At the end of last year, TLC shared this video from My Strange Addiction. In it, we meet Nicole, a woman whose passion is pony play. There’s a lot to unpack here, but at the end of the day, you do you, man…
So, I’ll be the first to admit that I am a highly judgmental person. I absolutely will judge people for the farriers they choose (or don’t choose), the veterinary care they ignore, ill-fitting tack, and the way they treat others. I don’t bat an eye at it and, in fact, I sort of revel in it (I know, I know… I’m not nice). That said, I try not to judge people for things they can’t help or their activities, hobbies, proclivities, lifestyles, etc. My approach tends to be if it doesn’t hurt anyone and you’re respecting other people, party on. You do you.
All of that ⬆️⬆️ is my precursor to any thing that comes off as overly judgmental regarding the video I’m about to share.
So, back in December, TLC’s show My Strange Addiction introduced us to Nicole, a woman who takes “pony play” to a whole new level. As the Facebook post states, “Far from being a casual hobbyist, Nicole immerses herself completely in her alternate persona as she fully embraces the characteristics and behaviors of a horse.”
According to the video, pony play is “a form of costume role play; you become an animal mentally and act accordingly.” Nicole goes by Drafter when she’s engaging in pony play. Drafter is a hardworking horse who enjoys praise and treats (although, I have to be honest — I have a pony. My pony does a lot more kicking and ear-pinning than Drafter. Is that just me?). Drafter even pulls a cart — it’s one of her favorite things.
So… cool. I’ll go back to my mantra of you do you. But I’ll fully admit to being a bit lost when I saw Nicole holding a shank bit in her mouth:
Because… what about her teeth? Like, I would chip mine. A lot. Also, if I were a pony, I think I would go for more of a happy mouth snaffle. But, again, maybe I am just thinking about my teeth (because WHAT ABOUT MY TEETH?!).
There are number of fabulous little easter eggs in this video. Not the least of which is the tack store saleslady’s face when Nicole asks for a “long shank mullen mouth style western bit” that will fit her own mouth:
The confusion and judgement written across this woman’s face is palpable. She shoots a number of uncomfortable looks at the camera that rival Jim Halpert.
Truly, though. I have to give Nicole props. Despite the footage of her mother calling her weird for what she enjoys and the response of the woman in the tack store, Nicole is confident in what she likes. When she asks for the bit for herself, she does so with gusto and doesn’t bat an eye when the sales woman stares at her for what seems like… a while. As Nicole says, “What other people think — that doesn’t bother me. You know, this is who I am. Accept me or don’t, but I’m not changing for anyone.”
According to the video, Nicole has decided to become more open about her addiction to pony play by telling her family members. We fully support this coming out… even if it is rather staged for the sake of the show (it feels a little bit like the beginning of Hope Floats when Sandra Bullock thinks she’s getting a makeover but instead she finds out her husband and her best friend are having an affair… or is that just my projection?).
Not to be missed here is Nicole’s aunt’s reaction: “When Nicole first came around the corner, I thought ‘Holy cow!… Holy horse.'” Well done, Aunt Val. 🤣 Despite her surprise, Val is a good sport. It takes her a minute, but she says to Nicole, “I know you beat to your own drum. Do what you do,” and then gives her a hug. Kudos.
TLC and Nicole do address the question we’re all asking. Nicole tells the therapist her mother convinces her to see, “I think a lot of your every day people, they assume it must be a kink, it must be a fetish. In my case, that’s not at all correct or relevant to what I do.” I’m not here to kink-shame, but I appreciate the nod to that since, again, the show producers know we were all wondering …
At the end of the day, Nicole stands by her passion: “There’s no way I would ever give up pony play. Not a snowball’s chance.” Good on her!
You can see the full video below: