By Xaltatun of Acheron

This work is copyright 2000-2004 by Xaltatun of Acheron (A Pseudonym). It may be posted on the Internet to any free forum. It may be reformatted to match the forum's look and feel, and the forum editor may make minor spelling and grammer corrections. Otherwise it must be posted in its entirety, including these notices. It may not be sold, or included in any compilation that is sold, or posted on any forum that requires a fee for access, without my written permission. My permission will require payment, terms to be negotiated. For purposes of this notice, sites guarded by Adult Check or similar packages are considered pay sites. Posting on any site must include this copyright notice.

Adult Content Warning - this story contains adult themes, including non-consensual bondage/slavery and forced sexual acts. If you are under the lawful age for such materials (18 in most jurisdictions) or if you would find such material offensive, please go elsewhere.

Safety Warning. This story may contain descriptions of practices that are decidedly unsafe, either in general, or if performed by someone without adequate training. There are a number of good books available on safety in the BDSM scene. Most large cities, and some not so large ones, have organized BDSM groups that will usually welcome a newcomer. I'm not going to point out which practices are safe, and which aren't. Any practice is unsafe if performed by someone with inadequate training and experience, or if performed when not paying attention. Please think before you act. Don't make yourself a candidate for a Darwin award.


There are fifteen stories in the series entitled “Ponygirl Transformation.” At this point, I have no intention of writing additional stories in this series, although I thought that before Engineer burst on the scene. The stories are listed in order of the series timeline, although there are a few overlaps and several continuing characters. The first three set necessary background, the next three cover one formative event from three different viewpoints.

1. Ponygirl Finds Her Place

2. Kinder and Gentler

3. The Sorceress’ Apprentice

4. Raw Material

5. Ponygirl by Choice

6. The Politics of Ponygirls

7. Ponygirls on Vacation

8. Bluebird Grows Up

9. Unregistered Ponygirls

10. Kidnapper

11. Suzie’s Ponygirl

12. Driver

13. Engineer (in preparation)

14. PonyGIRL?

15. Segue to Freehold (in preparation)

Acknowledgements. The setting and several of the characters are taken from a series of books by Sir Thomas (A pseudonym). “Adventures on the Hoof” and “Ponygirls, Inc” are both copyright by the Academy Club. Used by permission of Sir Thomas. These works are commercially available, and should not be on any web site on the internet, except for a short excerpt on Sir Jeff’s ponygirl web site.

Some of the characters and settings have been changed, either due to the different legal environment in the United States, my partially successful attempt to make the setting more consistent, and in one case a simple error of memory that got woven into the plot too deeply to back out by the time I discovered it.

In no case should you infer anything about the prior stories from this one. Sir Thomas has substantially different objectives for his stories.

There are a number of hidden references throughout to obscure (and some not so obscure) science fiction and fantasy stories. This is a game that some authors play. Should you care to look, have fun finding them.


Now on to the story...


Table of Contents



Chapter 1. What do you do with a Genius?

Chapter 2. First Trip Outside.

Chapter 3. First Training Episode.

Chapter 4. Loose Lips and all that.

Chapter 5. Susi becomes a ponygirl.

Chapter 6. Auction.

Chapter 7. Leslie and Linnet Meet Team 146.

Chapter 8. Linnet Learns Her New Duties.

Chapter 9. Diana Meets her Ponygirl.

Chapter 10. Excessive Enthusiasm Gets Its Just Rewards.

Chapter 11. The Best Plans are Laid.

Chapter 12. College Interviews.

Chapter 13. Larry and Linnet Meet a BDSM Society.

Chapter 14. How did a String of Sex Workers get into Here?

Chapter 15. Amanda and Connie face a hard choice.

Chapter 16. Official interest.

Chapter 17. Amanda and Connie start training.

Chapter 18. A Ride in the Forest.

Chapter 19. Alice tries to salvage Connie.

