A popular TikTok personality criticized a Montauk ranch for declining to let her ride one of its mounts over the weekend, saying the refusal was based on her weight — which she says tops 240 pounds — though state law has long barred overloading a horse.
In her post, set to the tune of “Gonna Fly Now” from the movie "Rocky," Remi Bader wrote: “I've rode horses before and have never had this issue. Please adver[t]ise this on your signs for the future.”
Bader, who has more than 2 million followers, was not immediately available for comment.
Deep Hollow Ranch declined to comment Tuesday.
However, after an apparent employee posted a TikTok in response to Bader's post about the ranch, Deep Hollow added a message on its Facebook page: "It has come to our attention that a TikTok video was posted regarding the ranch and a teenage employee posted a response that in no way represents nor is aligned with the views that the owners of the ranch hold. We would like to apologize to anyone who this offended and we do not condone or agree with any part of that employee's video."
“They [the ranch] are the experts and if they feel it would hurt the animal, it’s their call,” said Suffolk SPCA Chief Roy Gross.
“If they are concerned about overdriving an animal, if they think that would be cruel in some way, I would think it would be up to the venue to do what they feel is appropriate,” he added.
Under New York State agricultural law, overloading or otherwise harming any wild or tame animal is a class A misdemeanor.
Anyone found guilty can be sentenced to up a year in prison, and assessed a fine of as much as $1,000 or twice the amount they gained from the crime.
Size charts posted by the ranch and other sites give ranges for acceptable weights for riders, from 15% to 20% of a horse’s weight. The charts do not seem to include how much saddles might weigh.
A horse that weighs 1,600 pounds could carry a rider who weighs 240 pounds at the lower percentage, and 320 pounds at the higher percentage.
The weight of a horse varies by breed; although the average horse weighs around 1,000 pounds, experts say.
Draft horses, like Clydesdales, are one of the breeds that can carry larger riders.
“Most of the horses range in size from 16.2 to 18 hands and weigh between 1600 and 1800” pounds, according to Oklahoma State University's definition of the Clydesdale breed.
The height of horses is measured in four-inch increments, called hands, from the ground to their withers, the prominent bump where the neck joins the back.