© Copyright 2016 - Jackie Rabbit - Used by permission
Storycodes: FM+/f; naked; harness; bit; ranch; stable; ponygirl; training; crop; sawhorse; bond; straps; branding; objectifed; con/nc; X
story continues from part 12
Part 13: The Rest Of The Story At The Ranch
(As told by J.M. Smith)
As the owner of J.M. Smith ranch I must and do take full responsibility for the mess that was to develop, but in my defense several things had happened that were well beyond my control. After first examining the sketches from Grandview and reading Beth's rough draft though I knew this was a story that had to be told no matter what, I fully prepared to tell the tale in her place should it become necessary. One must bear in mind at the same time that Beth had volunteered not once, but three separate times to be harnessed and used as a pretty beast of burden, and one can only assume that she got something from the experience other than to simply gather information for our book.
Some may read my truthful accounting of what happened at my ranch and beyond and be drawn to the conclusion that I intended as much, that I intended to incapacitate my co-author so that I could claim what might be seen as rightfully hers for myself. My conscience is mostly clear on this subject, although I unintentionally broke a promise or two that I had made to Beth before I took possession of her, but I will leave it up to the reader to decide if those events were intended or accidental.
J. M. Smith I.P.R.L. Grand Champion Jockey.
...The courageous young author whom we had been calling Beth was to be fully integrated into the ranch's routine as soon as possible by my ranch hands once purchased from her former editor and delivered for training. She herself was an escaped convict from a little known ponygirl work farm, properly convicted and sentenced however for petty theft under an alias to get her editor's story, that story's rough draft revealing a massive criminal conspiracy.
She had been at least somewhat marginally trained to the harness during her short incarceration, but her slight stature and escapee status lead to some very favorable terms on the transaction for myself, I like any other businesswoman always on the lookout for a bargain. For her own good, and that of everybody else involved, it was imperative that she be assimilated into the ranch's routine immediately though, less we get caught in the possession of an escaped convict and all go to jail.
We could call her any thing we liked as Beth was only one of her aliases, but there was a mug shot associated with that name hanging in the post offices back in the big city, and it was this Beth and the secrets she held that drew the attention of the authorities at the time. No matter what, "Beth" would have to be made to disappear, and blond hair and a new name while being bulked up and trained out of the public eye was the best way I knew to do this.
She would only have had her human name until she was branded and properly renamed racing stock anyway. From that point forward until the end of her contract she was ostensibly nothing more to us that a commodity to be exploited for profit, and in my unique situation, revenge. This one was different though as she and I had several things in common, but I couldn't let her know that, and I wouldn't dare let my employees treat her that way either if this was to work as I had planned.
Some outside of the ponygirl racing community might find that position harsh, but such is pragmatic bearing in mind the unique service these beasts provide, and in my case I can at least sleep comfortably in my fine bed at night knowing that all of my mounts were acquired using the ethically accepted practices of the day. These girls knew what they were getting themselves into, (or the life they were being sold into if brokered), well before ever wearing my brand. It was also well known in the ponygirl racing community that to anthropomorphize the mounts needlessly complicated the good running order of life on any ponygirl ranch, and such was to be avoided at all costs.
My ponygirls at least lived in a nice barn and were treated better than most, (if they behaved and performed as expected), although doing so while wearing nothing but somewhat traditional tack modified for ponygirl racing. This was no accident as it kept clear the lines of separation between human and beast. Humans were in command and properly dressed, and ponygirls harnessed and trained as hard as one could without injury so they could turn a profit. It was a simple situation that one couldn't look too deeply into for ones own good at my, or any other ponygirl ranch...
My only mistake had been to stay with Jim the editor rather that hurry back to begin training up Little Fugitive personally, but the truth of the matter is I just didn't want to as we had a great deal in common with each other. I had given my men the illustrators name and contact information over the telephone intentionally so I didn't really 'need' to be there in the strictest definition of the word, I allowing for them to coordinate with him on any scheduled activities that might require his services.
Jim the editor at the same time had proven himself an accommodating host as well, and a better than average lover if handled properly, both far more desirable to spend time with rather than to break still another ponygirl, most especially one who reminded me of myself once. As a result I stayed on with Jim and we became a delightful distraction for each other, even after his lovely wife and her traveling companion had returned from Europe with horrible tales of the happenings there...