Chapter 20. Mistress Melanie’s Stable.

Chapter 21. Space Aliens? Huh, What?

Chapter 22. Pilot Project.

Chapter 23. Amanda starts improvising.

Chapter 24. More School Daze.

Chapter 25. Linnet Closes a Chapter.

Chapter 26. Boris Badinov and the Space Aliens.

Chapter 27. More Planning

Chapter 28. Recruiting an Academic.

Chapter 29. Linnet Gets Her Reward.

Chapter 30. Amanda’s Ponygirl Stable

Chapter 31. Connie flames out.

Epilog. Another Ride in the Forest.



What has gone before.


In the first new Arizona Community story from my pen in over three years, Larry Thompson is assigned to go out to Engineering school. We discover in short order that one of the soon to graduate ponygirls, Linnet, has the same psi powers as Alice, so she’s assigned to Larry, and Larry has to learn how to care for a ponygirl, in addition to his already heavy study load preparing for engineering school. He starts training with Raindance, and then his twin sister, Suzi, puts her foot into it. We get to see Suzi “volunteer” to start her two years as a community trainee ponygirl, and then see Larry put a new ponygirl through orientation. Time passes, and Linnet finishes the second part of her training, and is ready to be sold – or so she thinks.

Larry and his mother discover an odd situation at the auction where they are to pick up Linnet, and they wind up with a community trainee for his sister, Diana. They get the two ’girls situated in their cells with their training team. Linnet learns that she’s going to be working closely with Larry on his project, and Diana gets some practice in hitching a ponygirl to a chariot and driving her. The perpetrator of the odd situation gets her comeuppance.

Larry does his interviews for engineering school. His possession of a ponygirl gets him an apartment with the rest of the sexual oddballs, not that he’s complaining about not having to spend the first year in the dorms with the rest of the freshmen!

Larry and Linnet put on a “magic” show for a local BDSM society, and they wind up breaking up a ring of unlicensed prostitutes that haven’t paid their dues to the shadowy organization that provides STD control to sex workers. (It’s the Arizona Community, through a couple of proxies, which is how he got involved.) In handling that, they discover a couple of their client’s daughters caught in the dragnet. Neither of them is in particularly good odor with their parents (or anyone else, for that matter) so Larry makes them an offer they can’t refuse. He’s going to use them to try out a new method of initial ponygirl training.

The way they handled the prostitutes gets them noticed by the police, and they reach a deal. Amanda and Connie begin training in parallel with trying to bring their grades up. They wind up coming along nicely, so Larry begins taking them out for morning exercise by teleporting to various unsettled places and riding them. Diana, riding her ponygirl, joins them on occasion.

Alice shows up to try to help Connie, who is having a bit of a problem, and the police ask for assistance with a rather weird looking casualty of a gang war.

Connie and Amanda spend spring break at the Spring Nationals as ponygirls, being shown. Apparently they pass muster, because the powers that be decree a pilot project. Amanda joins the training team for the pilot, while Connie has to stay behind to pull her grades up.


Chapter 23. Amanda starts improvising.


Amanda looked at her ’girl kneeling on the stand. Even without tack, she did look cute. One of the other trainers had come by and taken the feeding funnel out while she’d been talking to Becky, so Maybeth was simply kneeling, head back and eyes tracking whatever activity happened to be going on. Which at this point was her trainer opening the cell door and walking in.

“You do look cute,” Amanda told her fondly. “It’ll be even better when you can greet me with a whinny.” The ponygirl whinnied at her. “Good Girl!” Amanda said, almost by reflex. “That could be better,” she said in an encouraging tone, and whinnied to show the ponygirl how it should sound. Maybeth whinnied back at her, managing to copy the sound. “A bit more vibrato,” the trainer said, touching her throat and emphasizing the staccato quality of the sound.

