Say the words 'ponyplay' and chances are that somewhere, someone will be thinking beastiality. Think role play and you'll be closer to the mark.
Ponyplay is one of a handful of animal roleplays enjoyed by singles, couples and groups. Like kittenplay and pup-play, it can be sexualized or non-sexual and can enter the realm of BDSM. Being reduced to the status of an animal can draw upon theme of domination.
Like any good roleplay, there's a host of equipment and costumes available. Fantasy Leather offers an extensive range of equestrian play products. Items such as harnesses, bits, tails and saddles help ponies and their handlers get the most out of the play experience.
The ponyplay community is closeknit and events are held which bring the community together. There are regular rodeos and gatherings. A recent LA Weekly article tells of a foxhunt being held in the Los Padres National Forest. The outing will bring together a host of characters, including a fox, ponies and even some people dressed as hounds. Overseeing the day, I expect will be human trainers.
This pursuit - which has grown in popularity in recent years - has been the subject of a great deal of media interest, including documentaries. The most notable ponyplay film is Elizabeth Elson's 'Born in a Barn' (2005). You can read a review of the film here.
Paraphila is an umbrella term used to cover the family of philias. In sexology, it is sometimes more widely used to cover atypical sexual interests or deviances. While the word paraphilia may seem alien, the philias it encompasses may seem slightly familiar. Think fetishes and unusual desires and you're on the right track!