As awe-inspiring as my driver’s tailing technique might be, it left me quite unsurprisingly with my tail sticking out of my bum, marking me as a demi-human at best. In that regard I was the same to H-Beard that I was to Kandrin, only his attitude towards such an entity was hopefully more benevolent. He did, however, believe in a well-split vulva just as everybody else around here. The thin leather belt, though oiled, brought fresh pain. But Kendrick’s delegate had earned so many bonus points during the last five minutes that he could use the electric branding iron on my clit and still win a popularity prize.
Once properly crotch-strapped I received a final pre-flight inspection. It was meticulous and utterly lacking the gratuitous poking of a girl in bondage many other drivers were prone to. Where they wiggle at the tail plug or make their ponies gag on the bit, H-Beard took his time tugging at every buckle and confirming the correct adjustment of every belt by trying (and failing) to push a finger underneath. The whole procedure had more of being tucked in than being tacked up to it.
I came to wonder whether he had been put on pony-watch for me because he was really that good at handling or just good at following orders. It seemed of no immediate consequence, but in situations not covered by Kendrick’s impromtu briefing that difference might be crucial. Miss C. had her favourite toy taken away from her and would not let the matter rest. I got my answer as he tended to my permanent hardware again, starting with my septum piercing. I flinched, fearing for a moment he intended to fit me with the awful stud chain. Utilising some sexy eye-rolling I reassured myself that my bit wasn’t equipped with the forwards pointing auxiliary shanks needed to translate the rein action to my nose. Having satisfied himself that the ring was clean and intact and the tissue around without any signs of infection, he moved down to boob level. Apart from my mouth, my anus and every whippable spot of skin, my nipples had borne the brunt of Kandrin’s wrath. If my driver had planned for a martingale, he discarded its use after one close-up look. However, he checked my nip piercings the same way he had done my nose ring. The stinging pain from it only boosted the sense of relief I dared to welcome.
Around us most of the ponygirls were ready to race and being walked out to the sulkies by their sometimes old, sometimes new drivers. Miss Cuntling flounced amongst them, and poor Zero-Eight followed, bridled face flushed and distorted by a sadistically tight throat bit. H-Beard, unaware of endangering the schedule, wasn’t quite through with me just yet. I scolded myself for having allowed myself to be carried away by my hopes like a shaky-legged filly as I heard the chimes. Blinkered ponies are to be belled. The hip handler wasn’t the type who let directives slide. I silently begged that he would use adjustable clamps and wouldn’t tighten them down to Kandrin-esque levels. But what he did upon approaching me with the nip bells proved me right on my initial judgement. With the most filigree tool imaginable he opened the metal loop that connected the first chime to the clamping mechanism. Having repeated it with the second one as well, the driver continued to rely on a steady hand as he linked each bell directly to a nipple ring of mine.
The fitting sent shivers through the metal, and through the tissue embedding it. Luckily the bit distorted my moans enough to obscure their cause. I applauded his (or Kendrick’s) decision not to have my tit-tips mauled again. But what had prevented him from simply clipping the clamps to my piercings? He could have snapped them on in seconds and achieved the same results. He could have removed the blinkers – a matter of three press studs per side – and driven me bell-less.
Except he could not. Option one just wasn’t aesthetically pleasing. And option two – seriously, a pony without blinkers? Have you been raised in a barn?
We had now arrived at a point where my driver entertained the radical idea of actually driving me. Tugging experimentally at my reins, he tested the tenderness of my mouth through the bit. It wasn’t overly painful, yet made me wince as steel dug into flesh. At once my pony sense tingled: The chin strap was too loose. Not to such an extent that I could be hurt by chaffing or wobbling parts. But it could lessen the effect of the bit. How had he missed those slacking millimetres? I should be thankful for the bit’s control over me being compromised. Yet this unfamiliar freedom also irritated me, like wearing socks of different colours. However, H-Beard was quick to notice my bridle situation through keen eye or sensible rein hand. He tightened the chin strap until I really bit into the static tooth protectors, and that kindled OCD part of me was happy for it.
Two more times H-Beard tugged at my reins, only to unhook them from my bit once he had received affirmative feedback. Again I was at loss of understanding his approach. Things clarified as soon as he clipped a lead to my nose ring, because obviously that was how a ponygirl should be controlled from the front. Only on special occasions Kandrin made use of this piercing; most of the time she would just drag me along at the reins. Depending on the bit inserted this could be adequately painful, but being led by one’s septum ring induces a core-melting feeling of submission.
“C’mon, hot bod.”
Quite out of character, that nonchalant invitation – and clearly meant for the few drivers still in earshot more than for the girl at the other end of his lead, who had no need for verbal commands anymore. What was he worried about? That meticulously wrapping me in three layers of horsey-themed bondage might look weird to bystanders?