“Maybe I can go for it?” she thought to herself. “My psych class wasn’t all that clear on operant conditioning, but if what Dreammaker said works…” She touched the ’girl on the shoulder the next time she whinnied, and then repeated the touch the next two times they went back and forth. Then she touched her again without whinnying first, and the ’girl whinnied! “Good Girl!” Amanda said as the pony’s eyes widened in surprise at what she’d done. The pony whinnied at her in response, mouth quirking around the gag. “Now,” she thought, “let’s really go for it.”

“You liked that, didn’t you?” she asked and touched the pony’s shoulder, getting a whinny. She kept up a bit of a light banter, watching for signs of either comprehension or confusion at what she was saying, and touching the pony’s shoulder each time she got comprehension. Maybeth whinnied at her each time, gradually relaxing as she came to accept the action. Then Amanda didn’t touch her once when she understood, and the pony whinnied anyway. “Good Girl!” she praised her. Maybeth’s eye’s widened in surprise at the praise; she hadn’t even noticed that she’d done anything!

Amanda bent over and kissed the ’girl lightly on the forehead, and stepped back. “Let’s do some rein work next. Would you like that?” Maybeth whinnied at her.

She walked over to the cabinets and opened a drawer, taking out a bit. Then she frowned slightly in thought. Since the whinnying had worked, just maybe? She walked over to the monitor and set up a program keyed to one of the spare buttons on her prod, and then took a set of reins off the other wall.

“This is your bit,” she held the bit up in front of the ponygirl’s face, far enough away so it didn’t startle her. The ’girl whinnied as her eyes scanned across it, taking in the curved metal piece with the two long tails that ended in circles where the reins would attach. Then she set it down on the ’girl’s shoulder, eliciting a surprised snort, and swiftly detached the ball gag. Before the ’girl could close her mouth, she inserted the bit, and attached the two ends to the bridle.

She stroked the back of the ’girl’s head, causing her to lift it so she could remove the headrest. Then she touched the switch on her prod that released the ankle restraints, and said “Up!”

Maybeth brought her right foot forward, planted it firmly and rose smoothly as Amanda walked behind her to put a slight amount of tension on the reins. The ’girl tried to walk forward and stopped suddenly as she felt the bit in her mouth.

“Good Girl!” Amanda praised her. “Forward!” She walked forward, letting the ’girl set the pace but keeping a steady pressure on the reins so that she got a feeling for the bit. Then she pulled lightly on the right rein, and was rewarded by the ’girl turning right to relieve the pressure. She spent a few minutes in a more or less random navigation of the room, pulling the ’girl first one way, then the other. Eventually, she said: “Stop!” and pulled harder on the reins. Maybeth stopped.

Amanda walked up to her. “Knee!” The ’girl paused a moment, and then dropped to her left knee, right knee out and right foot next to the left knee, the same way she had done at the pole.

“Good Girl!” Amanda told her. She whinnied back. “Up!” They went around the cell a few more times, and then Amanda stopped her and told her: “knee”. The next time through the cycle, instead of telling her to come to her knee, Amanda touched the button her prod, and the monitor put the ’girl’s heartbeat on the speaker. Amanda counted: “One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six!, Seven! Eight! Nine! Knee!” and touched the button again, shutting off the heartbeat. Maybeth dropped to her knee again, giving a startled whinny. “Good Girl!” Amanda praised her. “Up!” She did it several more times, reducing the volume of the heartbeat each time. The fifth time, she didn’t count, but her pony dropped to her knee anyway at the end of ten heartbeats. Finally, she left the speaker off altogether; Maybeth dropped to her knee without a visible cue.

“That’s a real good girl,” Amanda told her seriously. “Girl mode.” She pressed the switch that released the cuffs and watched to see what would happen as the ponygirl brought her arms forward. Her body shifted posture slightly. Good. Then she brought her hands up and tried to take the gag out, fumbling at the unfamiliar fastenings. She stood up and took the entire bridle off, and turned it over, examining the bit.

