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     Pony Customs 
Ponies in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic practice polygyny.
As a result of there being fewer males to go around.
  • Real horses are the same way, stallions can't stand competition so they drive most of the mature males out of the herd.
  • In the future, the six mane characters could all be "sister brides" to the same stallion.
  • Pretty much jossed with Hearts and Hooves Day.

Pony funeral customs.
It's proven that in "Hearts and Hooves Day" that Death is canon. So, there are three types of pony funerals for each type.
  • Earth Ponies are generally buried so they can return to Earth.
    • Perhaps like Ghenghis Khan's funeral? He had his body buried in a small mound and herds of horses trample over it until it was in indistinguishable from the earth itself. To an Earth Pony, seeing an unburied skeleton is one of the scariest, saddest things possible. It meant that somepony died alone, unhonored and no kin to see them back to the Earth or continue their work.
  • Pegasi are practice Tibetan Sky Burial, where their bodies are devoured by scavengers so their bodies are in the sky. Fluttershy will have no problem with that, or a literal sky burial where they are buried in clouds.
    • I'd like to think that they would be placed into a cloud and dispersed in a ceremony. Perhaps a little rain to show sorrow at the passing of a friend.
      • Or perhaps something like a Gargoyles Wind Ceremony. Everyone flies through the ashes (or perhaps raindrops as suggested) so that the departed will be with them always.
  • Unicorns practice cremation since they're magical and their bodies became free from the earthly realm. Their ashes are scattered or kept in urns like humans do, and their horns are often kept in display as a family's memento.
    • Pegasi may also practice cremation, scattering the ashes to the wind so the deceased "may fly forevermore".
  • Higher class ponies are encased in tombs engraved with elaborate designs, detailing their past lives.
  • Pony grave markers, where used, are engraved with the deceased's cutie mark.

The Equestria national anthem is...
... a waltz inspired theme. Why? A canter, in horse-riding is a controlled 3 beat gait. Waltz are written in 3/4 key. It would be both Fridge Brilliance and Shown Their Work from the show's musical direction. Any composer bronies out there, take note.

We won't see even one blacksmith before the last season of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.
In a land of horses, we haven't seen one yet, even in the western town of Appleloosa. They know what anvils are (we've seen two, so far), and they know how to play a game of horseshoes, but not one character actually wears horseshoes (we have seen boots and shoes that fit over hooves, but that's it).
  • Look at the tracks that the Cutie-Mark Crusaders leave in "Stare Master" that Fluttershy follows into the Everfree Forest: the Crusaders are clearly wearing horseshoes.

In Equestria, female is the dominant gender.
Equestria is a Lady Land society not run by males, but by females. All of the political leaders are not female because a princess is glamorous, but because a conservative Pony belief is that the females are more suited for leadership roles. That's why the show focuses on a strong female cast of characters- within the realms of their society, they would function as a male roles. In a similar vein to the novel, Egalia's Daughters, the men become "masculists," as opposed to real-life feminism. They've worked their way up into equal standing with the females, but some conservative ways are still around, such as the sparkly atmosphere.
  • Given the amount of horse-related Furry Reminders the show has, it's not that unbelievable; real horses, despite common conception otherwise, are actually matriarchial — in a herd, the lead mare, as her name suggests, actually handles all the decision-making for the herd. The stallion's job is basically to sire foals, fight off attacking predators, and keep peace between the mares.

Equestrian society is inspired from Brave New World.
In Equestrian society happiness is of the utmost importance. After the terrible chaos and suffering of Discord's rule, everypony wanted stability instead of the anarchy of previous years. After defeating Discord the two Royal sisters began to implement these ideas; however they came to blows over the exact implementation of these ideas. Equestrian society today is ruled as a soft-version of Brave New World. Our Mane Cast are Alpha and Beta, which explains why they are assigned leader roles and why they are friends with each other. Background ponies are often seen repeated many times in the background; this is because they are genetically identical, bred under identical conditions. This means there are hundreds of Lyra Heartstrings and Bon Bons, for instance. Derpy (with cross eyes) is simply a mistake — she is too intelligent for her assigned caste, she has to act slow to fit in. Family relations are discouraged which explains the lack of parental influence; but as Celestia is benovelent she lets traditional farming families like the Pie's and the Apple's stay.
  • Methinks somepony might be overusing Soma.

Libraries in Equestria, including the one in Ponyville, are not organized alphabetically.
They're organized according to the Dülmen Decimal System, of course! That's why it didn't occur to Twilight to look for the book on the Elements of Harmony under 'E'; the only reason Pinkie Pie was able to find it that way is because of her reality-warping abilities.
  • Jossed if you consider the Micro Series to be canon, where a library is told to be organized alphabetically. Also the main comic book series that has a mention of the Dewey Decimal System.

Wizard hats were made with unicorns in mind.
Originally, the hat helped to conceal a unicorn's horn, either to disguise the unicorn when out amongst less magical equines or as an antiquated decency thing. Some hats may even have helped amplify or channel the horn's magic, as might've been the case with Star Swirl the Bearded's belled cap. However, over time, the hat became an artifact, and a novelty in of itself.
  • Alternatively or in addition, the hat may simply have served to conceal the horn's glow when the unicorn in question is actually using magic — assuming that that is in fact an in-universe phenomenon and not just Rule of Perception.

The Ponyville bowling alley is a front for the Equestiran Mafia.
After all, the owner is named "Mr. Kingpin".

The Idea of an Alicorn precedes Celestia and Luna.
As we saw at the end of the play, the flag shown has two Alicorns on it. If the events of the play takes place before Celestia and Luna are born, how can the ponies think to put Allicorns on the flag? Because the idea of the Alicorn had already existed. The sentiments behind it, the best characteristics and talents of all three pony races present in a single pony, was either created by, or be very appealing to, the Pony Pan-Nationalists, the Clover the Clevers, Smart Cookies and Private Pansy's of the world. So when the three tribes became friends and put aside their differences, they decided to put the Heraldic Symbol of Pony Unity on their flag.

Economically, politically, technological, but mostly socially, Equestria is in the Age of Enlightenment/Industrial Revolution
This is going to be a long one...

We do know that there was a "dark ages" (the time of Discord) which has since passed and a "middle ages" (time under both the Alicorn's rule) which are both considered to be part of Equestria's history. Luna was acting much like a medieval monarch trying to gain the loyalty of her people by giving a demonstration of her power with her voice (in the Middle Ages, people were more loyal to their region rather than their nation, thus kings and queens needed to remind their subject why they bowed to them).

Equestria appears to be in some kind of industrialization far away from the tiny little farm town of Ponyville. Skyscrapers and a large city exists at least in Manehatten. The most obvious fruit of their labor is the train, which is new enough that ones going on longer journeys need some strong Earth Ponies to pull it. Earth Ponies appear to be the leaders in this new field, and growing into new rich factory owners. It is cutting into the old Unicorn nobility, who have been the sole wealthy ponies in Equestria up till now. The evidence of that are the extreme amount of Unicorns in Canterlot, and how in the play the only "royalty" that appeared as a representative was the one from the unicorns (and the fact almost all Earth Pony's appeared to be little more than serfs). This new Earth Pony elite, however, has forced the Unicorn's to welcome some of these Earth Ponies into Canterlot's high society in a desperate plead for their status to survive.

Pegasus society appeared to have already moved on from its Roman militarism to a society based around sports, similar to the revival of the Olympics being reformed not as tribute to the gods done by warriors, but competition done by athletes.

