‘Pony-play’ fetish featured on ‘My Strange Addiction’

TLC, the network that brought us such quality television programming as Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, shined the spotlight on equestrian roleplay in last night’s season 5 premier.

(Warning: This post may not be appropriate for HN’s younger readers.)

My Strange Addiction chronicles the lives of people who are struggling with, well, strange addictions: eating/drinking weird stuff…


…participating in unhealthy relationships…


…or engaging in unusual behaviors.


I know–it’s actually really sad. The individuals featured on the show are clearly grappling with some serious psychological issues, and the last thing they need is a nationally-broadcast intervention. But what else would we expect from TLC?


Honey Boo Boo: This child is NOT going to be OK when she grows up.

The season 5 premier features a woman name Nicole, who has been dressing up like a horse nearly every day for the past 20 years. Which, in comparison to many of the addictions profiled (drinking nail polish, eating couch cushions, taking baths in bleach), actually seems pretty harmless. Nicole explains, “Pony Play is a form of costumed role play. You become an animal, mentally, and act accordingly.” Check out a video clip of Nicole explaining the fetish here.

Wikipedia elaborates:

Ponies (people involved in pony-play) generally divide themselves to three groups although some will participate in two or perhaps all three:

  • Cart ponies: ponies who pull a sulky with their owner.
  • Riding ponies: ponies who are ridden, either on all fours or on two legs, with the “rider” on the shoulders of the “pony” (also known as Shoulder riding). Note that a human back is generally not strong enough to take the weight of another adult without risk of injury, so four-legged “riding” is generally symbolic, with the “rider” taking most of their weight on their own legs.
  • Show ponies: ponies who show off their dressage skills and often wear elaborate harnesses, plumes and so on.

Nicole relaxes while her handler grooms her. Photo: DCL via TLC.com


Nicole waits in a stall for her handler to take her out for a walk. Photo: DCL via TLC.com


Nicole asks a San Diego area tack store owner to help her find a new bit for her costume. Photo: DCL via TLC.com

It’s actually not the first time pony-play has been featured on television. Here’s a clip from the National Geographic channel show Taboo from last summer:

[National Geographic]

Oh dear. Well, check out the full TLC episode if you want–or not.

A big thank-you to Tally for the link.

Go Riding!


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