“You changed things,” she said, mock accusingly, and then giggled.

“Of course. What do you remember of the last session?”

“You must have fed me.”

“Do you remember that, or are you just deducing it?”

“Uh. I don’t remember that. I think I remember walking around, and something about a heartbeat? And going up and down and whinnying?”

“That’s right. You were mostly working on responding to the reins, but you also learned to whinny, and the ten second rule.”

“The ten second rule?”

“If you’re left standing anywhere without specific orders, you’re to drop to your knee after ten seconds. We actually do ten heartbeats, so that’s the heartbeat you remember hearing.”

“Oh.” She paused for a while. “What am I supposed to be doing?”

“Asking questions, Maybeth.”

“Asking questions?”

Amanda laughed at her puzzlement. “The overall training objective is for you to be able to shift back and forth between your normal processing and ponyspace on command. The only reason for you to be in girl mode at this point in your training is to verify that procedure. There are a number of things you should know, and some things you might like to know, but we’re not going to work on girl mode seriously until your tail is grown. So after we’re confident you can slide in and out when we tell you to, the next time you’re in girl mode will be a couple of months from now. In other words, ask away.”

“Ponyspace? Is that what you call it?”

“Yes. There’s a couple of things you really need to know about it. There’s nothing that says you absolutely have to be in ponyspace when you’re in ponygirl mode, but it works much better when you are. You’re less likely to make silly mistakes by letting your head get in the way, and it’s impossible to be bored. Some girls slide in and out when there’s something going on that they want to watch, and some stay in ponyspace full time. You’ll learn what works for you, but I’m absolutely serious about it being better to be in ponyspace while you’re doing things.”

“Um…” Maybeth said. “Why are you calling me Maybeth? My name is...”

Amanda flipped up the prod and set it to buzzing. The pony shut her mouth with a snap.

“I don’t care what your name used to be. You no longer have a name. After you’re sold and delivered to your new owner, he’ll name you. ‘Maybeth’ isn’t a name; it’s a pronounceable form of your IPC registration number.”

“It’s a what?”

“A pronounceable form of your International Ponygirl Consortium number. The way it works is that each of the ten digits has a consonant. The consonants for the last three digits of your registration number are M, B and TH. Season with vowels to taste.”

She giggled. “You people. Now, what should I be concerned with? If you’re going to answer questions, tell me about this place?”

“I presume you mean your home for the next six months. The larger place is restricted information.”

“So, what’s in the drawers?”

“Supplies on the left, your girl mode stuff on the right. Look all you want, but don’t even think of putting anything on until I tell you to.”

She giggled and opened a tall door and took several garments out at random. “Black leather skirts and white blouses. The style could be more daring, but still. Now what’s this?” She held another piece of leather on a skirt hanger, but this time it was a garish combination of colored blocks.

“Stable colors,” Amanda said. “Aren’t they awful?”

“Awful doesn’t do it justice. I take it this is to clean the stable?”

“Unfortunately not. It’s to wear if you take a day off and hang around this place.”

“It must be a subtle piece of psychology to convince me I don’t want to do that,” Maybeth said.

Amanda giggled. “The girl mode dress code is up to the ’girl’s owner, except at meets. If you hang around here, you use the meeting code. Your skirt has your stable colors, and your blouse has your owner’s colors and your device, if any. The brown belt says you’re a ponygirl. Ponygirls live in stables. Those are racing colors that identify your stable to the racing fans. Specifically, they’re for this training facility.”

“They couldn’t possibly have picked a worse combination.”

“Wanna bet?”

“I don’t think I want to know. What could be worse?”

“Fran Donaldson’s. Her colors are three shades of red blocks. By itself it isn’t that bad, but it’s a well known optical illusion. The blocks keep changing back and forth. Golden Spitfire’s design is a fire breathing dragon. That dragon on those blocks is so bad they let her wear it on a plain white blouse.”

“I’ll bet. What’s a design?”

