The 16-year-old cob cross, named Boris, was discovered in a field in Harlow, Essex, by the local council in February. They raised their concerns with Redwings – which has a centre on the outskirts of the town – about the horse’s deteriorating appearance.
Redwings’ Senior Field Officer Jo Franklin and an RSPCA Inspector attended the site and discovered the thorny stick wedged in the soft tissue under his tongue, which had been preventing Boris from opening his mouth and grazing. He was sadly assessed as having a body condition score of 0 to 0.5, when a healthy horse should score 3 out of 5.
Boris was immediately taken to nearby House and Jackson Veterinary Clinic where the stick was removed, his mouth cleaned and he was able to enjoy his first meal in days.
With no owner coming forward to claim him, Redwings has offered Boris a safe, forever home at the Sanctuary. He has now been transported to a Redwings centre in Norfolk where the charity’s veterinary team can keep a close eye on him while he continues his recovery.
Senior Field Officer Jo Franklin said: “Boris was in absolute agony when I saw him. He wouldn’t open his mouth at first, even to take a slice of apple, but then he allowed me just enough of a glimpse to see the stick – it was like he was desperately asking for help.
“I usually try not to get upset, but to see a horse in so much pain was heart-breaking. And the fact that this type of awful situation can so easily be prevented by regularly checking your horse makes it that much worse.
“At the end of that day, I left the veterinary clinic with Boris in a warm stable, chewing away on some soft feed, and I thought, ‘This is why I do what I do’. I’m so pleased we’ve been able to offer him a loving new home at the Sanctuary where he’ll never lack for love and care for the rest of his life.”
A spokesperson for the RSPCA said: “We are delighted to hear that Boris is on the mend. When our officer and Redwings found him he was in a terrible state and we are pleased that he is now on the road to recovery and has found a forever home with Redwings.”
Redwings is a registered charity 100% funded by donations from the public. A donation of £10 could fill a stable with warm bedding for a poorly horse, like Boris, while £250 could fund a month’s care. To support Boris and his fellow rescued residents at the Sanctuary, call 01508 481000 or visit www.redwings.org.uk/donate.