The tug at my ring, slightly predating his words, set me in motion. My graceful high-steps mobilised the plug at once, but lubed as it was (real, wonderful lube!), its motion had a decidedly shifting quality instead of a grinding one. Halfway to the barn gate I falsely believed myself in danger of losing grip and was thankful for the crotch strap, and if only to regain peace of mind. Shifty as it might feel, the tail anchorage was of course pony-proof. I would have to actively use my rectal muscles to dislodge the plug – an act unthinkable for a D.A.C.C. thoroughbred.
With one worry less, I was hitched to my sulky. H-Beard removed the lead and subjected me to the control of the driving reins. He kept a moderate amount of tension in them as he mounted the aluminium construction. That and my posture collar was enough to ensure flawless bearing. Fine by me. I would choose the high yoke a hundred times over check reins (not that I had been offered that choice in the recent past).
“Glad you could make it…,” one of the waiting handlers commented on our belated appearance.
H-Beard finally found a comfy position in the cart.
“According to Advanced Correctional Field Manual, a driver is entitled to thirty minutes to become acquainted with a participant before their first shared outdoor activity.”
I gave him the benefit of the doubt that his statement was meant far less creepy than it sounded. Oh, and I would like to take a look at that field manual.
“At least you can become acquainted with Seva’s plaything. I got Marilyn Manson’s daughter,” his companion made sure to complain.
I had all the ideas to whom he was referring, even with Ten’s boldly ornamented body blocked out by my blinkers – and her standing more in the tradition of Alice Cooper. Also, they really should stop using first names in front of “participants” – it undermines authority. Also also, I took offence at being perceived as Miss Cuntling’s personal pain pet, however small a surprise this finding was.
With none of those points open for discussion, Group 1 started its slightly delayed jaunt. Kandrin took point, as if nothing had happened. Soon an ever increasing numbers of hooves threw clonks against the barn’s tall front to be echoed across the camp. H-Beard placed us well within the peloton, behind Zero-One. Her fiery hair complemented the polished metal between her lips beautifully – just as her equally coloured tail and last stint’s welts did with her ivory derrière.
As expected, my substitute driver did not shy away from making constructive use of the whip, either. Well-accentuated flicks just beneath the buttocks turned my walk into a trot down the knoll, and my trot into a dashing canter towards the woods. The same leather hitting the same spots, the same unrelenting pain; and still I believed to sense the lack of meanness, of the harrowing spite Kandrin put into every last of her lashes. Never would she understand the difference between bringing the whip down to punish, and to urge on.
West of the river he softened the canter and had me perform several flying lead changes, so he could rate me using one, then the other leg to lead the skipping pattern of this particular gait. His rein work, too, was superior to Miss C’s. Precise. Linear. Kendrick, the only other person who had ever driven me, encouraged a swagger now and then, or varied the pace just for the fun of it. Despite his indie-appearance, H-Beard dabbled in no such tomfoolery. Maybe it was meant to be post-ironic.
The more Kandrin’s shortcomings in aptitude became blatant, the more one might be tempted to see in them the reason for her demotion. That she was too hard on the reins and too happy with the whip had not escaped Kendrick, but rather than these symptoms it had been the underlying mind-set which had provoked the lead handler’s intervention.
Allow me to delve into pony theory once again for clarification (you may continue imagining me frolicking in my slinky harness during the paragraph).
In the minds of many, the DACC programme ticked all the right horseboxes. The tack, the whips, the unforgiving demand for compliance and perfection. The tails – let’s not forget about the tails. Yet in less operative and more ideological points it revealed considerable deficiencies. If the likes of Kendrick had been lured in under false pretences, or if they had intended to mend the faulty concept they’d found towards their own ideas I cannot say. Right now our fate as inmates was not to be broken in, but simply to be broken.
In this climate Kandrin had already burnt Fifteen as a ponygirl. The petite brunette, skittish to begin with, then pushed beyond the edge during training, had failed to recover from her traumatic “prize” at the gymkhana and could now be brought to a crying fit with one harsh yank at the reins. Surely Kendrick had spotted on the first day whether she had potential and how to unlock it, and was now confronted with an unstable mare, damaged in the process of pony-making by an overenthusiastic, underskilled amateur.
For him a ponygirl should be exactly that: a ponygirl. Not a participant or an inmate. If he were in charge, a lot of things would be different. No whipping posts. No fall-ins. We would be sleeping on straw, as full-time ponies. His take on the matter would be creating rather than breaking. The transformation of a young, independent woman into a chimeric being of absolute obedience and grace, elevated into an art form. Such process would find its result not in the abject grovelling of a flogged prison-lass, but in the proud prancer that has embraced its non-humanity.
On his quest to unravel the riddle of the mysterious and mystic creature that is the ponygirl, in its beginnings mayhap a scholar simply fascinated by the bound female shape, he had long since evolved into a veritable sage. A preacher of deep lore, standing strong against dilution and adulteration, against commercialisation and pop-culturisation. And like all preachers, he was assembling believers around him.