I owned my first pair of cowboy boots at the plum age of three. I'd squeezed milk from the teet of a dairy cow no later than my eighth year on this rock. I've chased many a goose, chicken, llama, rabbit and sheep in attempts to corral them into their pens (i have subsequently been chased by several hogs who had it in their mind that they were more intelligent than my young adolescent self).
Growing up, i spent great amounts of my developing years working on any one of my father's mountain ranches. I've stepped in manure, used it for ammunition in fights, and have come to develop a kindred reaction to it when i stumble upon its forceful scent - it reminds me of a time when i lived off the land with comfort and ease.
I've attended many rodeos, stockshows and state fairs where the center stage event was to examine the different heffers and bulls lined up, chewing cud. Always on display at these events were the amazing ropeworking skills the average rancher had to master. Over time, i learned how to hogtie a young steer in 15 seconds or less. I learned the proper technique to lasso a runaway, and secure the rope effectively to the horn of your saddle. Of course with a lack of practical use, most of this learning has migrated from the contact of my fingertips to the recesses of my mind. It's all still in my blood, but they are skills i don't necessarily use with regularity.
I've ridden hundreds of horses, through well groomed trails and over rocky terrain that lay above timberline. In my youth, i grew quite attached with some of them. Whether it was taking off or putting on their tack, brushing their coats, or just watching them eat something i'd shared with them from my own lunch. I recognized the connection i made with this animal, this beast that allowed me to situate myself on top of it, take its reins and guide it where i wanted to go. The level of trust required never ceased to put me in awe.
When i had my first adult encounter with pony girls and pony play, this rural part of my background came into direct conflict with it. For someone who has acquired several bit gags, a tawse, numerous whips, and one or two floggers, you'd think that the art of turning a girl into a pony would fit well into my 10-gallon Stetson. But when i see the plumy costumes employed and the intricate dressage these ponies have been trained with, i tilt my head in bewildered curiosity. I do not get any erotic stimulation from it. This is not to say that i don't still consume media depicting it. I find a great deal of it beautiful, stunning and odd - from the incredibly inventive hooven boots to the horse-tail buttplugs. But none of it gives me a surge of tingles and energy.
Growing up, i never hitched a cart to a horse, or any animal for that matter. They worked for me, but always in a way where i led them by either riding them or giving them commands to herd a confused flock. I never paraded them, nor even tried to train them for show. My dominance over them was more private and integral to the tasks we joined together to accomplish. They looked to me for guidance but also some boundaries, and once provided, they would exhibit the strength and technique of a well-handled animal. For my part, i'd sit back and enjoy the ride.