Chapter 15

Talib really hadn’t wanted to come into the office today, but there’d been a prospective client who’d insisted, and realistically he wasn’t doing anything at home besides watching Romy. The werewolf mod pushed the limits, and she wasn’t always in full control of her actions, nor did her body always stay in one form, but beyond containing her so that she didn’t damage anything there wasn’t much he could do. He had left Slave to watch, with instructions to alert him if anything looked like it was getting dangerous. And he had cameras, both so he could watch remotely, and so that he could record and look over later.

So when the four girls walked in, he wasn’t in the best of moods, but he tamped it down. “Welcome, ladies. Please, have seat. What can I do for you?”

“We heard you are the best animal-trainer in the area.” No hesitation, no doubts, and no question who was their leader.

“I’m flattered. I like to think I am, though it’s hard to compare.”

“The local horse show is coming up in three weeks, and we would like to compete in the ponygirl class, as a team.”

“By team, you mean…?”

“Pulling a carriage.”

“Ah, ok. Just wanted to be sure. I don’t currently have facilities for training a carriage team, though I know where they can be rented. Would you mind standing up, all four of you?”

The girls looked at each other, confused, but went along with the request. Talib stood and walked around his desk, so that he could see them better. Their leader was the tallest, and quite possibly a natural blonde. The rest had all colored their hair, and ranged in height by up to 20 centis. He double-checked their shoes: One of them was wearing heels, which would make her shorter than she appeared. “Well, you aren’t an ideal team, but you should be ok.” He went back to his desk, and they sat down.

“What do you mean we aren’t an ideal team?”

“Ideally, you’d all be physically matched, at the very least in leg length, if not height, hair color, and breast size. Your strides will be different, though they should be close enough that we can compensate.”

“Would n-pads be able to fix that?”

Talib paused. “A full body-size change would be possible, but it’s dangerous. Matching your leg lengths would be easier, and safer. Hair color and breast size of course are fairly easy, if we wanted to.”

“Then we’ll match leg lengths, and the rest. We’ve got a carriage and a place to train, as well.”

“Do you have a driver? Or are you hiring me for the show itself?”

This hadn’t occurred to them. “Um, do we need one?”

“Yes, you need a driver for a carriage team. It will be an additional fee, if you want me to do it, otherwise I would suggest he or she train with you, or train you themselves.”

“Could one of us be the driver?”

“Not if you want to be a four-pony team, and they don’t have any three-pony teams.”

For the first time there was some obvious dissent in the group. “I could…” This wasn’t the leader talking.

“Come on Cynthia, we all agreed to the bet.” This wasn’t the leader either, but she turned to the leader for support. “Hadia, tell her.”

“We did, in or out, all of us.” She’d turned around to face the rest of them. “I say we hire him for the show. Any objections?”

There wasn’t. “Ok, Mr. Yoshida, we’ll hire you for the show as well.”

“May I ask the terms of this ‘bet’? So I know what you want, of course.”

Hadia looked annoyed. “It’s stupid. Just that we wouldn’t be able to stand being paraded around like animals for the day.”

“Nothing saying you have to actually win or anything like that.”

“Winning would be nice, but it wasn’t in the bet.”

“Ok, just wanted to make sure. Three weeks of full-time training might be enough to get you to be able to win, at least at a small show. For the bigger shows… There are people who live nearly full-time as ponies, and who travel the shows.”

“We’re not that dedicated. We just want to show up a couple of our friends, and not embarrass ourselves.”

“Good enough. And I think we can manage that.”

“How much training time do you think we’ll need?”

Talib thought a moment. “Well, the more the better of course. If you don’t want to embarrass yourselves, you’ll need at least one full day practicing as a team the normal carriage routines, after you get used to the gait and commands. I would recommend at least a couple of hours several times a week, either together or separately, and at least weekly full-day training together, with a day or two before the show being reserved for training as well.” He paused. “I do have a commitment for the weekends at present, though I might be able to work something out… But not this weekend.”

“That’s a lot of work…”

“Shut it Cynthia. We agreed, ok? We don’t want to look like fools. We’ll do this, and be proud of it, and show them that we can do anything we want, right?”

“Right.” This wasn’t Cynthia, but Cynthia looked like she was ready as well.

“Ok then girls?” Talib asked, and they all agreed. “Now, do you want to do a full Sentient Property contract, or just the training.”

