A Candler County man, who sparked ire from animal advocates on social media last year after photos of him riding a miniature horse were circulated, was arrested last week on animal cruelty charges after he was caught riding the animal again.
Trey Eugene Cannady, 48, of Dixon Grove Circle, had been warned last year by the Candler County Sheriff's Office that riding the slightly built tiny horse was unacceptable. Investigator Melvin Ivey contacted Cannady then, after being made aware of the incident via social media, and issued the warning.
Ivey also made the recent arrest when it was learned Cannady was riding the animal again.
Photos of Cannady on the small pinto stallion were published on Facebook, drawing furious comments as well as defensive reactions. Some said there was no harm done, while those with equine knowledge said otherwise.
The photos of Cannady on the miniature horse were not immediately retrievable Monday.
Candler County Sheriff John Miles said Monday that a veterinarian was consulted, and the little stallion was seized and is in temporary care of a local family. He said the veterinarian confirmed that a miniature the size of Cannady's horse is not built to be ridden, except possibly by a small child.
On social media last year, some argued that "Shetland ponies are bred for working in coal mines." That is true, but the miniature horse Cannady rode and owns is not a stocky-type Shetland but a slimmer, more slightly built miniature suitable for pulling a light cart but not to be ridden by a grown adult.
Arrest records show Cannady weighs 160 pounds and stands 5 feet 8 inches tall.
The miniature horse is less than 38 inches tall at the withers. Photos posted on social media last year showed Cannady riding the horse with his feet held up so they would not drag the ground.
Cannady was taken to the Candler County Jail, and Miles said he expects the court case to be heard within a month.