“It’s a pattern that the stewards award a ponygirl that’s won at least one race at a National. It’s got one interesting benefit for the ’girl, too. If you’ve got a device, you can go girl mode for as much of the meet as you can fit around your schedule. If not,” Amanda shrugged, “you get to see the meet from your assigned cell or display stand.

“Look at the good side. The only reason you don’t have an even worse looking blouse is that you don’t have an owner – yet.”

“I think,” she said, shutting the door firmly, “that I’ll skip the rest of the drawers until I need them. Now, what’s this piece of machinery?”

“That’s the trotting booth. It’s an automated exercise machine for ponygirls that can simulate just about anything involving running you’ll ever be called on to do. It’s got shafts for carts and sulkies, handles to pull your reins, speakers to give you orders, a whip and a very complete set of sensors, indicators and timers. You’ll start on this later today, as soon as they deliver some sandals. It’s real easy to develop an attitude toward it – I’ve seen workout programs for championship racers that would have me melted down in a puddle of steaming protoplasm within ten minutes.”

“I have a feeling that the last thing I want to do is develop a bad attitude toward it,” Maybeth said. “Now, what’s this?”

“That’s the control unit for the trotting booth, and for the rest of the monitors in the cell, for that matter. You don’t need to know how to operate it unless you decide to become a trainer after your indenture expires.

“Next to it is the Chair. As in: ‘Oh, God. Not the Chair’. It’s the major punishment, and you can be thankful that this is an experimental program that doesn’t involve it, or right now you’d be strapped into that thing looking forward to 80 hours of sensory deprivation, sleep deprivation and muscle cramps, as an introduction to the notion that instant obedience isn’t the only policy, disobedience isn’t even in the dictionary.

“Moving right along…”

“Reminds me that I need to take a leak.” Maybeth straightened her spine and walked into the grooming room as if she was headed to her execution. She hit the open toilet button and squatted over the keyhole in the floor. “See. Perfect aplomb.”

“Let’s see,” Amanda muttered, miming a clipboard. “Lying. Needs to improve.”

The ponygirl giggled at the byplay and relaxed enough to let go. A couple of minutes later, she pressed the close button and started looking around. She opened and closed cabinets and then turned in puzzlement. “I see the shower head and a bunch of cabinets, but it seems incomplete.”

“You haven’t pressed enough buttons.” Amanda pressed the ‘raise shackles’ button, and four posts rose out of the floor, each with an open shackle on the inside. “Hands and feet by the shackles.” It wasn’t a suggestion. The ponygirl dropped to her hands and feet and adjusted her stance. Amanda pressed the ‘close shackles’ button, and they snapped around the ’girl’s wrists and ankles, locking her into place. The next button brought the four platforms up until the ’girl’s spine was level with Amanda’s waist.

“This is how you’re groomed. You’ll probably be groomed several times a day; once in the morning and also after strenuous workouts. The morning routine includes a few other things, so it’s time to introduce you to some other equipment. The first thing,” she continued, “is that we clean you out.” She unclipped the enema nozzle from the wall and pressed the button, discharging the air that had accumulated in the tube. Then she slid the nozzle into Maybeth’s ass, eliciting a grunt. She tied the lanyard around the girl’s waist, preventing it from sliding out, and then pressed a button on the wall. Maybeth grunted again as she felt the warm water flood her intestine.

“I know this is an acquired taste,” she said as she watched the ’girl’s trim waist distend with the two quarts of the fluid. “We do this every morning. You’ll hold it for two minutes, and then let it all out when I pull the plug.” Two minutes later, Amanda unclipped the lanyard and removed the nozzle. She was rewarded as a stream of brown water jetted out and fell neatly into the open floor toilet.

