The setup: The Southern California Miniature Horse Meetup in conjunction with the SoCal Mini Horse Sanctuary hosted a party and potluck on Fiesta Island so the horses could take a dip in the bay. Who knew mini horses liked to swim? Other than being outrageously adorable, I didn’t know much about the little guys before the event. 

Why I chose this event: I mean….is it really necessary to explain? According to the group’s Facebook page, 30-plus mini horses had RSVP'ed, plus at least one min donkey and several corgis. It would be ludicrous not to go.  

How I was feeling before heading to the Meetup event: Practically vibrating with excitement. I think I had only seen one or two mini horses in one place prior to that, and I couldn’t even wrap my mind around the image of a whole beach full of them. Since I regrettably do not own a mini horse, I stopped by the grocery store to buy some watermelon (for the humans) and carrots and sugar cubes (for the minis) so I wouldn’t just look like a party crasher. When my mom found out I was going, she basically demanded I take her along, as she loves all horses. 

The general vibe: Fiesta Island had been transformed from a dingy strip of beach where people typically drink 30-packs of Coors and camp in trailers to a magical place where mini horses of all shapes, sizes and colors frolicked about in the sand and splashed around in the water; mini horses as far as the eye could see! While it’s hard to tell from my photos, there were tons and tons of minis spread out along the whole side of the island we were on. Amazing! 

Determined not to look like a lurker, I sought out someone in charge and explained my lack of an actual mini horse, but my desire to take part in the festivities. If they had turned me away at that point I think I might have actually died, but luckily mini horse owners are some of the nicest people you will ever meet (which makes sense because how could you not be happy all the time with one of those stumpy little creatures around?). Not only did they let me and my mom hang around and eat their food and watch all the fun, but they even let us take the minis into the bay and for a romp down the beach. Oh, you don’t own a miniature horse? No problem, just borrow one of ours. Yeah, it was pretty much like that. 

I met all different mini horses, but my favorites were Sparky, Huckleberry, Little Dude, and Jigglypuff (aka Jiggy the Mini). 

Had to take a selfie with Little Dude

And of course I also loved the miniature donkey, Jack, who definitely did not want to go swimming. 

You fancy

Here are some fast facts about minis, if you’re curious:

—They have to be under 38 inches to be considered a true mini horse.

—They differ from ponies in that their bodies are proportionate, just small, while ponies are typically short and squat and can be grouchy.

—They can be trained to do all sorts of things, and I even met two therapy minis that would go to nursing homes. THERAPY. MINI. HORSES. 

—They like watermelon.

—They are completely indifferent to having a corgi in a life vest ride on their backs:

A video posted by Jenna (@jennadd4) on Aug 3, 2015 at 10:40pm PDT

Even the lifeguards wanted photos of the minis

High Point: I really can’t decide if it was when the corgi rode the mini or when I got to frolic down the beach with Sparky

A video posted by Jenna (@jennadd4) on Aug 3, 2015 at 10:43pm PDT

Low point: Having to leave? Probably that and not winning this shirt in the raffle

Quote of the event: “This is one of those memories that when I’m an old lady I’ll sit in my rocking chair and relive.”—My mom, being completely serious. 

How I was feeling after leaving the Meetup event: Why can’t every Sunday be filled with sun and surf and mini horses??

Other noteworthy tidbits/final thoughts: Mom and Dad, my 30th birthday is coming up, so….mini horse? Also, I’m just going to leave you with this little bit of nonsense, in which I couldn’t look any happier or more ridiculous as I prance dow the beach with my adopted mini. #happyplace

“¡Ahí estás! Tapando la visión de mi cámara” soltó, acompañando sus palabras y señas con una sonrisa al llamar la atención de aquella silueta de espaldas que, en efecto, no le permitía tomar la fotografía deseada a uno de los edificios más antiguos en París (o eso decía en su mapa). Se acercó con cautela a aquel individuo y sonrío. “Aunque si quieres ser modelo de acompañamiento…¿quién soy yo para negártelo?” Mencionó entre risas, ignorando la futura respuesta ajena y tomando la fotografía aún así.