Some Earth Ponys are moving into what was once inhospitable lands surrounding Equestria, similar to the migration west in the Old West.

Princess Celestia's use of Twilight to research more into the mysteries of magic parallels Enlightened monarchs spending lots of money on scientists to increase their own prestige and their appearance of wisdom. Celestia seams to be at least trying to become more directly connected to the common man, also a trait of some Enlightenment era kings.

With Unicorn magic increasing the spread of technology (magically making something work is a very helpful trait for ingenuity and invention) one has to wonder how quickly they will get to the modern era.

  • Building off of this, Equestria may undergo democratic reforms (or going into full Crack Fic mode, a revolution) at some point.

In Equestria, "I Spy" was made as a sight-seeing game.
Several folks have remarked, tongue-in-cheek, that the game of "I Spy" in the beginning of Hearth's Warming Eve was not how you play it; you're supposed to guess what they spy, not just have it pointed out. Here in Equestria, however, it was made as a sight-seeing game, so a pony could focus on one thing at a time instead of getting discombobulated by all the wonderful things to see.

Equestria's upper class are all Non-Idle Rich.
Every adult Equestrian has a cutie mark, and thus a special talent, even seemingly useless ponies like Prince Blueblood and Jet Set. Having a special talent and never bothering to exercise it seems like a good way to court Cutie Mark Failure Insanity Syndrome or just deep dissatisfaction with one's life, and all the evidence points to ponies throwing themselves into the use of their talents regradless of monetary concerns. Rich ponies might not apply their talents in a way that actually makes money, but they all devote at least a few hours a day to their talents nonetheless.

Pegasi do not form traditional families in the way that unicorns and earth ponies do.
Think about it: we've never seen any relatives on any pegasus character. We've seen Twilight's parents, Rarity's parents and little sister, Applejack's extended family, and Pinkie's parents and sisters, but we've never seen, nor heard any reference to Rainbow's family, nor Fluttershy's, nor Scootaloo's. And if you think about it, this makes sense: we know from "Hearthswarming Eve" that the pegasi were originally a heavily militaristic society, so it would make sense if they had a Spartan notion that children should be raised in common as part of their early military training.
  • We have seen brothers in the case of Thunderlane and Rumble.
  • Jossed as of the Season 6 episode "Flutter Brutter."

Mixed-type marriages are not widespread nor socially accepted
While crossbreeding between unicorns, pegasi and earth ponies was confirmed, it seems to be extremely rare. All couples shown in canon so far are of the same type, and Carrot Cake could only name two, extremely spread cases of other type of pony in the his and his wife's family trees.
  • We see an earth pony/pegasus couple in Hearts and Hooves Day; technically, Cadance (alicorn, originally a pegasus) and Shining Armor (unicorn) are an example as well.

In Equestria, mirrors have the same sort of symbolism to ponies as storks and cabbage patches have to humans.
That is, it's common to tell young ponies about where baby ponies come from by telling them that they emerged from magic mirrors. In the same way that people would claim that babies were delivered by storks or hidden in cabbage patches. Perhaps it's even traditional to give a mirror to a newly married couple as a wedding gift so that they're symbolically blessed with a family in the future.

Unicorns often carry their heads high for a practical reason rather then snobbery.
That practical reason is to not poke each other's eyes out.
  • Maybe they have a custom that's the exact opposite from humans: Those who hang their heads are showing horned aggression, not submission, and those who raise their heads exceptionally high are relaxing the guard on their throat, similar to how humans take a deep bow to look smaller and open the back of their necks to bladed weapons. Like in human society, there are exceptions: Blueblood, for example, holds his head high to say "You're nothing, just watch me show you my throat like you're some sort of slug or hornless pony," and sometimes a unicorn hides behind his or her horn to show submissive fear.

Earth ponies are traditionally named after food.
let's see, we've got pinkie PIE, APPLEjack, chancellor PUDDINGhead, smart COOKIE(?), the CAKE family, CARROT top, etc. this is only tradition, and not a hard and fast rule. It probably stems from the fact that the earth ponies originally grew food.
  • A lot of them have flower names, but again, flowers are both decoration and food in Equestria.
  • Specifically, they seem to be traditionally named after the food whose production they're most involved in. The Apple family grows apples, Pinkie Pie and the Cakes are bakers...so this could easily have started out based on a notion of "learn a pony's name and know who to go to come shopping time".

In Equestria, social bullying is considered to be much worse than physical violence.
While there is no shortage of monsters willing to deal physical violence to the ponies, all of the antagonistic ponies we've seen so far have been socially antagonistic (Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon, Prince Blueblood, Jet Set and Upper Crust, Trixie, Hoops, Quarterback and Dumbbell). We haven't seen Rainbow Dash or Apple Bloom being physically beaten up by their respective bullies, just made fun of. On the other hand, the Cutie Mark Crusaders descend into a Big Ball of Violence at the drop of a hat, and the mane cast are often casually violent with each other, and it's not a big deal. When they hurt each others' feelings, though, it's time for a big apology and a letter to Princess Celestia. Since friendship is basically the only thing keeping Equestria safe and functional, this makes sense. It also fits with the behaviour of real-world horses — horses bite each other when they're annoyed, but the way to make a horse truly suffer is to shun it from the herd.
  • The fact that Equestrian Ponies are shown to be Made of Iron further shows this. If a pony can survive having an anvil dropped on them, something that is FATAL to humans, then less extreme physical violence really not an issue.
    • Absolutely. Ponies bonking each other on the head ultimately leads to a finite # of not-THAT-badly-injured ponies. Ponies fighting and feuding with each other ultimately leads to the Apocalypse, as all the huddled survivors end up being frozen forever in eternal hatred as the entire landscape turns into the next Ice Age. Yeah, no bucking kidding that they'd consider hurt feelings as more heinous than hurt bodies.
      • In Real Life, horses will nip and box each other in good fun. Young horses need to be taught that this kind of play can't be done with their more delicate human friends. This may be where the term "horse play" comes from.

The shapes taken by the Elements of Harmony, based off the Mane Six's cutie marks, will come over time to be associated in Equestria with the Elements themselves.
The apple for honesty, the butterfly for kindness, the lightning bolt for loyalty, etc.

Hokey Smoke, Queen Meanie, and Black Snootie are all figures from Equestrian literature.

Pony society is atheistic — and not just the Flat Earth type either.
Yes, this is in part a jab at the whole pervasive "Celestia ZOMG goddess!" meme. But consider that religion isn't actually ever brought up in the show, and then look at the world from the ponies' perspective: Day and night are managed by their very own royalty, magic as practiced by unicorns is essentially just another science with practical applications, and they know who's in charge of the weather, who paints the frost on their windows, and generally how the world works. And suddenly the notion that if they ever held them in the first place, ponies may well long have outgrown such silly superstitions doesn't seem all that farfetched anymore..
  • The Summer Sun Celebration and Nightmare Night, both supposedly in honor Celestia and Luna respectively, says differently.
    • Honoring royalty, especially when they actually do something, isn't automatically a religious observance — heck, if you have a monarchy in the first place, the occasional holiday in the ruler's honor is only to be expected. (Nightmare Night is debatable anyway, being apparently rather more dedicated to the memory of Nightmare Moon than to actually honoring Luna the one time we've seen it so far.)
    • Note also that the Summer Sun Celebration isn't honoring Celestia herself — it's celebrating what she does, every day, and while it is in part thanking her for it, it's as much a reminder of her own obligations to her people, um, Her Little Ponies.

