Honey, the mini service horse welcomed at Ocala breakfast restaurant

Miniature horses make good service animals because they live into their 30s

Honey, the mini service horse, at First Watch in Ocala on June 15, 2018. (Photo: Jessica Wellman)
Honey, the mini service horse, at First Watch in Ocala on June 15, 2018. (Photo: Jessica Wellman)

When a miniature horse and his owner walked into an Ocala First Watch, the restaurant manager wasn't sure what to do. 

After all, this wasn't just any American Miniature Horse. The manager was in the presence of internet celebrity 7-year-old Honey, the Mini Service horse

However, the recent cases of people using peacocks, squirrels and ducks as "emotional support" and service animals led the manager to call in help from the corporate office.

He learned of a regulation that allowed the miniature horse in the restaurant, and both Honey and her owner, Jessica Wellman, 31, were welcomed with open arms.

"Oh she is very accustomed to going into places," Wellman said.

Honey parks up and will only break her stance if Wellman, who suffers from Crohn's Disease, is having a medical episode, she said. Honey has come to her owner's aide many times.

"Honey is mostly trained for mobility," Wellman said. "She helps me if I start to fall down. She uses her weight to help pull me up. She picks up dropped objects. She opens doors."

Miniature horses make good service animals, because they can live into their 30s and have a working lifespan almost as long. Honey has been with Wellman since the horse was 9 months old.

First Watch responded to the Miami Herald with this:

"On Friday, June 15, a woman came into First Watch in Ocala with her miniature horse. When asked if it was a service animal, the woman confirmed that it was.

"We brought her to a table, where the horse could stand against the wall next to her. Of course our team was a bit surprised, as we’ve never had anyone bring a service miniature horse into one of our restaurants. But we always to do our best to accommodate customers who have legitimate service animals," First Watch spokeswoman Eleni Kouvatsos said in an email to the Miami Herald.

"We were happy to accommodate," Kouvatsos said.

And Honey was happy to be there but did not eat anything for brunch.

"Service animals are not to be fed in public places as part of the health code," Wellman said. "It's kind of, like, it's not right. Not cool, man."

Check out the post her owner made on her behalf.

Had a great meal...or at least watched my handler have a great meal. Everyone was so awesome.

Posted by Honey the Mini Service Horse on Friday, June 15, 2018