“The next part of this,” she said as she took an object from one of the cabinets and stripped off the plastic wrapper, “you’ll probably like even less. It’s standard equipment, so you’ll adapt.” She walked around behind the ponygirl and squeezed some lube onto her finger from a tube. “This is a butt plug, and it goes in here,” she said as she applied the lube to Maybeth’s asshole, and then slid the butt plug into it. She took an Allen wrench and twisted the fastening, causing the inside flange to expand. When she was done, the plug was solidly seated, and could not be shoved out.

“This is a permanent fixture. It goes in during the morning routine, and stays in until you’re put down for the night. Unless, of course, someone wants to use you for anal sex. There’s one other thing it does besides prevent regrettable accidents.” She pressed a switch on her prod. The girl gasped, eyes wide.

“Didn’t like that, did you?” Amanda asked rhetorically. “That’s the other little livestock control we’ve got. We use it when you’re harnessed to a cart or sulky when we can’t reach you with a prod. Some of the owners use an older version that’s got an antenna that fits between your ass cheeks.

“Here’s how grooming works,” she said as she unbuckled her captive’s waistband, and put on a plastic cape. “First, we wet the ponygirl down, and then lather her up.” She spent a few minutes covering the ponygirl in a thick layer of soap suds, paying particular attention to feeling her up. Then she took the shower head and rinsed her off, again making certain that her breasts and sex got a good going over with the spray.

“Feeling sexy?,” she asked the obviously aroused ’girl. She adjusted the height so that the ’girl’s head was level with her crotch, walked out and came back with a black object which she put on top of a cabinet. Then she took off her skirt. “Warm me up, girl.”

Maybeth looked at the girl parts just brushing her nose and flicked out her tongue to begin teasing them. In a few minutes, she had worked her way into the folds, probing the beginning of the long tunnel.

“Good,” Amanda panted as she withdrew. “Now for the next act…” She took the object off the cabinet and plunged one end of the double ended dildo into her waiting pussy, drew the straps tight and walked to the other end of her subject. A moment later, she’d plunged the front end of the dildo into its eagerly waiting destination. Maybeth whinnied as the sensation of being penetrated swept through her. As Amanda plunged in and out, the circuitry inside the double ended strap-on came alive and began adding its own vibrations to the movement, attempting to time both girls’ arousal. Three minutes later, they both came nosily.

“Whooee!” Amanda said as she leaned against the wall, waiting for the universe to settle down. “Either you’re one hot babe, or they rigged this little ole sex toy.” She took a deep breath and looked at her charge. “I think I need to wash you down again.

“The last item,” she said after she’d finished drying the pinioned ponygirl, “is this.” She took another object out of the cabinet and tossed the wrapper into the waste bin. “It’s a dildo, and it’s a permanent fixture during the day. The red ball on the end tends to focus attention on the really important part of your anatomy. At least,” she grinned as she covered it with a bit of lube and slid it into the ponygirl, “the guys think so”. Then she tightened it with her Allen wrench, causing the flange to spread out and seat firmly.

A few minutes later, she’d finished brushing out the ponygirl’s hair. She let her out of the bondage. “Did that answer your question?”

“All except for one little detail,” Maybeth said, a gleam in her eye.


“Are you going to put your skirt back on?”


“This thing is where I sleep, right?” she asked about a soft pad on the floor. “It looks a bit short, though.”

“It’s short because you sleep in fairly stringent bondage,” Amanda told her. “We use the single glove and single boot to put you into a hogtie. Then it gets anchored to those ringbolts.” She pointed to two sheets of leather and straps hanging on the wall.

“That seems kind of excessive,” the ponygirl said.

“It does at that.” Amanda shrugged. “I know why we used to do it, but I don’t know why we still do it this way. Possibly it’s because many of the owners don’t have as sophisticated a security system as we do. You’ll get used to it.”

“Humph. Now what’s this thing?” she asked. The thing was a metal frame about three feet long, three feet high and two wide with a variety of rings and buckles.