It's only night time nudity that is embarassing to ponies
When Fluttershy covers herself in shame in front of Rainbow Dash at the beginning of The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000 it may seem a little absurd since ponies are naked all the time anyway. But who says it's the nudity itself that she was ashamed of? The better reason could be that when it gets colder during the night, their mammary glands tend to get stiffer from the temperature and it makes ponies look less modest than during the day. It would also explain why Rarity and Fluttershy put on robes during the night scene in "Read it and weep" considering how they are the two most elegant ponies out of the mane six and wouldn't feel comfortable without them.
  • Then why did she cover where they aren't? Did she get to talking with Lyra at the spa?

Nudity isn't a big an issue as posture among ponies.
The fact that Fluttershy blushed was more that her body/legs were positioned in a such a way as to suggest something inappropriate. For a pony anyway.

Humans, the Earth, and its various cultural trappings are fictional in Equestria.
Humans are mythological creatures which are popular subjects of fantasy literature in Equestria. Many of the elements of these stories (such as the fictional fantasy kingdom of France)have entered the popular consciousness. When ponies refer to something from the human world, they are actually making references to these stories. Everypony knows what a human skull and hand looks like just like almost anyone in the real world can identify a dragon even though they don't exist.
  • This would probably explain (in fanon) Lyra Heartstrings's obsession with humans and human culture, going so far as sitting like a human and wanting to be one. After all, we know dragons don't exist, but which little kid doesn't want to be one at some point or other — even into adulthood?
    • Always thought this exactly because of Lyra. My headcanon is that Lyra is what ponies call an "Anthro" which means she's the pony equivalent of a Furry. Seeing as I see at least 50% of the ponies we've seen in Ponyville are kids or Mane Six's age (young adults) (and I feel this is merely because most of the Adults are WORKING during the day, possibly even commuting to the closest big city), I think Lyra is also a young adult who is just a pony version of a Furry :P I bet she even secretly is making a Human Cosplay.
    • Why the hay would anypony want to be a Human of all things? Compared to a Pony we are extremely fragile, have no wings, magic horn, or simple hardy strength. Our furless hide/skin is soft and tears easy, we have teeth that are small and pathetic compared to a Pony (or practically any other creature RL or not) and we're slow as heck to boot since we have to balance on only two legs to travel. Hands aren't that big an advantage if you consider that Pony's seem able to use tools just fine, Pony's aren't stupid, have progressed to the point of being able to urbanize and have trains. Becoming a Human seems like a horrible punishment, and considering that most humans are omnivores that has historically eaten almost every other animal (including horses/Ponies) and even each other! It would be a monsterous assault on Pony sensabilities.
    • Humans probably have a reputation of being amazingly creative and intelligent in pony fiction.
    • Humans would have to be geniuses (at least) to make it work. If there were some mythical accomplishment humans are supposed to have done (like the Net) then maybe. Problem is, the Ponies can arguably say that anything a Human can do, there's a Pony that can do it better. It does't help that the Ponies have a Physical God who can raise the Sun at will on their side. Humans may win out through cunning and familiarity with Fighting Dirty, but that's not exactly something a Pony would admire now would it? We'd be more of a Cuthul style moster race. Our list of Crimes against Humanity/ourselves is pretty long.
    • Humans would probably be the Badass Normal in pony mythology. We lack magic, special powers, or even physical strength but because of our cunning and dexterity we can do things that would seem damn near impossible to ponies. It took a goddess and some of their most powerful weapons in order to send someone to the moon? We've expand our domain into other planets. They need to find water, diamonds, gold, and other resources in nature? We can create our own water, gold, diamonds, and etc. (Mind you it is impractical and expensive but we are capable of it.) They use spears, cannons, and whatever their magic can preform? We have weapons that can wipe out entire cities in a blink of an eye. And so on and so forth. As for how we're characterized, we'd probably be defined as curious, ambitious, well meaning, extremely self-centered, and greedy. For every good thing we've done, we've done an equally horrible thing. For every discovery and invention we find both a good and bad application for it. Also, I always theorized that Lyra was the equine equivalent of a brony. (Ponman? Equine Sapiens? I'm still trying to think of a name.)
    • Simply the fact that humans live in a place where the ENTIRE WORLD RUNS ITSELF and can create wonders and horrors in equal measure WITHOUT MAGIC, may combine Badass Normal with Eldrich Abomination from the standpoint of the ponies. The ability to build a machine that can fly and doesn't utilize magic in any way shape or form may be both fascinating and horrifying at the same time. ("Guess what, Dashie, I just invented a machine that makes you obsolete!")
    • Seriously, I doubt the Wipe Out Cities in an eye blink thing would go over very well. It sounds impressive, but horrifying at the same time. Their God Princess Celestia might be able to top that by using the sun to burn all of Equestria though....
      • Dragons, vampires, Zeus, and and Wolverine aren't exactly the most pleasant mythological beings and we still think they're cool.
    • Due to Rule 34, twisted, sex manic perverts might also be used to describe humans.
    • The "humans must be better" argument falls flat when you remember that in real life, animals are not as intelligent as humans and are glorified in fiction, especially by Furries. Humans are, if not a myth but exist on another continent (as is done in the fanwork Turnabout Storm), probably mediocre compared to ponies but in fiction, a pony's human companion may be hyperintelligent for a human, much in the same way where a human's animal companion is hyperintelligent compared to them and others of their species.

    • Humans! The Fey Folk of Pony Mythology!
      • Humans are mad, and that madness means there's nothing they might not be able to do, from giving a pony some sort of friendly gesture with their offset digit to flattening a city with a bomb that salts the earth and damages the children of those near the blast or the area of effect for years to come? Holy crow, humans are Discord's follower race in Equestrian mythology. I must write this.
      • Fridge Horror did something happen to Humans with Discord's defeat?
      • So if Discord had enough time, he'd bring Humans back?
      • This! Humans originated as folklore beings. The most famous is of course the household spirit the Brony (sometimes pronounced Brownie) that attaches itself to what it perceives as "the best pony" and tries to help them by brushing their mane and bringing them things, but there are others. They are master craftsmen, greedy and capricious. Humans, unlike most real sapients, cannot be seen naked or they will turn to stone or fade away, the story varies, so they are obsessed with clothing. A similar legend says that to drive away a Brony, you should dye your coat and mane. This will cause it to disappear in a puff of smoke and the wail "Ruined forever! Not show accurate!". Their absurd apperance (minotaurs with the face of an ape and the mane of a pony? seriously?) clearly shows they're an old mare's tale. No grownup believes in them anymore, but the pony equivalents of Tolkien and the like created the genre of fantasy and included fictional beings based on humans, so now they're part of pop culture. And when Pinkie Pie breaks the fourth wall — well, she has the Sight, knows all the Lore from Granny Pie, and she knows we're real.
      • And (seeing the toys IRL) they can be big enough grab you with one hand when they try to collect the whole herd!

Tanks, jets, robots, and other advanced technology exist in Equestrian fantasy literature
They are used as monsters and antagonists in soft science works, instead of the more mundane beasts and creatures like dragons and manticores that show up in hard science and speculative fiction. Rainbow naming her turtle Tank is akin to a human naming their dog Devil. Jet Set's parents were wealthy industrial ponies with big ambitions about what they could build, but the tech simply wasn't there. The nerd pony with the robot cutie mark's special talent is science fiction writing.
  • Possibly more like the Philosopher's Stone. The Ponies have the idea of the object, but they dont have the object itself.

