are good for it; with the right gear we’ll turn you into a real show pony. You’re aware I can fuck you up with this toy?”
I stomped my hoof once. Although I hadn’t detailed knowledge back then, I already understood that there were different categories of bits, ranging from “mild” to “harsh”. Feel free to hazard a guess where my newest piece of equipment fell in.
A curb bit controls a horse by several effects, two of which triggered via rotation. For that the equine variant sports two sets of shanks. The lower shanks serve as levers for the reins. Once the reins are pulled, they create a moment of force with the shanks and thus causing the bit to rotate. Following this motion, the upper shanks tilt as well. By doing so they firstly pull the aforementioned curb chain into the animal’s chin groove. Secondly, they put pressure on the poll, the back of the horse’s head, by tightening the bridle in a certain way. Savvy?
Due to anatomical differences both mechanisms generally don’t work on a ponygirl. Consequently there were no upper shanks on the device seated in my sore mouth, just an extra fixation element on each side to grant an additional fulcrum. The ability of controlling the wearer arose from another effect, aimed at one of the most sensible parts of the human body. Normally a port is meant to give the tongue some space beneath the mouthpiece. With this bastard it was the exact opposite. The curved section of my bit was horizontally orientated instead of vertically, pointing towards my throat. Right now it was hovering over my tongue, lurking, held in position by torsion springs so it wouldn’t bounce up and down during any gait.
Kandrin put on a show double-checking every connection, then tested how much free travel the rigging allowed. Standing before me she hooked an index finger around one of the shanks and pulled slightly. The port touched my tongue almost at once, and sickeningly far back. There was no pain yet, just unfamiliar and irritating pressure. But the ease my group leader was able to create this sensation with was alarming. Unlike curb bits on real horses my exemplar came with its own bearings – presumably to enable a more precise movement in the smaller human mouth. As a little detail the fixed bearing bushes reached between my molars, so biting down did not interfere with the curb action. At least they were rubber-coated to prevent chipping my teeth. More than any other item so far this drove a jarring point home: Somebody had designed this shit, developed it with the sole intention for it to be used on human beings.
Kandrin let go of the shank, and the springs moved the mouthpiece back into its initial position. She inspected me, then Sixteen, then Fifteen.
“Something is missing, Mr Kendrick.”
Kendrick visibly lightened up on her statement. Most likely he had been waiting for this the whole day.
“Then we should get going.” He nodded towards the first corral whilst fitting Fifteen and Sixteen with their reins. “They’ve already started without us!”
How dared they start without Kendrick, King of Handlers?! The nerve of some people…
Miss Cuntling clipped my leading reins on, gave them a playful tug, and I knew I was fucked. Just a playful little tug, but the sensation was overwhelmingly wicked. From the pressured tongue area a pulsating pain spread towards my throat where it triggered an early state of gagging. This device was nothing short of appalling! The mean woman holding my reins, not five years my senior and as slender as I, could crush my tongue with a single move of her hand. Needless to say I was very eager to follow her to the corral, feeling my heart rate rise every time the reins threatened to run out of slack.