I had decided early on to delegate her initial training to Sam at the ranch, with Jake being his second, both good men, and my part time truck drivers when needed. Some may see this decision as less than courageous on my part, but one can't find fault with the results if viewed critically, most especially from the point of view of producing competitive racing stock that wouldn't embarrass our brand by finishing dead last. My men however took my instructions quite literally where our newest mount was concerned, (my fault and not theirs), and I for one was glad not to be there to watch.
It was well into September when I finally made it back to the ranch, Europe heating up noticeably, and I especially aware of this because I had spent my time with a man in the news business with a wife and traveling companion recently back from there. I found on my desk a dozen sketches of our newest ponygirl, I knowing they would lend continuity to our project no matter who eventually wrote it.
The pictures told the tale better almost than words could, and I marveled once again at the illustrator's skills. In the first, (which was likely one of the Illustrator's first sketches as no brand was yet in evidence on that particular tiny backside), Little Fugitive was harnessed and dragging the rake to condition the track for the more seasoned ponygirls with a look of defiance in her eyes, Jake standing on the contraption and riding along to add ballast to it while laying a wicked stripe across her back with his whip as she struggled with her burden. Both Jake and Sam were ordinarily rather reluctant to use such methods of persuasion, hence my decision to put them over her in my absence, my only logical conclusion that Little fugitive had been giving a less that peak effort.
Pulling the rake was ordinarily fully endorsed by myself as an excellent way to cause a well fed ponygirl to build muscle mass quickly, and here I made a mental note to praise Jake's efficient use of harness time, my newest little ponygirl perhaps getting a slightly fuller experience than I had intended, but that was water over the dam now. I had to remind myself that I was looking at evidence of what had already happened months ago, to voice the slightest reservations would fault the confidence of my men, and I had no intention of doing that.
Well used harness time in combination with well fed stock equaled muscular and fast ponygirls, which lead to winning races. It was the most simplest of calculations in this business, the proper jockey for a particular mount almost the only true variable once a mount is properly conditioned. My first natural reaction after seeing that stripe across Little Fugitive's back was that this particular mount might require a somewhat more ruthless jockey if she were to run up front with the big girls, as well as she being petite herself. Wouldn't that be ironic? I thought to myself with an inward laugh.
There were a few more sketches with my newest little reluctant ponygirl obviously misbehaving, her defiance evident in her eyes, the results of her defiance evident on her back. Had she developed second thoughts once the full weight of being sold off as racing stock had sunk in to that pretty little head of hers? It wouldn't be the first time, nor likely the last either, hence the need for a signed standard threes contract and through breaking.
Jim the editor had told me about her past, most specifically her habits of not finishing what she had started and then looking for the easy way out whenever possible, but I had seen those same traits myself in the little time we had been together. She would learn discipline in my possession one way or the other, and direction, both nothing but good for the young author's post racing career.
I at the same time felt just terrible for putting my guys through the stress of such an apparently uncooperative ponygirl, most especially since I well knew what I was likely doing at the exact same time with Jim. I made my mind up there and then to give each a raise, I could afford as much with the agreement I now had with Jim for Little Fugitive's care, at a bare minimum for the next three years anyway if she could be coerced to finish anything but dead last. I already had a jockey in mind to prevent that, petite and unskilled though, but already in possession of many of the traits she would need.
Sometimes a defiant ponygirl can be made to become more than the sum total of her parts and stats, it was the only exception to the standard training calculation, but not the least bit expected from Little Fugitive with what I knew about her pedigree. In her unique case though, it came down more to choices than abilities, but for the next three years those choices would be mine to make for her. In the raw calculation of ponygirl racing the choices dropped off of each side of that particular equation, leaving nothing but abilities once properly trained, and of course a jockey that could exploit those abilities at the most opportune time.
The next sketch in the pile was branding time, and here I had told my men over the telephone to have her traditionally branded as my property rather that using the relatively new process of tattooing my trademark brand on her butt instead. I did this not to be cruel, but to ensure she didn't get stolen in the dead of night and inked over by my nemesis, or her agents. Our resident vet had been on site for the branding as always, as was the illustrator obviously, the former applying a local anesthetic and sterilizing the area first as I don't like to cause my beasts to suffer unnecessarily, if I can help it.
