As time passed we wore these more and more often. And the reins of our bits were run down through loops on the sides of these collars, so that our heads could be pulled more effectively. It was difficult at first to make turns in these collars. We could not turn our heads even a little as we had been used to do. But soon we did it well, in the manner of real horses. On glaring hot days blinders were strapped on us that partially shaded our eyes, only allowing us to see a little of what lay directly before us. It was comforting in a way, yet it made us run at a more dogged and clumsy pace, because we were completely dependent upon the coachman’s commands for guidance.
We were fitted out with ornamental harnesses for festival and fair days. On the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation, all ponies wore leather dripping with fancy buckles, heavy bronze medallions, and jangling bells, and it weighted us down and gave us a new awareness of our bondage, as if we needed it.
But, in truth, our rigging was so much the same that the smallest change could be used as a punishment. If I showed the slightest sluggishness or sulkiness to Gareth, I was made to wear a longer, thicker bit that disfigured my mouth and made me miserable. An unusually large and heavy phallus was always used at least twice a week to remind us how fortunate we were to have smaller ones the rest of the time.
And skittish, uneasy ponies were often completely hooded in leather, their ears stuffed with cotton. With only their mouths and noses exposed for breathing, they trotted along in silence and darkness. And it did seem to calm them beautifully.
The times it was done to me as a punishment, however, I found it completely demoralizing. I cried from start to finish of the day, terrified at being unable to hear or see and whimpering every time a hand touched me. In blind isolation, I was more vividly aware of the picture I made than ever before, I think.
But, as time passed, I wasn’t too often punished, and it became more and more of a catastrophe of the heart when I was, Gareth sparing me nothing of his disappointment and temper. I was too deeply in love with Gareth, and I knew it. I loved his voice, his manner, his mere silent presence. It was for Gareth that I showed my best form, did my best trotting, bore stiff punishments with heartfelt contrition, obeyed with quickness and even joy.
Gareth often complimented me on my handling of Jerard. He would come into the yard to watch. He said the added whipping made Jerard more animated and frisky. And I enjoyed the praise.
But, no matter how strong this love for Gareth became, the special love for Jerard grew as well. I became more and more tender with Jerard after the paddlings, kissing him and suckling him and toying with him in ways that weren’t too common in the pony recreation yard. I feasted on his body for the whole hour. And, on those days when he wasn’t put out for me to play with, I had little trouble finding obedient substitutes. It was amazing the pain I could inflict with my bare hand. In fact, sometimes I wondered at my passion for whipping the others. I loved it as much as I loved to be whipped. And in my secret heart I dreamed of whipping Gareth.
I knew that if I whipped Gareth then the love I felt for him would boil over. It would be beyond my control or recall. That never came to pass.
But I had Gareth. Perhaps he had had a lover in the early months; I was never to know. But by the end of the first half of the year, he was slipping into my stall and lingering there, and behaving restlessly and strangely.
"What is troubling you, Gareth?" I asked finally, getting the courage to whisper to him in the dark. He might well have whipped me for speaking, but he didn’t. He had moved my hands to the back of my neck so that he could rest his head on his folded arms on my back. I rather liked it, him resting there, the feel of him against me. He was running a lazy hand through my hair. Now and then his knee would nudge my cock.
"Ponies are the only real slaves," he murmured dreamily. "I prefer them to the daintiest Princess. Ponies are magnificent. All men should be given the chance to serve as ponies for a year of their lives. The Queen should have a fine stable at the castle. The Lords and Ladies have asked for it often enough. They could go for little rides in the country with ponies in splendid rigging. There should be a fine academy for the ponies, and more races, don’t you think?"
I didn’t answer. I dreaded the races. I was a frequent winner, but it was as frightening a thing as any that I’d ever been made to do. It was performing for amusement again, instead of work. I liked hard discipline and work.
There was that knee again, against my cock.
"What do you want from me, beautiful boy?" I asked softly, using the phrase he often used for me.
"You know what I want, don’t you?" he whispered.
"No," I said. "If I did, I wouldn’t have asked."
"The others will make fun of me if I do it," he said. "I’m supposed to use the ponies when I choose, you know….
"Why don’t you suit yourself and not worry about the others?" I asked.
That was all the urging he required. He dropped down on his knees and took my c**k in his mouth, and soon I was roaring towards a finish in sheer bliss. "It’s Gareth, my beautiful Gareth," I kept thinking. Then there was no thought at all. He snuggled against me afterwards, telling me how fine I was, that he loved the taste of it, my juices. When he slipped his c**k into my backside, I came close to paradise again.
And though this happened often, his delicious mouth pleasuring me, he was just as stern a Master afterwards, and I was three times over his shuddering slave, crying at his slightest word of disapproval. Now, when he was angry, I thought not only of his handsome face and pleasant voice but of the mouth sucking hard on me in the dark. I cried frantically whenever he scolded me.
Once I stumbled while pulling a handsome equipage, and when he got wind of it he had me spread out on the stable wall, and he whipped me with a broad leather strap until he wore himself out. I was shuddering in misery, not daring to rub my c**k against the stones for fear I’d come. When he released me, I knelt at his feet kissing his coarse rawhide boots over and over again.
"Don’t be clumsy like that again, Laurent," lie said. "It discredits me when you are clumsy." I was crying with gratitude when he let me kiss his hands.
When spring came round again, I could scarcely believe nine months had passed. Tristan and I lay together in the recreation yard, confessing our fears to each other.
"Nicolas is going to the Queen," Tristan said. "He is asking to purchase me when the year is out. But the Queen is not pleased with his ardor. What will we do when these days come to an end?"
"I don’t know. Maybe we’ll be sold back to the stables," I said. "We’re good steeds."