Ponies wear some form of underwear.
Probably something that clips into their fur. Not like human pants.

The use of saddles as attire originated in ancient times, with the priests of Megan, Danny, and Molly.

Ponies think age/seniority is very important.

This is why the mayor of Ponyville dyes her hair grey, mild mannered Fluttershy insists she's a year older than Pinkie Pie and why Granny Smith is still obeyed despite her atrocious decisions with the Flim Flam brothers.

  • May be due to Celestia being older than everyone.
  • In this, the ponies only reflect the values of their intended human audience. As anyone who has ever been ten will know, human children long to be older than they are. It's only after your late teens or early twenties that being young begins to be viewed as superior (in Western societies).

The title of "princess" is something of a formality and doesn't necessarily indicate royal blood.
Rather, it is a title given to a very rare few ponies who hit a magical peak and become alicorns. One reason Celestia set up a school of magic was to bring in the most gifted unicorns and look out for the ones who have the potential to become alicorns. That way, she can also train them to handle leadership and political power if need be.
  • Of course, the existence of the historical just-plain-unicorn Princess Platinum suggests that if this is in fact the case, it must be a comparatively more "modern" invention. And we don't really know what the actual social standing of Twilight's family even is — if she rates a princess for a foalsitter and it's later okay for her big brother (a "mere" Captain of the Royal Guard) to actually marry that same princess, they may well be at least related to royalty themselves.

The Mustangs of Mustangia practise polygyny.
In the real world, mustangs are wild (well, feral) horses. The tourist in Games Ponies Play exhibited claustrophobia and a love of wide open spaces, rather more like a wild horse than the highly civilized ponies from other areas. This suggests a culture more closely mimicking wild herd structure, including polygyny (one stallion, several mares). This is why she was flirting with Shining Armor so shamelessly — she didn't see anything wrong with flirting with a married stallion.

Pony society has developed an unfortunate case of Holding Out for a Hero
Perhaps unintentionally, but pony society seems to exalt the single or small team dealing with major problems instead of getting a lot of people together. Celestia raises the sun, and took over her sister's duties as raiser of the moon, when in the days before Celestia, this was done by unicorns, and no one seem to entertain the notion of replacing Luna. The defense of Canterlot relied heavily on a single shield caster instead of training a bunch of people so there's no single point of failure. Celestia tried to singlehoofedly take on Chrysalis, with no one, from the guards and Twilight, thinking to shoot Chrysalis in the back. The town seemed unable to adjust to the new dynamic when the Cutie Marks were switched up. The weather team couldn't deal with Rarity's weather problems even though they deal with the weather as well, Applejack's family couldn't fix the problems Pinkie Pie was causing, and the town seemed completely dysfunctional without Pinkie's interference.

There is a secret cabal of pink ponies that run everything.
Every time a pony that could be argued as Pink gets an important role, they're usually in a position of power. The exact power level varies—Spoiled Rich is merely a school-board member, while princess Cadence is a princess for example—but they usually have enough leverage to do things that might otherwise be questionable or outright illegal. This is partially due to paperwork skill, but mostly because of their social manipulation.

Yes, Pinkie is part of this cabal. She's probably a major leader, just not right on the top because she doesn't want to stop her parties.

     Holidays 
There's a Winter Moon Celebration.
The Summer Sun Celebration celebrates the longest day of the year. Wouldn't it also make sense that there'd be a likewise celebration for the longest night? It's much the same, except it has Luna raising the moon, though until her freedom, Celestia handled that one too. We might see this eventually.
  • Equestria already has a winter solstice holiday. It's called Hearth's Warming Eve.

Nightmare Night was originally a Tax Collection event
Originally Luna was in charge of the Equestria's finances, and she would come to collect taxes annually on Nightmare Night, starting off the tradition of a holding a fair to collect the year's tribute. Naturally many would show up disguised in order to evade Taxes. The macabre theme reflected the whole inevitability of Taxes. However after Luna turned to evil, that night became associated with Nightmare Moon. Add one thousand years of cultural evolution and the original purpose of the event was forgotten. But it still remains vestigially as the Candy Tribute.

Nightmare Night and how it fits with the pilot
The story of the fight between Celestia and Luna/NMM is true. It was recorded as such.Over time as the story was told to younger ponies, they began dismissing it as an "old pony's tale" and NMM transformed from a true threat into a boogeyman, used to get fillies to eat their vegetables. Nightmare Night and NMM came together due to their similar names over the course of 1000 years. When NMM returned in S1, the ponies were all shocked that their boogeyman was real.

The Hearth's Warming Eve pageant is traditionally reinterpreted by the actors chosen to play it.
Because really, what are the odds that the Earth Pony Chancellor was a Cloud Cuckoolander like Pinkie Pie? Besides, this is before Celestia's time — the leaders' real names and personalities may be lost to history. So when actors are chosen to portray the pageant, they apply their own personalities and interpretations to the story. If, say, the Crusaders and three classmates performed their own pageant at school, the leaders would be very different ponies, although the overall story would be the same.
  • While we don't really know how far back the events go, it wouldn't be totally unrealistic if relevant info, such as the leaders names and personalities, survived in records to the present day. After all, we know the names of a great deal of the pharaohs going back 5000 years.
  • I wouldn't put it past Pinkie Pie to have ad-libbed a lot of dialogue, and Applejack who shared the most scenes with her was quick enough go with it and make it sound like part of the script.

Hearth's Warming involved a Stable Time Loop.
We can see a unicorn that is obviously young Starswirl living in Equestria during Tirek's first invasion. Starswirl is associated with time travel spells. It is possible that he learned it from Scorpan and accidently sent himself into the past, to before Equestria's founding. By the time he figured out how to come back, he was already an aged pony with nothing to come back to. He was also a famous unicorn wizard. Clover the Clever became his apprentice. Knowing what would happen, Starswirl taught her exactly the skills and knowledge she would need to become the royal wizard and to survive the windigos (not warning her beforehoof, as her friendship with Smart Cookie and Private Pansy had to be genuine.)

It is traditional to burn one or more Windigos on Hearth's Warming Eve.
An outdated tradition to be sure, but... at the time of Equestria's founding, Windigos had apparently grown so populous as to not only force ponies to migrate but also to nearly threaten the new land themselves. Therefore, Windigo hunts were common and, after Clover the clever documented HOW to burn a Windigo, the bodies were often thrown to the flame. When it was realized how pretty the flames were, the ponies connected them with Hearth's Warming Eve, and so they would almost always set them ablaze on that special day. In modern times, this act is seen as somewhat reprehensible, in addition to the Windigos being an endangered species; very few ponies, outside the heritage obsessed unicorns of Canterlot, still practice this tradition.

The song when the mane 6 first arrived at the grand Galloping Gala was completely diegetic (except where wavvy dream sequence effects were happening), and happens to all of the high-profile guests and who don't opt out and their retinue.
It's all part of the ambiance. The ponies with the identical cutie marks were either a bunch of ponies with uniforms that included a temporary cutie mark patch or a couple of ponies with duplication powers and improv skills. They were specifically told to just sing along and not tell anyone, for example, "I know you're the Princess's apprentice, but are you an idiot? Have you ever been to a state affair? The Princess will be shaking hooves and exchanging pleasantries all night!" The remaining few ponies were thrown in to fill out the vocal register and add some spice and sparkle, or were guests themselves just joining in for the group chorus and finale, or a mix of both. When you've been to hundreds of the exact same stuffy gala, if not over a thousand, you eventually start planning at least a month ahead to make things interesting. That's just one of the things Celestia had set up one of the years before she invited Twilight, Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, and both Rarity and Prince Bluhbluh.

