In February of 2013, the World Horse Welfare received a call from a concerned citizen about four horses, two mares and two foals, living in a field in Nottingham Shire. Upon arrival, investigators discovered that the foals were surviving well, but only because they were getting their nutrients from the mares.
While both mares were very unhealthy, Macy was particularly unwell. Lying on the ground, with a weak heartbeat, the horse appeared to have given up.
"The Bay Mare, Macy, at that stage, to my opinion, had given up the will to live. She'd gone down to the floor, she was shivering violently," David Boyd the chief field officer with World Horse Welfare said, according to World Horse Welfare.
The investigators put some rugs over Macy in an effort to get her warm and ease her shivering. When the vet arrived, he informed investigators that Macy's heart was weak and that they should consider putting her down. But, Macy then jumped to her feet, shaking and investigators considered this a sign that she wanted to try.
Upon examination Macy was found to have no body fat around her neck. Her neck muscles had sunken in, above the shoulder. In addition, Macy had developed rain scald. Rain scald, or rain rot, in an infection caused by bacteria on the skin. While not fatal, it can be uncomfortable for the horse, according to Equusite.
Macy was so starved her ribs were visible even beneath her thick coat, and her hips and spine were jutted outward.
Six months after removal from her abusive owners, Macy was already much better. All of the horses have recovered physically and mentally.
The World Horse Welfare is an international charity that focuses on rescuing and improving the lives of horses throughout the UK. The organization works to educate owners, campaign for better treatment and offers hands-on service for horses in need, according to their website.