The Photographer and I went to visit Reining In on Saturday for our first sample of pony play. In advance we'd received a ten point email of how to dress and behave prior to meeting up. I'm very fond of protocol, especially if it comes in the form of written lists, given that there can often be nerves at a first meeting having something solid to get a grip on helps assuage these. Both of us had to be shaved smooth from top to bottom, excepting the hair on our heads, and neither of us were allowed to wear deodorant, makeup or underwear. Preparation is part of anticipation, and grooming is part of submissive transformation, both mentally because the ritual of doing so puts one in a certain frame of mind and also physically as you make yourself into something more desirable to another - in this case made all the better by having a precise pro-forma for doing so, no second guessing or worrying about being wrong-footed.
As we looked over the list, I was initially a bit thrown by the request for the "filly" wear a pair of red stilettos and an A-line dress that buttons up at the front, partly because I don't have either of those things (I'm not a very girly girl, and I'm tall so never bother much with high heels) and also because it felt very, well, feminine. A sexualised representation of the female form, which seemed a little strange and not especially animal at all. The "colt" got more leeway and less chance of exposure on public transport by wearing loose trousers and a shirt. That's the knock-on effect of conforming to someone else's desire, I suppose, you stop feeling like yourself, and feel like something dressed-up and strange. For some reason I felt a little confused and confounded by that request, I guess that part of me wanted pony play to be about the removal of the trappings of that type of desire and to partake of something different, I had no real conceptions about what the "something different" might be, but I did have an idea about what it was not.
As it turned out, we stripped almost as soon as we arrived, so I was soon feeling more comfortable. Reining In was very calm, and is very well practised in training ponies so we went straight into it. Harnesses, headpieces and gags went on with very little difficulty, and certainly as soon as the gag went in I felt more ready, more complete. We were each fitted with our own tail, sturdy butt-plug insert and blond horsehair. I got to sit back and listen to The Photographer whimper and wince a little as his was put into position - lack of practice, we later agreed. Our arms were clipped together by cuffs above the elbows, then folded behind our back and bound in a strapped leather sling. The arm pieces felt especially good: no hands to gesture with, no mouth to speak with. I made little snorting noises through my nose and leaned my face against The Photographer's shoulder. I could smell his skin and immediately wanted to lick it. But couldn't.
Finally came the piece of kit that I had been looking forward to the most. Pony boots. They looked stunning, I beamed with joy. Shiny black PVC towers, with buckles, straps, laces and horse shoes on the soles which peeped out the back to give a little extra stability. As mentioned, I don't really do high heels. Now, pony boots are really, really high (although certainly lacking in the "heel" element) and once I was eventually strapped into them I teetered on these four inch blocks and then spent the following hours in constant fear of falling over as I skittered about on the shiny lino floor. Standing still was very difficult and I felt the need to shift from foot to foot, trying to re-balance my weight. Two days later and my thighs are still aching. I wasn't in pain, I was just conscious of not feeling at all in control, and straining to stay upright, especially when plasters were put over my eyes and I panicked, losing all ability to know where I was and needing to be held still for a while.
We were taught how to walk-on, and turn, with a gentle crop stroke or tap to the left leg for leading or a pull on the reins attached to our bits. We trotted up, down and round the room. Throughout Reining In was full of reassurances, letting us know that we were both pretty, and pleasing, but something wasn't quite working for me.
It was a niggling feeling, like the sensation that you have forgotten something important. I just didn't feel as if I was entirely getting into it, every now and then a little voice in my head would pipe up with you are stood naked in someone's living room, wearing bits of leather and looking like a fool. Not entirely the reaction I'd hoped for and to a certain extent I was disappointed in myself for not being able to go with it, and I'm still not entirely sure why. Part of it, I'm convinced though a little saddened, was wearing the boots. Whilst they did give a satisfying horsey noise when I stamped my feet and looked amazing each time I glimpsed myself in the mirror they were very distracting. The need to remain very focused on not-falling-over prevented me from slipping into anything like a comfortable head-space: I was very conscious of simply being a girl in dangerous shoes on precarious ground, which made me tense and anxious. Another part is the fact that I was literally becoming self-conscious, rather than slipping into the sensations and the mood I was looking at myself from the outside and feeling a bit silly, which is rarely sexy.
There were definitely moments, this notwithstanding. The feel of the gag as saliva ran passed it and onto my breasts, the floor, The Photographer's shoulder as I nuzzled against him. The leather straps against bare skin, the press of the plug inside my arse as Reining-In jiggled the straps holding it into me making me stamp my feet in frustration as I got wetter and wetter. Almost every sensation when taken individually worked for me, but I couldn't keep it together as a whole in my mind. It's certainly something that I am still interested in, and we have a standing invitation to go back, but there are definitely kinks to be ironed out, as it were, and points of entry into the mode of play to be re-negotiated.