By Chuck Strouse
By Scott Fishman
By Terrence McCoy
By Ryan Yousefi
By Ciara LaVelle, Kat Bein, Carolina Del Busto, and Liz Tracy
By Pepe Billete
By Ryan Yousefi
By Kyle Swenson
Foxy slips the hoofed gloves over their hands and then backs Vinefox and Firefox between the handles of the cart. It looks like a large two-wheeled barrow with a bench instead of a basin and has a metal representation of a Confederate flag welded to the back.
As Firefox slips the cart handles into her hoofed gloves, Foxy clips her reins to the O-rings at either side of Vinefox's bit. Then he pulls Vinefox's reins over her head and back toward his lavender seat cushion. Firefox whinnies, stomps, and shakes her head. Foxy gives the reins a tug, and they are off.
As the women pull Foxy up and down the barn, their boots make the same clip-clop that bio horses' hooves do. "I require my ponies in a cart to have a high step," says Foxy, pointing out how the thighs are raised parallel to the ground. Soon he's turning them 180 degrees, directing them out of the shaded barn and beneath the sweltering sun.
"Ponies have to be in shape," he says, and shakes the reins. Actually, getting in shape is a reason Sherifox cites for her interest in ponyplay. She longs to stay fit and young-spirited -- two qualities she associates with pretending to be a horse.
Everybody's got a reason. Belle, the corrections officer, likes to play the submissive once in a while. It gives her sexual satisfaction to be ordered around and treated like an animal. Fayth, the model, is strictly a show pony, and for her, it is not sexual; she simply loves the attention. Some ponies see horsy rides as a nonsexual, fun way of reclaiming a joy of childhood. Almost all ponies talk about wanting to escape the anxieties and pressures of being human.
It's different for the trainers, though. Foxy, who "doesn't have a submissive bone in his body," likes being in control and getting an up-close view of female flesh in pony gear.
He's got a front-row seat behind Firefox and Vinefox in their matching thongs as they trot out into the field, raising their knees high. The horses in the barn watch with curiosity as the cart gets smaller and smaller.
When it returns, Sherifox is panting, and both ponies are dripping with sweat. Foxy helps them remove the tack, and Sherifox disappears behind the barn to throw up. She hasn't been feeling well all morning.
When she returns, she seems embarrassed. "It's just not my day," she says. "Normally I can high-step. Jump jumps. Parade, trot, gallop."
Sherifox needs cheering up. Cue the Madonna video.
Foxy bought a pirated copy of the Confessions Tour DVD off eBay last year, and as he fumbles with it, there's time to study the d'cor of his home -- a museum of animals skulls, vestiges of the Old West, and relics of the Nez Perce Indian tribe.
The house itself has been a work in progress for ten years, Sherifox explains. Every plate, utensil, and pantry item is visible, as the kitchen cupboards await doors. The front-door window, through which Confederate and American flags can be seen undulating in the breeze, is also still under construction. Foxy promises air conditioning this summer, but for now fans cool the house.
At the moment Sherifox is splayed on the couch, her red, tasseled shirt hiked up, her legs straddling either side of a fan. She's not wearing underpants, and it's impossible to miss the glint of her clit ring, bearing the image of Betty Page in tack.
A gutted nine-foot alligator lies supine on the living room floor. Foxy has mounted it on cardboard and is in the process of fastening brown and khaki felt to the perimeter. When finished, it'll wind up on a wall in Pennsylvania.
Leading up to the fireplace that Foxy hauled in from Texas are paw prints from some dog that stumbled over the apricot-color tiles as they dried in the Mexican sun. Colt Lee and Sherifox took special care to line up the tiles to preserve the prints as they occurred.
Elk antlers are everywhere. They serve as the base for gun racks, chandeliers, and lighting fixtures throughout the house. Sherifox constructed a lamp stand of elk hooves and another of moose hooves. These lamps require three legs, sawed off at the shin and secured back to back to back. The hooves are polished and cold to the touch.
On display around the TV set is a variety of skulls collected over the years, including a bobcat, horse, bear, and llama. An enormous Texas longhorn skull hangs over a sidewall. Chief Joseph, the famous Nez Perce Indian whom Sherifox claims was her great-grandfather, stares out from his portrait on the opposite wall. Above him dangle a beaver hat and a wolf hat. Sherifox used to wear them in Montana, along with her beaver-lined bra.
"My tits used to get cold," she says with a shrug.
When the DVD player snaps to life, so does Sherifox. "You've got to pay attention," she instructs.
The concert begins with Madonna's image on a large screen, complete with English riding hat and whip. As the music begins, she beckons, "Forget your problems/Put aside your pride/Would you like to try?"