Hearth's Warming Eve will be renamed.
To celebrate the return of the Crystal Empire to Equestria, Hearth's Warming Eve shall henceforth be known as Crystmas.

The Hearth's Warming Eve pageant has Hidden Significance.
Ritualized performances are an important part of real-world magical practices, particularly in Mystery Cults and the like. Many "traditions" once had arcane significance, or were performed by initiates into the mysteries.

The Hearth's Warming pageant was more than just a tradition. It's a tradition whose real significance has been largely forgotten by mainstream Equestria — but not, of course, by the immortal Princess.

Celestia specifically "invited" the Mane Six to perform it. And in a world where Functional Magic is part and parcel of everyday, and every pony bears what amounts to a magic symbol on their rump, having the Bearers of the Elements of Harmony act out the story of Equestria's unification and discovery of the Magic of Friendship — a story that's probably older than Celestia or Luna — that's powerful.

That wasn't just a quaint little holiday play. That was an Initiation Ceremony. It was as much a part of preparing Twilight for her apotheo... um, "coronation"... as any of the grand adventures and deadly villains she confronted.

Heart's Warming Eve was Written by the Winners
Smart Cookie, Clover the Clever, and Private Pansy? Not so above the same kind of bad behavior, or at least guilty of different kinds of bad behavior than Chancellor Puddinghead, Princess Platinum and Commander Hurricane. But they were able to influence the depiction to make them look flawless while their counterparts were made to look bad.

Ponyville celebrates Nightmare Night differently than most Equestrian towns.
  • This is partly to explain the whole "WTH was Celestia doing letting Nightmare Night stain her good sister's name" thing. Basically, Celestia did try her hardest to steer the holiday away from the image of Nightmare Moon... but mostly in the big, important cities like Canterlot and Manehattan, which she thought that Luna would have cared more about. Small rural center like Ponyville, she just didn't have time for, so they retained an ancient tradition into modern day, much like many real-life small towns across the US. To make things clear: other cities in Equestria do celebrate Nightmare Night, but their versions focus almost entirely on the candy and costumes, without the need for a "central" monster.
    • Which would explain why Pipsqueak said he was celebrating his "first Nightmare Night ever", despite later episodes showing him to be around the Crusaders' age — Trottingham was a high-enough priority for Celestia to steer them away from Nightmare Night.

     Naming Conventions 
Ponies inherit the “first name” of their same gendered parent
Upon marriage they traditionally do not change their names.This is the only inheritable name system that makes sense.For example take Filthy Rich and daughter Diamond Tiara.It's established that Filthy Rich's male ancestor was also named Rich. Thus name inheritance is likely to be a factor in naming convention.Also we have Shining Armor and Twilight Sparkle in the same generation with completely different namesExample study, the Apples:Applebloom and Applejack and are both mares, while Big Macintosh does not appear to have Apple in his name and is a stallion.Example genealogy. Granny Smith marries Grandpa Macintosh, produces a colt name Papa Macintosh. Unknown Grandpa marries Granny Apple, produces filly named Mama Apple.Papa Macintosh and Mama Apple produce current generation of apples. Applejack and Applebloom inherit name from mother, big Macintosh inherits name from father.One exceptions: Rarity and Sweetie Belle; Rarity would seem to be the kind of pony to drop a name, sort of like Chanel in real life. Likely her given name was something like Rarity Belle. Like wise her mother is likewise named Something Belle.Likewise we can surmise that Twilight’s mother is likely Twilight something, as hinted by her resemblance to G1 twilight. Judging by the lack of armor on the father's cutie mark, it's likely Twilight’s father is name is Shining Something, possibly Shining Moon.The only potential wrench in this are the Cakes. It possible that both were born with the name Cake. Thus it possible they were both distant(or rather squicky, not so distant) relatives. Thus both their children of both genders are named Cake.It also possible that they were a slightly more liberal family and one spouse changed his/her name.Also the collective family name is passed along matrilineal lines.EG Granny smith's family is called the Smith family, however since her son is the father to the Apples, the subsequent generation is referred to as the Apple clan.
  • This can probably be safely considered jossed. While the Apple siblings' dad was called Bright Macintosh, their mom was born Pear Butter and later went by Buttercup. Likewise, while Twilight does have the same first half of her name with her mother Twilight Velvet, Shining Armor does not share any part of his name with his dad Night Light. Similarly, Rainbow Dash doesn't share any part of her name with her mother Windy Whistles. As for Rarity and Sweetie Belle, their mom is canonically named Cookie Crumbles — they didn't get any part of their names from her either.

The name "Rarity" is actually a very common one.
The mane cast eventually finds other ponies that share that name, which would make our Rarity feel sad and begins to think that she's not special any longer. but they eventually learn that you're still a unique pony regardless of what kind of name you have.

Equestria has a naming ceremony similar to Genpuku
Genpuku is a Japanese coming of age ceremony which marks entry into adulthood. A part of said ceremony is the giving of an adult name to the child. There is a high number of ponies who have names very appropriate to their Cutie Marks, suggesting that it's not uncommon for ponies to change or choose a new name for themselves that reflect their Cutie Marks. The Cuteceañera could be, or at least started out as, a ceremony which made these name choices official. How widely this is observed may vary from pony family to pony family, and there may be those who keep their original name (Twilight Sparkle had her name pre-Cutie Mark), or choose a different one entirely (possible Cherilee)

The ponies of Equestria use the same naming conventions as Horse Racing.
...thus explaining the inconsistency of names. Sometimes, a pony is named after an obvious physical characteristic (Rainbow Dash's mane or Pinkie Pie's pinkness), sometimes the name has to do with their personality (Fluttershy's shyness), follows a theme (Applejack and the Apple family), and sometimes the name just sounds cool (Rarity) or ironic (Twilight Sparkle).

And, well, come on. Just tell me that "Red Rum", "Man o' War", or "Seabiscuit" (for example) would sound out-of-place as names for characters in the show.

There is magic to influence pony's names.
When a baby pony is born the parents have the option of using a magic spell to suggest a name (or if not an actual name some sort of theme) which will be indicative of who the pony will be when grown up. This spell could reveal something of their special talent, or what their destiny will be. For instance, if Twilight's parents used this spell then it would indicate that Shining Armor will have skill in protection, leading them to use the word "armor." Then when Twilight came along the spell would indicate that she would have something to do with uniting the day and night. This could be why Celestia pegged her as a possible Element Bearer.

This spell would be completely optional, and not used by everypony. Some, like the Apple Clan or the Cake famiy just prefer Theme Naming.

  • I've heard a theory that there is a pony whose special talent is naming.

A pony has the option to change their name when they get their cutie mark.
It explains why some ponies have names that match their cutie mark (Silver Spoon, Diamond Tiara) and others don't (Pinkie Pie, Rarity).

