Instagram star is bashed for posting a picture of herself riding a horse

An Instagram star has found herself in controversy among animal lovers after she posed with a horse in deep open water, all for the ‘gram. 

Influencer Kristen Hancher, 20 — who boasts 5.8 million followers on Instagram and one million subscribers on YouTube — attended a brand trip to Anguilla recently where she decided to have a photoshoot on a horse in open water. 

The picture shared Tuesday, captioned ‘Old Town Road’ by the influencer, sparked negative feedback from followers, though, who claimed she was endangering the horse with her photoshoot. 

Controversial: Influencer Kristen Hancher, 20, received backlash on a brand trip when she shared a picture of herself on a horse in open water

Controversial: Influencer Kristen Hancher, 20, received backlash on a brand trip when she shared a picture of herself on a horse in open water

Backlash: Commenters attacked the influencer for potentially endangering the animal

Backlash: Commenters attacked the influencer for potentially endangering the animal

The influencer, from Ontario, Canada, was pictured in a leopard-print bikini atop a saddled horse while water surrounded them. 

Although the post quickly became one of Kristen’s most liked post — gaining more than 365,000 likes in three days — it also received backlash from followers who thought the photoshoot endangered the horse. 

Multiple comments on the post expressed concern for the animal in the open water, with many saying they felt bad about putting the horse in that situation. 

‘The poor horse,’ one person commented, while another wrote: ‘I feel bad for that horse.’ 

There were also claimed horse experts commenting on the post with stated that the photoshoot was wrong. 

‘All the actual equestrians like myself are quaking,’ a commenter wrote.

So what exactly did follower have problem with in regards to the picture? 

The first issue people took was that the horse appeared to be in deep open water, which made some think the animal was in danger. 

Response: Kristen's team responded to the backlash by claiming a guide was with the influencer the entire time and that the animal was not in danger

Response: Kristen’s team responded to the backlash by claiming a guide was with the influencer the entire time and that the animal was not in danger

Not happy: People claimed Kristen was on the horse wrong and putting it in danger

Not happy: People claimed Kristen was on the horse wrong and putting it in danger

Popular: Kristen has 5.8 million followers on Instagram and one million followers on YouTube

Popular: Kristen has 5.8 million followers on Instagram and one million followers on YouTube

Horses swimming in deep water is actually not unheard of, especially on Caribbean islands like where Kristen was located for her trip. 

Resorts will often offer horseback riding excursions that include treks into the ocean, but it is up to the company to make sure the animal is taken care of so they don’t tire out from these activities. 

Staying busy: She is known for making videos about her life and posting pictures modeling various wigs

Staying busy: She is known for making videos about her life and posting pictures modeling various wigs

Besides having concerns about the horse in the water, people also commented on the positioning of Kristen on the animal. 

‘That’s NOT how you should sit on a horse,’ one commenter wrote. 

Another chimed in, writing: ‘Why are you using an english saddle for water ridding?’  

A rep from Kristen’s team informed Buzzfeed that the horse was not in danger during the entire photo shoot and a guide was with the influencer to help handle the horse. 

‘The horse was safe at all times,’ the rep said, calling Kristen an ‘animal lover’. ‘There were no waves and nothing that could have endangered the horse.’  

‘Kristen…has two dogs herself and would never do anything to endanger an animal of any type,’ the rep continued

DailyMail.com contacted Kristen and her team for a comment.   

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