Redwings, the RSPCA and the police removed the mare and two younger ponies from a field in Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire.
The 15-year-old Irish Draft horse, later named Carmen, was extremely thin, her legs were bloodied from horrific leg mites, her feet were overgrown and she was covered in lice.
RSPCA inspector Sian Ridley, said: "The RSPCA sadly has to rescue hundreds of horses every year, but I'll never forget when we first found Carmen suffering from horrific mites and infections on her legs in a muddy field in the pouring rain.
“She had two youngsters with her who were so frightened, but Carmen was always very calm and sweet. She's a lovely mare who didn't deserve to go through such horrible neglect."
She was sent to nearby Catley Cross Veterinary Clinic for immediate treatment, before being transported to Redwings Ada Cole to continue her recovery, while the two younger ponies were taken into the care of the RSPCA.
Now less than six months later, Carmen has transformed from a nervous and woefully neglected new arrival into a happy and friendly horse and is now enjoying her new life at the charity’s Ada Cole Visitor Centre, near Harlow in Essex, following her arrival in April 2018.
Due to the damage caused to her legs from having gone without treatment for mites for so long, she is likely to need special care for the rest of her life.
But now Redwings has offered Carmen a safe home for life, she’ll always be under the watchful eye of the charity’s vets and she’ll never have to fear going hungry again.
Senior Field Officer Jo Franklin, said: “To look at Carmen now, you would hardly believe it is the same horse! She was so thin when she first arrived that you could see her bones protruding through her winter coat.
“Happily, Carmen has made a fantastic recovery and is proving a hugely popular resident among supporters and residents alike.
It just goes to show how quickly a horse’s life can turnaround with good care and, through offering Carmen a forever home at the Sanctuary, we pledge to keep her safe, happy and healthy for the rest of her days.”
Everyone is welcome to meet Carmen at Redwings Ada Cole, in Epping Road, Roydon (EN9 2DH), open every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, 10am to 4pm – and entry is free.
For further information, head to www.redwings.org.uk/visiting.
Don’t miss the latest issue of Your Horse Magazine, jam-packed with training and veterinary advice, horse-care tips and the latest equestrian products available on shop shelves, on sale now. Find out what’s in the latest issue here