The sounds a pony can make are very limited, thus every sound combination has a meaning. That's why ponies have real words for names.
Equestrians speak with whinnies, neighs, and snorts just like real horses, and the variation in these noises is very small, meaning every single noise they can make has to mean something or else they wouldn't be able to make a language of it. When naming their children, they literally have no choice other than to use words with meanings.
  • But what ponies with names that aren't real words? For example: Scootaloo, Joe, Trixie, non-ponies Zecora, Matilda, Gustave, Mulia, Philomena.. etc
    • Joe, Trixie, Matilda, Gustave, and Philomena are real words. Joe is short for Joseph and means "he will increase" or "let him increase"; Trixie is short for Beatrix and means traveler (quite appropriate for a traveling entertainer); Matilda means "strength in battle"; Gustave means "Goth-staff"; Philomena means "friend of strength."
      • By that token, though, all human names are real words as well (which does make sense, as names are in the end personal descriptors): all modern names turn out to be actual words and phrases or full sentences in some language or another if you go back far enough, with centuries of repetition as languages change having caused their immediate meanings to be lost. In light of that, it may be more likely that Equestria's naming traditions are due to ponies being careful to translate the words that make up their names as their language evolves to make sure their meanings are not lost.

Ponies do not have surnames
I cannot stress this one enough. Look at the Cakes. Pray tell what would be Cupcake's surname before marrying Carrot Cake? Nevermind the fact that Cupcake is her name not Cup Cake. Pinkie Pie uses her first name and second middle for Added Alliterative Appeal and because she likes pie. Shining Armor IS Twilight Sparkle's brother's whole name. Rarity only has one, she isn't called Rarity Belle (Alternately, she's "Fair Rarity", the fair referencing her coat colour in addition to the "lady" meaning, and chooses to go by her second name, since she addresses herself as "Fair Rarity" in "At The Gala", which yes, it sounds like she means "Lady Rarity" but who knows?). Theme Naming occurs in families, like Twilight and her mother, in the same way that IRL we have James and James Jr and James III and whatnot. Some ponies, like Lyra Heartstrings, just have peculiar/long second names (Heartstrings is no different than Blossomforth or Pinkamena or Fluttershy as far as names go, really).
  • And it's not like surnames are universal among human cultures.

A stallion will adopt his wife's surname upon marriage.
Equestria is a female dominated society; it only makes sense.
  • The problem with this is that among the named, married pony couples we’ve seen so far (mid-Season 7), only the Pies (who are fairly obviously outliers to mainstream Equestrian culture anyway) share a name. As for the others, Night Light didn't take Twilight Velvet's name, Bow Hothoof didn't take Windy Whistles', and Bright Macintosh didn't take Pear Butter's either.

Equestria has no set naming conventions.
Many families follow patterns (The Apple Family, the Cakes, the Pies (with Pinkie being an exception), Twilight's family, ect.), and food-related names seem commong; but there are not specific conventions on the naming of foals.

Ponies are given a chance to change their name when they get their cutie mark to fit it better.
That's why everypony's name just matches so perfectly. That CAN'T be coincidence.

Earth ponies Noun, Pegasi Verb, and Unicorns Adjective.
Or at least that's how it used to run, and it still does in most cases. Applejack is a noun, and the Pie in Pinkimena Diane Pie's name is a noun. Both Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy have verbs in their names. Rarity and Twilight Sparkle clearly have adjectives.

This is a result of the pre-unification culture. Since unicorns were the scholars, they'd give their children names that described them in increasingly fancy ways. "The Clovergreen Clever one," "The Princess of Platinum." With the pegasi, their militaristic culture would lend itself to more active trends—"He who is a Hurricane," and such. Earth ponies, in connection with the land, would look around for inspiration when it came to their children's names. "Cookie," "Pudding," etc.

Of course, sometimes cultures will appropriate things from each other, and unification did a lot to mix the mess together. So there are exceptions to the rules, and some just plain weird names that might have come from donkies or griffons. But all in all, the trend remains.

The inconsistency of pony names is because the current system is a mishmash of three different ones
Specifically, it's an amalgam of earth pony, pegasus, and unicorn naming systems.
  • The earth pony system was a personal name — family name system, with consistent surnames among families, similar to the system used in most Western countries (e.g. all the known members of the Pie family share the surname Pie).
  • The unicorn system was a family name — personal name system, similar to that found in some East Asian countries (e.g. Twilight Velvet and Twilight Sparkle).
  • Finally, to encourage loyalty to the state above their families, pegasi were given names unconnected to those of their parents (e.g. Windy Whistles and Bow Hothoof naming their daughter Rainbow Dash)

As the tribes united and began to intermarry, the naming systems all blended together.

     Grammar 
"Anybody" and "anypony" are both valid in speech.
Rainbow Dash says "and I couldn't risk a goody four-shoes like you giving that ticket away to just anybody!". Probably a slip of the tongue that was missed, but it's perfectly possible that anybody is correct with the presence of (or when talking about) characters like Spike, the sea serpent, the dragon in the mountain, Zecora, and Gilda. You know, not ponies. Hell, Rainbow Dash could've been accounting for the possibility that Twilight could give it to Spike.
  • Twilight specifically uses "anybody" in Over a Barrel when lamenting the feud between the ponies and buffalo, because neither of them will "be reasonable".

'Everfree' is a Pony euphemism for death.
Thus, the Everfree Forest is, in less gentle terms, the Forest of Death.

Supernaturals was originally written in Zebra, and was rather poorly translated into Pony.
Using the word supernatural to mean a super, natural medication is just a bit of a stretch. However, it's possible that Zebra uses the same words for nature and natural remedy. Thus, somepony at some point translated a book about traditional remedies from Zebra into Pony; unfortunately, this equine had a somewhat dodgy grasp of one of the languages, with the result that Super Natural Remedies became Supernaturals.

Zecora probably has a copy in the original Zebra as well, and presumably obtained a Pony copy in case she ever needed a pony to help her with some formulation.

Calling a pony "lame" is a mortal insult.
In Real Life, if a horse or pony becomes fully lame, it is often put down, as the horse is unlikely ever to be able to walk, let alone run or work, again. (This is less true in the modern day, but was very true in previous eras.) When Gilda calls the ponies of Ponyville "lame", she's saying that she thinks they're all worthless and hopes they all die. Gilda hates ponies.
  • Alternatively, hailing from a different culture, doesn't quite get the full implications of the insult.
  • Apple Bloom felt mortified when Sweetie Belle mentioned the idiom "Break a leg". So "lame" and similar connotations about the inability to walk under your own power might be more negative to ponyfolk.
  • And it's not the only topic like this, either. Consider now the term "horse's ass." Foals typically leave their mother's womb via the rear exit, so calling a pony a "horse's ass" could probably serve as a Your Mom slam. Unless, of course, said pony's birth is what made his mother into a mom. Then he might not mind so much.
  • You could say then that "lame" could be an insult similar to calling a human "retarded", seeing that both refer to types of disabilities that some would say make the person/pony in question unable to live a normal life.

The word "cutie" in "cutie mark" is a corruption of an archaic word for "talent".
Somepony, probably a literary great, made a pun and the term "cutie mark" stuck.