“It’s the bucking rack,” Amanda grinned. “It’s to tie the pony down for sex. It’s called that because ponygirls can really let loose when they have orgasms, and if she’s sucking a cock at the same time as she’s being fucked, it can get messy if she’s not tied down securely.”

“What keeps her from biting?”

“A ring gag. That’s one of the reasons for the ball gag; we keep increasing the size until your mouth can take a 2.6 inch ring. I didn’t use one in there because there isn’t much point when you’re licking and sucking. It’s simply for safety; our girls don’t bite, but they might lose control during an orgasm.”

Maybeth giggled. “Tell me another one.”

“You mean marketing might not be telling the whole truth?” Amanda said in a voice of obviously fake incredulity.

“What’s next?”

“You go back into pony mode,” Amanda said.

Maybeth looked at her, and then picked up the bridle and bit. “I use the bit or a ball gag?” she asked.

“A ball gag. They’re over here.” She showed the ’girl the drawer. Maybeth removed the bit and put the bridle on, then she crammed the ball in her mouth and fastened it. She brought her arms back as her posture and expression changed. The two cuffs linked together with a soft but definite click.

“Onto the stand,” Amanda commanded. The pony walked to the stand and turned with its back to the pole. A moment later, Amanda had her secured. This time, she added the attachment that secured the pony’s butt plug to the pole, and adjusted it until she had the ’girl’s hips tilted out the way she wanted. She mounted the funnel and poured in eight ounces of mash.


“How much have you done?” Raindance asked.

“I think I’ve got everything except the foot taping and the trotting booth we mapped out for the first day,” Amanda told her. “Becky has sandals on order for the trotting booth, and I’m going to see if I can do the foot tapping next. She came in and out by herself the last couple of times, and I’ve got both the ten second rule and the whinnying installed. I’m actually pretty much out of things she should know for girl mode, though.”

“They were all having trouble with the whinnying and the ten second rule. How did you manage it?”

“By accident,” Amanda said. “I knew they were having trouble, and intended to do them in girl mode and hope they transferred. Then I mentioned that I thought she was cute, and I’d like her even better when she could whinny at me, and darned if she didn’t whinny! So I worked her a bit on improving the whinny, and then it occurred to me to put some comments in my psych class together with some comments Dreammaker made while she was working Connie, and I tried anchoring by touching her shoulder. Is that the right word? Anyway, it worked so I just ran with it and anchored it into when she understood something I said. Then I thought some about the ten second rule, so I put her heartbeat on speakers, with the controls on my prod.”

“Now that’s innovative!” Raindance said. “What else did you do?”

“I just left her standing, turned on the heartbeat sound and counted from one to ten, saying ‘knee’ instead of ten. She went right down. So I just kept interspersing it with the rein work, reducing the volume on the heartbeat and sometimes not counting, and giving her a ‘good girl’ whenever she did it right. It took a while because I was doing the initial rein work at the same time, but the last few times she went down on the tenth heartbeat without either the speakers or the count.”

Raindance shook her head. “Sometimes you can be too subtle! Alice trained all of us, and she likes to be mysterious about how she gets her results. She’s had so much practice that she just sets up non-verbal communication channels outside of everyone’s awareness without thinking. She did one a couple of years ago where she just opened someone up like she’d used a can opener. It was in front of the entire board, and the only people that caught that she’d actually done something were Katie, Pretty Lemon and me. Everyone else thought that the woman in question just broke down and confessed before Alice started in on her.”

“I know what you mean. She came out to deal with Connie, and I have no idea what she did. Whatever it was, it was effective; Connie started improving right away.”

“So the fact that you were rather blatant about it is all to the good. We don’t have to teach anything subtle. That shoulder anchor works, why do more? It’s not like we’re trying to turn ordinary trainers into senior trainers overnight. What’s your plan for the foot tapping?”

“It seems like I need to do two setups. I need to get her to tap two and three times, and set a different anchor for each of them.” Raindance nodded.