That sketch specifically told a huge story for those in the ponygirl business, Little Fugitive apparently lead to the branding/breeding mount, (a kind of bench type of apparatus), and firmly fixed to it with the attached wide leather straps. There were twelve points of restraint to keep the ponygirl from moving about and ruining her tattoo, or to keep her just as still when the hot brand left it's ornate scar.
...The breeding mount had other much more pleasant purposes as well, the straps there to keep a ponygirl from kicking out with her powerful legs and injuring one of my employees accidentally while working off a little mutual stress with the ponygirl in his or her care. It most looked like an over sized padded sawhorse, firmly anchored to the concrete pad it sat on and in it's own stall. The ponygirl's arms were strapped fast to the forty five degree front legs timbers at four points of contact, her powerful legs with six along the rear timbers with knees locked and toes reaching for the floor. Her torso above her hips and below her breasts were then cinched tight to the padded and narrow top, her hips left hanging off the back edge for obvious reasons...
That sketch had that awful telltale plume of smoke rising up where the hot branding iron met bare flesh, Little Fugitive's muscles clenched and pulling at her straps with all her might, her head rearing up and looking back in indignation. It was a magnificent work of art, and I intended to call the illustrator personally and congratulate him on his work, and to commission a larger version of that sketch suitable for framing to be hung in my office.
It would of course have a double meaning for one with my experiences, first of all reminding all who visit my office of the seriousness of what we do here, and myself personally of how far I had come since I had been in harness myself. How many times would I rub at my own branded scar (it like a touchstone to my past) when alone and looking at that sketch? Many, many times I would wager.
...Indignant or not, Little Fugitive was mine to do with what I pleased by contractual obligation, she my possession just like any other ponygirl at my ranch, the brand itself more for her benefit than mine should she be stolen. It was possible to rebrand stolen racing stock, but such occurrences were rare, even these days, and the results horrifically obvious to the I.P.R.L. officials.
I had expected Little Fugitive's breaking would go differently (I thought while looking through the sketches), but I had seen such things before, the permanence of the brand signifying an end to a ponygirls defiance, but never this dramatically. It looked as if someone had thrown a switch in Little Fugitive's pretty little head, one moment full defiance, the next full submission. I had a foreboding chill in my stomach while looking at the other sketches and her empty eyes, knowing the illustrator had likely captured such faithfully. There were several theories after all about a ponygirl's intelligence and her ability to perform in harness, and such may be the subject of a future work with my experiences here.
Some of the really bright ones play at being a ponygirl for a time, going through the motions if her trainers had missed the signs early on, and this is what I half expected from Little Fugitive knowing her as I did. It can be a provocatively entertaining game for a ponygirl with a naturally submissive streak, even for one sold into it to avoid some greater fate, but her breaking will still creep in slowly as she looses her will to resist. In the end she will run just as hard to escape the whip, that remaining spark of humanity troubling for the more sensitive among us until it abates though.
I don't like the former, it unnecessarily hard on the trainer, and even on the ponygirl, the tradition for a fast and through breaking long set. This one was different though, and I expected her to play along at being a ponygirl for months at the very least. The men would likely have their fun with her in the interim, but men are men, and some of the ponygirls quite desirable, most especially when strapped down and struggling. Such can also be a good time for the two to bond, even with a female trainer, and there are several well known ways to accomplish this.
In every sketch after Little Fugitive's branding it was clear that the light had gone out in her eyes, she wasn't playing at being a ponygirl, but was one almost instantly. That wasn't entirely accurate either I realized. She had been in harness for some time before my guys got their hands on her, their training quite standard for any other mount, this one responding differently though. It was a mystery, but I knew who might know the answer to it, but that would mean eventually forming an alliance with an enemy. I knew there was nothing I could do about it from here on in though, other that to run the snot out of her and see what she could really do once properly bulked up, and of course to recruit and start training her new jockey...
(There are to be three parts to this conclusion, The Rest Of The Story At The Ranch, Little Fugitive's Racing Career, and Little Fugitive's Post Racing Career. Beth not able to tell the tale any longer, until possibly the end.)
now continued in Little Fugitive's Racing Career
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