Ponies call their heaven "Elysium".
We now know that Tartarus is pony hell. Since Tartarus is hell in Greek mythology, and Elysium is heaven, calling their heaven Elysium would make sense.
  • Aside from how calling Tartarus "hell" and Elysium "heaven" is a gross oversimplification Twilight only stated that there were monsters imprisoned in Tartarus.
    • In historical Tartarus, Tartarus was the actually Greek equivalent of Hell — it not only housed all the evil monsters that were threats to the gods (much as Twilight mentions), but there was also a section as punishment for the enemies of the gods, where the punishment justifies the crime.
  • Tartarus is Hell at least according to Neil Gaiman. (see page quote)
  • I was under the impression Tartarus was just a very dark city, perhaps built into a mountain, home to some ponies with a reputation as dark as their city (but are not necessarily evil; just misunderstood). They're really just sensitive to light, like most nocturnal creatures, and Cerberus is either their citywide pet, or the one that protects them from the sunlight that hurts them.

  • Tartarus = Hell is indeed a gross oversimplification (especially when neither are consistent concepts in themselves), though, Tartarus having the same cultural connotations as Hell is plausible either way.

'Tartarus' is used as a curse word in Equestrian language.
Whether it be hell or not, it's very clear that all manner of bad things are in that place, so saying something like "Go to Tartarus!" would be quite harsh.

In the same vein, so is "blücher"
Even if it isn't actually the German word for "glue", it's mere mention will make any equine rear in terror.
  • This troper is now curious as to what curse word "blucher" would replace...

Similar to the above, "feather" is a lighter versions of a Precision F-Strike.
And since some bronies say "buck" to replace the f-word, perhaps "feather-bucking" or something could be legitimate curse. If "feather" is equivalent to a lighter curse word though, that makes Rainbow Dash calling Ditzy Doo a "featherbrain" quite harsh.And now I think an entire dictionary of Equestrian swear words should be made.
  • Considering a third of the population have fluffy feathered wings; this is unlikely. It might just be a censor some ponies use to avoid offending anyone.

There are differences in dialect and vocabulary in different parts of Equestria.
Pinkie Pie and the Cakes consistently use the term "baby-sitter" and they all live in Ponyville. Twilight, Shining Armor, and Cadance use the term "foal-sitter" and they all grew up in Canterlot. So the difference in language is probably regional.

Ponies actually speak a Starfish Language.
The show is in English because it's a translation into something humans can understand. Even Photo Finish's bits of German is "translated" from pony talk, similarly to Old English in The Lord of the Rings; her native language is related to Ponyville speech in the same way that German is related to English.

You can actually hear some rare bits of untranslated speech. They sound more like what horses sound like, as expected.

  • Why does Roseluck sell calla lilies for food? Because the translators slipped up.
  • This also explains the strangely meaningful names of some ponies. Their actual names contained no lexical elements that made sense to the translators, who then just willy-nilly made up some names that the voice actors can pronounce, by random association from cutie marks or personality traits. Therefore a pony that the translators first had to name after their cutie mark appeared will often have an English name that refers to it, but nothing can be learned from the names of ponies that the translators had to name without such knowledge.

"Pinkamina" is a term for rose quartz.
That's how a rock farm filly got the name.
  • Pinkamena, if memory serves, is a goddess of harvest.

Equestrian has at least two writing systems.
  • One we saw in the very first episode (a book we saw) and in The Show Stoppers (the talent show poster). Its alphabet depicts unicorn horns, unicorn heads, entire unicorns, horseshoes, crescent moons, lightning bolts, spirals, and a few other things I can't identify (pimento olives?). I believe it is used for words native to the Equestrian language. The other is a Latin-based alphabet, possibly for loanwords from our languages that use it. Millenia of linguistic evolution may have turned "Sisterhooves Social" into "SIHOVI IVCIOVCΓLO", but the letters are mostly still recognizable.

The word "ass" is a racial slur for donkeys.
Consider that in English, ass is not only an archaic term for donkeys, but also an insult, meaning "a stupid, foolish, or stubborn person." Combined with "ass" being considered a swearword... well, the Unfortunate Implications write themselves.

Donkey language rhymes
This means that Zecora's rhyming is part of her accent.

     Military 
Most of the male ponies are drafted to Equestria Army.
This is the reason why there are so few male ponies.
  • The real question this raises is, why is there a need for a draft? A secret war perhaps? But against who?
    • Stallion with a winged skull cutie mark and a high-peaked combination cap: We shall purge the Universe of the Foul Forces of Care-a-Lot! Glory to the First Stallion to Die! FOR THE PRINCESS!
    • Or, going with the After the End theory, the last surviving pockets of humans are putting up a resistance and need to be exterminated.
    • Also, it makes a great pun.
    • So what's Big Mac's excuse, discharge due to injury?
      • Exception due to being the sole male provider within the immediate family?
      • Essential worker? After all, Sweet Apple Acres seems like it could be a huge food provider, and armies march on their stomachs.
    • They're stationed at the border between Eqestria and the Griffon homeland; settlers ner the edge would otherwise get eaten.
  • Or, if they're more like IRL horses, mares tend to be leaders and stallions tend to do more of the fighting. Stallions that aren't strong enough to become herd stallions tend to join bachelor herds of other stallions & train to get stronger. Since bands of rowdy young males will cause trouble unsupervised, or go looking for adventure and chances to impress the fillies, over Equestria's history these male bands took over responsibility for defense of the kingdom, dealing with things like the Parasprite infestation in Phillydelphia and most of the monsters that show up on the show all the time, at least the ones that make trouble.
    • So there are two Equestrias: the 'civilian'/matriarchal Equestria shown in the show, which is the old, the young, mares and the few stallions able to avoid being kicked out by the other stallions as competition because they're strong (Big Macintosh) or really good at something (Mr. Cake), and the 'male' Equestria, a genderflipped Amazon Brigade focused on training (in civilian pursuits as well as combat), making it into Celestia's forces proper (fighting the good fight and impressing the fillies) and so on?
  • Definitely useful for something like this.
  • Alternatively, all stallions are required by law to serve in the military at some point, unless they have some sort of special exemption (such as essential worker). Those ponies who have military related cutie marks form a core of professional career soldiers, while regular ponies serve their time and go back to civilian life. Mr. Cake, Rarity's father and Pinie Pie's father are all old enough to have done their time, while Macintosh has an exemption. The career soldiers (who are actually good at military matters) are stationed in the more important areas which need professional soldiers, while the non-careers are kept in safer areas (as a sort of civil defense force) to free up the career soldiers for more important duties. This would explain why the guard keeps getting beaten; they aren't up to the task of facing a real threat, only the minor disturbances that regular ponies would cause.

Horseshoes are used as throwing weapons.
Either nopony wears horseshoes anymore in lieu of advancement in footwear technology, or horseshoes are a (negative) status symbol used as punishment. Having permanent horseshoes implies one is being forced into labor to atone for a crime. Due to their aerodynamic nature, however, horseshoes are used as highly symbolic thrown weapons, perhaps associated with law enforcement or JUSTICE in general. This also elevates Applejack and Rainbow Dash's game of horseshoes into the pony equivalent of a knife-throwing contest.
  • Hmm. As shown in "Owl's Well That Ends Well" and "Look Before You Sleep", Twilight Sparkle does seem to keep one mounted over her mantel, the traditional place to display a firearm or other weapon, two mounted above her bed (for quick access in case she's woken by an intruder), as well as at least one, presumably more, cached away in various drawers where no one can see them; if you view them as weapons, that... doesn't actually seem out of character for Twilight.
    • You know, over the mantel is the traditional place to put a lot of other things, including... a horseshoe. When put with the open end facing up, they "collect" good luck. Also, since humans don't normally use handcuffs as a throwing weapon, this WMG seems a bit forced.
  • The final nail for this WMG is the tracks the Cutie Mark Crusaders make in Stare Master. If those aren't horseshoes, I'm Harold Saddlon.
  • Who throws a shoe? Honestly!

