An 80-year-old man who gained fame riding horses around the country saying he's a cowboy helping hungry children has pleaded not guilty to animal cruelty charges in New York City.

Tod "Doc" Mishler was released without bail after his arraignment Friday on two counts of torturing or injuring animals.

Police say his two horses suffered from dehydration and bleeding saddle sores. Court papers say the horses had been tied to trees and had no access to water.

Mishler says the horses are in "great shape" and the wounds were "superficial." He says he'll fight the charges.

Mishler had been issued a separate court summons Monday for blocking traffic and trespassing after riding his horse across the Outerbridge Crossing linking New Jersey with Staten Island.