After an alarmingly short night’s rest it was the whistle once more that awoke me. I made it just in time to the washroom to puke into one of the toilets as the enormity of my situation hit me again. A nasty way to start the day, but it would pass. It had to. The same had happen to me at my very first stay in a holding cell, after I’d been nicked for the sacrilegious crime of dismounting pointless speed limit signs. Never been locked up before, I’d been overwhelmed by the consequences of my statement on traffic regulations. Apparently it hadn’t chimed with the opinions of the blokes who had ordered the signs to be put there in the first place. Being basically a bunch of hippies and communists, they couldn’t bear the thought that a) anybody would be able to drive faster than somebody else, and that b) anybody would excide the mind-blowing velocity of 30 km/h anywhere. Securing at least a moral victory, I’d never spilt where I had hidden the abducted signs (which had cost me an extra fine). But I digress. Back then the sickness had passed, and so would it do now. What wouldn’t pass was Kandrin’s hazing of us. That woman had a serious inferiority complex, judged by how hard she pressed her group to be the quickest and tidiest and most teachable. With the bile still burning in my damaged mouth, I stumbled outside for the little fall-in.
I forgot to introduce myself: My name is Seventeen.
Although many parents go berserk these days when it comes to naming their children, this isn’t my Christian name. It was given to me almost nineteen years after my birth, and the way I received it was quite bizarre. After test-driving a 150,000-euro-Maserati that kinda sorta had happened not to be mine as such, I’d been browbeaten into “volunteering” for an obscure rehabilitation programme. Freedom through obedience. Obedience through re-education. Re-education through dehumanisation. Dehumanisation, then, was achieved by “pony-isation” (or is it “ponification”?). My fellow detainees and I were being turned into ponygirls – anthropomorphic creatures fitted with fetishised attributes of horses. Not only was this deeply debasing and humiliating, the sexual, sadomasochistic undercurrents were surely welcomed as well by our new masters. One might think that once transformed into beings of equine gestalt we would be given noble names like “Wild Spirit” or “Midnight Coat”. Instead we were numbered, coded and categorised – rendered faceless by our un-names as we were rendered faceless by our horrid bridles. The likewise faceless system ordained it so.
Unsurprisingly my performance during our morning run was abysmal, so was everybody else’s in my group. Yesterday’s sightseeing tour had taken its toll on us. Therefore tomorrow’s toilet cleaning duties were bound to be ours. Today however it was the honour of Group One. Obviously the still hospitalised 1105 was a fast runner and her absence sorely noticeable.
For us the morning brought another intermezzo with the hot walker. So once again we were fitted with the light running tack: pony boots, armbinder and bridle. Soon I was re-hoofed with the dreadful bondage boots, eliciting much protest from my tender feet. Yet I was determined to hide my distress. The cruel leathery grip of the binder threatens to snap my collarbones, and I took that, too. Then the interwoven straps of my bridle appeared in my field of view, already completed with the steel bit. I shied, even made an insecure step backwards against the tack room’s wall with all my bravado gone.
“Easy, love, it’s a mild one,” Kendrick ensured, “in fact the mildest one you’ll be wearing around here.”
It was the kind with the rocker in its centre, a tongue bit, not the terrible curb bit. I could see that. But the prospect of spending hours upon hours with it wedged in my mouth was appalling none the less. I didn’t want to be bitted! My tongue was swollen from the wounds caused by the barbed wire, my palate was awfully bruised, and the corners of my mouth felt raw beyond believe. I searched his grey eyes for pity. I did found it, but not the sort I was hoping for. It was the long-suffering patience one would grant an adorable yet dumb pet that didn’t know what was best for it.
“Seventeen, you will open your mouth and you will accept the bit.”
I stomped two times. Did I expect some lenience if I showed basic compliance by using the hoof signals? At least it might act as a proof that I didn’t mean to challenge his authority over me as a whole, only refused to co-operate on that specific point. I would play pony for him if I must. I just didn’t want to be bitted. A bit-less bridle would be a sane compromise – as sane as putting a bridle on a girl’s head could ever be.
“You are one ungrateful little mare, Seventeen. Perhaps Miss Kandrin is right, and you do benefit from a harsher bit.”
How could he say that?! Wasn’t he aware of what she had done to me?!
The lead handler unlocked the tongue bit from my bridle and stepped over to a long wall-mounted board covered with green felt. From the vast array of bits neatly displayed there he took one with his free hand whilst keeping his original choice in the other. Moving back in front of me, Kendrick held both bits up for me to admire. Naturally my attention was immediately focussed on the new one. It was of the same overall design as the first mouthpiece, a straight bar with a tongue-controlling rocker. Yet it bore a crucial difference in that the rocking spoons were sporting half-centimetre-long spikes at their undersides. Not much imagination was needed to see those steel thorns raking the tongue with every twitch, gasp or swallowing.
“You can be brave now and open your mouth willingly for the mild one. Or you can keep acting baulky, then I open it for you, and it will be Old Spikey here.”