Environmental management is Equestria's version of compulsory military service.
Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy's regular careers are in environmental management (weather maintenance and animal care respectively), but everyone else pitches in in Winter Wrap-Up. Rarity and Pinkie Pie have regular jobs, yet they switch straight into nest-making and ice-scoring on the designated day without a second thought for what else they'd be doing that day. It seems to be taken for granted that the whole town (and probably the whole country) steps away from their usual pursuits to handle Winter Wrap-Up (and probably a few other dates throughout the year), similar to the way that some countries require all citizens to perform a few weekends of military training per year.

Equestria is actually a highly militarized society, but they specialize more in non-lethal methods.
Despite Celestia practically being a living god, she has a very hooves-off approach to any dangers that affect the world, trusting the ponies themselves to deal with their own problems. The reason they can deal with a rampaging dragon, without resorting to the medieval method of just slaying it, is because they've been receiving covert training their entire lives. Training so covert, that even the trainers (read as, the adult ponies) don't even know they're giving it. Young ponies are encouraged to find their own special talent, whatever it may be, and once it's discovered, the Cutie Mark appears. This mark is both easy identification ("A rainbow lightning bolt. That's Rainbow Dash.", for example) and an easy way to tell just what the pony's talent is, ("She can fly very fast.") Part of the training is recognizing when a specific talent is needed. Combining the three, one can easily determine just who, and what, to look for to solve it. Part of this training is the focus on finding nonviolent, peaceful methods of resolving a problem; diversion, persuasion, compromise, sometimes intimidation, humiliation, and shame.With this training, and sort of military, in place, Equestria's means of defense is exactly where it belongs; in the hooves of the average pony, who, without knowing, have been conditioned and trained to know exactly who to go to and what to in the context of any given emergency.
  • Of course, this begs the question of Equestria's equivalent of Right Wing Militia Fanatics...
  • It's possible that the towns of Equestria (with Canterlot as a possible exception since The Royal Guard is apparently stationed here) have a simple volunteer trained civilian militia for said protection purposes, though it wouldn't have to mean Equestria is highly militarized, it could simply involve citizens volunteering for training and serve to protect towns from threats both foreign and domestic, given how there seem to be no police in Equestrian towns, it might make sense.
Offensive magic is forbidden from being taught in Equestria.
Twilight doesn't seem to do things like fling fireballs or ice beams at her enemies when it seems to be a good time to do so. Offensive magic is probably either banned or limited as a way of keeping peace.
  • Considering that Twilight caused quite a bit of trouble in Lesson Zero with just "regular" magic, that's probably a good idea.
    • Jossed as of A Canterlot Wedding — Twilight Sparkle definitely throws magic blasts around. Though that could of course be self-taught from some obscure books.
      • Though if you look at it, it seems that the damaging effect from the beams is more concussive than penetrating (she doesn't blast huge holes in the changelings, for starters), and if one was truly interested in dealing lethal damage, a less energetic, more narrowly focused beam would be a much better choice. My personal interpretation is that these beams are some version of a less-lethal crowd control weapon, and that Shining Armor taught his little sister a few tricks for personal protection.
    • The same episode also has the brief Beam-O-War between Celestia and Chrysalis. More likely, most ponies just don't see much need for dedicated combat magic in their everyday lives — earth ponies and pegasi can't learn it anyway and unicorns already have their always-handy telekinesis. Why waste time on spells that can only be used to hurt another living being if you're a civilian and that's not even your job?
    • More probably Princess Celestia restricted Twilight from using offensive magic except in emergencies. It'd have to be a vital part of her magic training, even if only to learn what not to do with it, and Twilight is smart enough to figure out her problems without using magic most of the time so offensive magic isn't that much use to her.

The standard ranged weapon for Equestrian guards is the sling.
In "May The Best Pet Win!", Rainbow Dash mentions being as fast as a bullet. Assuming that this isn't just a throwaway gag line, this sounds like it implies guns... but may be talking about sling bullets instead. A sling would be much easier for an earth pony or pegasus to handle than a bow, after all.

The Gray Unicorn guards aren't part of the royal guard
Rather, they're Praetorians, of sorts. The other regiments are bodyguards for the princesses, but the unicorn guard are tasked with defending Canterlot exclusively and are the only military force allowed within its walls.

Guns are an Earth pony invention.
Rainbow Dash mentioned "faster than a bullet" and named her pet "tank," and Pinkie Pie does have a party cannon. Firearms are more or less canon (ha ha ha) in one form or another. However, we never saw one used at the Royal wedding (except, again, Pinkie's party cannon) even though we saw hundreds of spear wielding (and rather useless) guards. However, all those guards are unicorns. What use could a gun be to them or to Unicorns in general? They already can blast things at range with magic, the only weapon they need is a close range melee weapon. Pegasus don't logically need guns as much either, since they can easily go close to the speed of many bullets and could do a lot of damage just by ramming into some pony (the Wonderbolts were able to cut some of an adult dragon's frills). Pegasi can also shake lighting out of clouds. The only ponies in Equestria that really need guns are the down to Earth Ponies, with no ability to quickly get from one target to another or have no ranged attacks.
  • Nice one... except for the fact that there are non-firearms that launch bullets. Slings and slingshots come to mind, as do certain types of crossbows and ballistae.
  • Additionally, both cannon and tanks (Da Vinci's model at least) predate most handguns
    • Except they aren't called tanks back then; the term 'tank' as applied to an armored vehicle dates only to WWII, when the development committee was renamed to Water Tank development as a counter-espionage effort.
  • Possibly the gun is also a recent invention, too weak and unreliable to be used (see "Equestria Divided" by PoorYorick on DeviantArt for examples I am thinking of) besides a morale busting weapon outside of giant cannons. Earth Ponies may not of had not enough need to develop weapon technology (see above reasons) or were not ALLOWED to develope weapon technology, do to there former statuses of serfs.

"Bullet" and "tank" are a Translation Convention.
The actual similes used in Equestrian would make no sense to us.

Most of the Royal Guard are stationed near Equestria's borders.
Ever wondered why there are few, if any Earth Pony Guards or how they were defeated so easily? The guards at the Canterlot Wedding were probably new recruits fresh from training. Now normally, in important ceremonial events such as this, it's often the experienced guards who are kept...well, in guard. But it could be that the experienced troops were too far away to reach or giving the recruits a chance to shine in duty. As for the latter, well we know what happened. The Earth Pony Guard are probably heavy hitters considering Earth Ponies are physically the strongest and are in charge of heavy weaponry such as tanks and artillery. The reason we don't see any Earth Guards patrolling the streets is that the Royal Guard doesn't want to take the chances of collateral damage.

The Royal Guards dye their coats and manes.
Similar to having a buzzcut and standard uniform for Real Life military.

The ponies wear saddles and occasionally bridles as a tribute to the now long extinct race of "gods" that created their civilization.
The social structure, buildings, economic system and agricultural society depicted in Equestria are all human. Clearly humans wiped themselves out taking the environment along with them, but not before an intelligent race of equines began to evolve. They may even have been engineered by humans. As a tribute to their long-dead gods they continued to wear saddles and bridles. Of course now saddles have a more practical function for carrying things, but bridles continue to be worn for a purely ceremonial reason.

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