“I also need to calibrate – is that the right word – for agreement and disagreement. I think I should do that first.”

“That’s the right word, and you should do it first. There’s no point in doing the foot tapping setup if you can’t tell if she’s agreeing or disagreeing. Once you’ve got both of them, you fire the correct anchor for each one.”

“Exactly. I think the hard part will be the patter, but I’ve always been able to babble on about nothing in particular.”

“It’s a useful trick. It’s even more useful if you can structure your babbling. That’s part of the senior trainer course, but since you’re an outsider I can point you to resources you can study on your own. In fact, Owners Daughter, if you’re interested I can point you at a lot of resources that you can use to bring your father’s stable up to snuff. You’ll need to study with the lobo-ra to get the final polish, but doing the right thing competently gets you a lot.”

Amanda giggled. “You do have a way of putting it, don’t you? I’ll think I’ll take you up on that.”

“So let’s go look at her. You install the foot tapping, and then I’ll check the work. See how much of what I do you can spot. I’ll go slow and do it the obvious way instead of being fancy. Then think about the trotting booth. The sandals have arrived, but I don’t think Becky expected us to get there the first day, and that’s going to have some of the same problems doing the initial setup.”

“Let’s go get the sandals then. I’d prefer her to be wearing something when she’s doing foot tapping.”


Amanda frowned at the trotting booth controls in thought, and then entered a routine from her notes. She started when Becky asked: “What’s wrong with the initial sequence?” from behind her; she had been so deep in thought that she hadn’t heard her team leader enter the cell.

“I want to replace the seat with either kneeling or sitting,” she replied. “I don’t see a good reason for that particular piece of equipment. We don’t use it past the first couple of weeks anyway, besides which ponygirls don’t sit on chairs. They either kneel or sit on their heels, so it’s training in something that won’t be useful.”

“Using the seat is the procedure.”

“Well, yes, but there have been a lot of changes. That part of the procedure goes back to before the automated trotting booths! It definitely goes back before they had good physiological monitors, and before the metabolism and stamina enhancements.”

“Interesting point. You think it’s time for a change?”

“Maybe. This is a pilot project after all, and Larry always emphasized that changes in one element always cascade into changes elsewhere.”

“Ain’t that the truth! Let’s look at the program you put in.” Becky’s fingers flicked over the control panel as screens flashed by. “I see. You stuck to the minimum you needed to change. That’s going to help. What’s the rest of this, though?”

“Bits and pieces that I might need for the initial training sequence. I think I’ve got everything, but you know what they say about plans.”

“Yeah. That’s the way it didn’t happen.”

Raindance and Edie walked in, looking like mother and daughter, at least if the daughter had a real unusual father.

“Looks like you’re ready,” Raindance said. “Take her into the booth.”


Half an hour later, they stood back as Maybeth walked in the booth. They’d fastened the belt to shafts on the sides of the booth so that she couldn’t move either forward or backward, and attached her reins to two levers on the back which kept exactly the right amount of slack. They’d also put a posture collar around her neck so that she kept it tilted back.

The ponygirl brought each leg up in a show step, ending with the thigh precisely horizontal and the calf vertical. The floor of the booth moved under her, keeping time to the pace. The front of the booth had two indicators, one for each leg. The green indicator rose and fell, showing what she was supposed to do. If she deviated, a red indicator showed what she actually did. If she didn’t correct the deviation fast enough, she got a nip from a prod that lay lightly against her ass cheeks.

Every once in a while, a red light flashed, and she whinnied in response.

“Awesome,” Becky said. “I think we’re going to have to go over those tapes in detail.”

“I agree,” Joe said. “I saw what she did, and at least she went slowly enough that I caught most of it. I think.”


Section End.


Amanda is doing quite well on her first real training assignment. Sometimes an outside view helps a bit. In any case, fun’s over and it’s time to return to school for the next term.  Trot on to the next exciting episode of Engineer to find out what’s happening.




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