Timbaland's production was unique among R&B releases of the day: "Pony"'s instrumentation features a start-stop rhythm pattern similar to drum and bass music, a bassline and melody formed by vocoded vocal samples, and a cartoon slide whistle. Along with his concurrent work for Aaliyah's One in a Million LP, "Pony" and Ginuwine...the Bachelor marked the emergence of Timbaland as a successful R&B producer. The beat was also used for a remix of Jodeci's song "Freek 'N You". The song peaked at number one on the BillboardHot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks for two weeks from November 16, 1996 to November 30, 1996 and reached number six on Billboard's Hot 100 on November 23, 1996.
The song was featured in the 2012 film Magic Mike which played when Channing Tatum's character performs a hip-hop theme striptease to the song. Ginuwine plays a fictional version of himself on NBC's Parks and Recreation and performed the song in the season 6 finale in honor of Li'l Sebastian at the Pawnee-Eagleton Unity Concert. In 2015, Kevin McHale covered the song as Artie Abrams in the first part of the series finale of Fox television series Glee.