Hadia was the one who winced, but she answered readily. “For the show, a Property contract. Otherwise they’ll claim we chickened out on the bet. But if we don’t need one before…”

“No need, really. Especially if you have a private place where we can practice.”

“Yeah, that’s not a problem.”

Talib hesitated, then continued. “Well, let’s work out the details there first then; it’ll define what we need to train for anyway. Full carriage team, of course, and competing in those events. You said the bet was to be animals for the whole day?”

“Yeah.”

“Then I’ll assume that means between events you’ll be in the stalls, or tied up, not walking the show freely; not a problem. There’s one optional part of most shows, if you want…”

“They’d probably claim we chickened out if we skipped, but what is it?”

“A physical exam, by a ‘vet’ — usually a nurse or doctor who’s come for the event. It’s a head-to-toe exam, performed as if you were horses, though usually for female ponies some extra time is spent on the breasts, making sure there aren’t any lumps…”

“Would it require that we be naked?” This wasn’t Hadia or Cynthia, nor did she ask as if it were a major problem, although she wasn’t enthusiastic about the idea.

Talib spent as much time as he could without hesitating thinking about his answer. “Not necessarily, but anything that isn’t covered will be examined. Most vets won’t comment if an pony has a harness or something covering areas of interest, but some will.”

“You’ll be right there, though, right? And they won’t try to have sex with us or anything.”

“Yes, I — as your owner for the day — would be right there, and no, they wouldn’t try to have sex with you.” He grinned. “Vets don’t with their patients.”

They got the implication, and grinned back. “And we wouldn’t need to be naked the rest of the time, would we?”

“No, the ‘harness’ is completely up to the owner and the ponies. In fact, a cart-team would be expected — and would need — to have a complex harness. Usually the harness would ‘expose’ the pony, but it doesn’t have to, and there are reasons not to.”

Hadia finally took over again. “Ok. We’ll do it. You pick the harness, exposing or not.”

“Ok. I’ll give each of you at least one physical exam during training, so you’ll know what to expect. You don’t actually have to do anything, just stand there and not startle. Given the choice, I’d rather attach the tail to your harness, assuming it’s not a mod; it’s easier to work with, and looks better.”

“It could be a mod?”

“Easily, but they aren’t cheap either, and it wouldn’t make that much difference.” Hadia nodded. “The other major decision is on nipple piercings — most pony-girls these days have nipple rings that are tied into their reins. But it’s not required, and it does mean that you’d have to be bare-breasted for the actual events. Otherwise, a decorative bra being part of the harness is common.”

Hadia looked at the girls. “How common is it?”

“Full-timers, almost universal, though they may not always be used. For those who are more play than anything else… Still common, but not everyone would have one.”

“So not having them would mark us as amateurs.”

“Yes.”

She waited. “We already agreed to the physical exam, and being nude for that. What’s the difference?” Talib decided not to say anything.

Hadia replied, “Not much, though probably more people will see us in the events. And we were already talking about ‘matched breast size’, weren’t we? So we can make sure we have something to show off.”

There were a couple of giggles. “Ok. Go for it.” This was Cynthia.

“No problem.” Talib said, and then punched in a few things to his terminal, before producing a virtual screen with the contract. “Here’s a contract; it requires all of you to sign before it’s valid, and it’s only for the one day. No sex allowed, but nudity and physical contact are, within the role of pony-girls.”

They each looked it over, then looked over at Hadia. Hadia waited until they all looked ready, then signed hers. The rest signed theirs, and Talib indicated he was signing it as well. “Ok. Now, I actually should get back to a current client, so we can work out schedules for training later, but I do want to take a couple of measurements while you are here.” He stood, and led the way into the other room, then pulled out a tape measure. “I’ll need you to remove your shoes and socks; the main thing I want is to get your current heights and leg-lengths, so I can work up something that will work for all of you. Bust size would also be good, if you want to look like a ‘matching set’.”

The task was completed quickly, and Talib recorded all the measurements. “Ok, I’ll have n-pads for each of you ready within a day or two; I’ll call you. I need to apply them, and you’ll want it to be just before you go to bed, as you’ll need to stay off your feet for several hours while they work on your legs.”

“We can’t apply them ourselves?”

“Not unless you have a license for a at least class-5 nanny-pad applications. Probably higher, actually; I’ll have to see what exactly is needed.”

They shrugged at that. “Ok, we’ll be in touch.”

“See you all soon.”

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