My sorry attempt had failed. Kendrick might not be too fond of drastic measures, but the special treatment I had been aiming at was out of question for him. He owned both the knowledge and the means to make me open my mouth, of that I was certain.
So I decided to be brave and hoped he wouldn’t fuck me over by putting the spiked one in my mouth nonetheless. He did not. In fact Kendrick took his time locking the standard bit back on my bridle in plain view of mine. All the while I was standing there with my mouth open, as if I were begging to be bitted. A truly submissive sight. Every time I was about to close it, Kendrick would bring the bridle to my face. I would open up again in my newfound bravery, only to find him pull away because some buckle or rivet still needed closer inspection. I reckon this was his way to drive his point home. Not with whip and spark stick, but with a round of bareback mind fucking.
Eventually the steel bit was seated unshiftably within my mouth. Resting on those same spots tender from yesterday’s abuse, even a slight tug on my reins ensured compliance. Once again Fifteen, Sixteen and I were led outside to the paddock area with the other ponies. And once again we drew our circles of walk, trot, canter and gallop, relentlessly guided by the hot walker’s arms.
“We are going to try something,” announced our handler after about one and a half hours of hot walking. He had moved us to a neighbouring corral without a training automaton in it. “In the light of today’s good progress I’ve decided to do some real lungeing with you.”
My enthusiasm was limitless.
“It’s the same routine as before, but without the coordination from the hot walker. The aim is for you to maintain a requested speed and an adequate posture all by your own.”
He clipped the lunge lines to our bridles and positioned himself in the corral’s centre. On a click of his tongue the three of us started to move anti-clockwise, circling him with a radius of perhaps five metres. Kendrick allowed a bit of slack in the line and mostly relied on subtle tug signals and voice commands. Should subtlety turn out not to effective enough, then there was still the lunge whip in his right hand.
This form of training wasn’t as intimidating as the relentless hot walker, but indeed demanded a pony to be more proactive. Kendrick was requesting a two metre gap between each of us, so that we all be comfortably in his direct field of vision. As I cantered behind Sixteen’s spanky derrière I had trouble establishing the correct pace. The source of the problem was that Blondie repeatedly failed to come up with a decent rhythm. So I found myself in the double bind of either sporting the wrong speed or the wrong distance.
A thin dark blur connected with Sixteen’s thigh, letting her performed a funny jump & yelp combo.
“Some effort would be nice…”
That whip of Kendrick’s was quick! Mesmerised I watched how a livid weal began to form on Sixteen’s upper leg. A stripe of fire scorched my own thigh.
“You too, Seventeen.”
Thank you, Blondie. That slut had managed yet again to drag me into the line of fire. Twice more Sixteen felt the lunge whip, both times nicely in the crease between thigh and buttock. Fifteen didn’t come clean out of this, either. The girl’s tendency to speed up too eagerly after each change of gait had earned her a considerable number of licks to her tummy. With a keen eye for details Kendrick fine-tuned our moves and bearings, and I gained the impression that he became rather pleased with us. I had mixed feelings about being pleasing, though. Switching the gaits often to keep us entertained. But during the slower ones in particular I felt myself searching for distraction. In the other corrals the training continued as well. Some ponygirls were subjected to lunging, too, but most still orbitted their respective hot walker.
Round and round it went for all of us, and I could tell Fifteen and Sixteen were tiring. Our handler progressively resorting to his trusty whip was a clear indicator. I felt weary also, but was still capable of keeping with the pace. So I continued to stomp horse shoe prints into the sand, trotting along on autopilot. Kendrick slowed me down by means of an especially nasty sting. The highly accelerated tip of his training tool hit my left areola, just under my nipple. Until now all his strokes had steering or correcting character, even the fiercer ones. This smack had been punishment.
An eager pony too tired out to perform sufficiently was one thing for the lead handler. But he obviously had a low tolerance for fillies not applying themselves. Fillies like me. Instinctively I tried to reach for my breast, for that nerve-rich spot that had just been touched by a red-hot iron. But the monoglove kept my arms imprisoned, not allowing me even this petty act to ease my pain. This was a cruel device in more ways than one might think. So I writhed helplessly as the pain radiated, spitting drool from around my bit together with a miserable whine. Of course I had broken gait, so Kendrick demanded some more incident-free circles. Only then he brought us to a controlled stop.
“I want at least another twenty laps before lunch. If you accomplish that, you can eat in the mess hall. Otherwise it’s the troughs again.”
I didn’t know how much time we had left until midday. But given the high percentage of gallop our handler shoehorned into this last stint, we were pretty close. When he finally commanded a halt, I was positively exhausted. Not anywhere close to yesterday’s experience from running under Miss Cuntling’s lash, though. I would not survive that on a daily basis. And so I feared what the second half of the day would bring.
True to his announcement Kendrick unbridled, detacked and thus rehumanised us. We even had a few minutes left for a swift wash behind the barn. Again the cool water was pure bliss on my whipped skin. Amazing how quickly the appreciation for certain things can increase. Receiving a cold shower and eating with my clothes on had reached reward status literally overnight.