A Day in the Life of a Pony Named Pony: Forced Labor

If it’s not the costume class, it’s forced labor. The humiliation never ceases.

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like in the mind of a pony, wonder no more. Here are the hilarious inner workings of a sassy and opinionated pony named Pony.

Illustration by Jenny Kammerer. You can find her on Instagram at @jennykammart.

Dear Diary,

Last week I shared my worst nightmare: the costume class at local horse shows. I thought I was in the clear this year. I haven’t been coming in, I’ve been especially sassy with the interloper — heck! — I even bucked off one of the small humans in an attempt to make my opinions known. I’ve done everything in my power to make it clear that I will not cooperate where this humiliation is concerned.

Be that as it may, I was foiled again — and this time it was worse than usual. To be fair, the costume class was the least of my problems this year. For some reason, the humans spared me the worst of it. There were other poor souls who had to bear being dressed like a flower, a reindeer or a lion (why the humans love this so, I will never know). I, however, got away with only having to take part in the class and not actually having to be painted, dressed, braided or otherwise mortified. I am under no illusion that this was an act of mercy. No, truth be told, I believe it was because Beta Human couldn’t get her act together to plan something more elaborate — no surprise there.

No, this time around the humiliation did not come in the form of of dress. Instead it came in the form of something I might like even less — being asked to do something that isn’t my idea.

It all started when I allowed myself to be captured due to my weakness for treats that have more flavor than my daily rations. (Note to self: remember not to let temptation get in the way of grander plans.) Once I was in the barn, I was not released from my stall for an entire night. That’s right. An entire night. Perhaps Beta Human believed (and rightfully so) that I would not let myself be caught two days in a row. So my punishment for her assumption was further confinement. Don’t worry, though. I made my displeasure known by refusing to eat or drink for the duration of my confinement.

I then was persuaded to board the death box on wheels that transports me from the confinement center to a remote location that always involves forced labor. This was no different. Once at the remote location, I was tied to the box unless it was time to work. I was provided some rations, but nothing that meets my standards. Normally my forced labor involves toting around some small humans, being rewarded for minimal cooperation and standing at the box waiting for the misery to end. In the past, the small humans were so incompetent that I would be led on a lead at a walk and that was all that was asked of me. I didn’t like it, but it was easy enough. Things certainly are changing. One small human now thinks she is quite accomplished because she can walk and trot on her own. While this still is far below my skillset, it does add to my irritation as it increases what is expected of me.

Photo by Tess Lohr.

I’m actually being asked to trot. In mud. What is my life? Photo by Allison Ratay.

Third, and to make matters even worse, my labor did not stop with the small humans. No. It continued as another human (presumably grown?) was allowed to ask things of me. I had to cross bridges, go through water boxes, go over teeter totters, walk through noodle gates, weave through tires and all other manner of things. I would not degrade myself by showing fear like some of the other equines present, but that does not make my disdain for the humiliation to which I was subjected any less. You can even see the glee at what I was being asked to do.

Photo by Allison Ratay

I don’t understand how other horses stand this and even enjoy it. What is wrong with them? To add insult to injury, at the end of the day, the humans collect ribbons in recognition of my hard work. As if they are the ones negotiating the footing and walking around giant blow-ups of Santa Clause and Frosty the Snow Man. How can they live with themselves?

I can tell you this, Diary: I certainly won’t be allowing myself to be captured again any time soon.