A filly found close to death on a hillside in Essex is settling in to a new home.

The skewbald youngster, now named Lara, was rescued in April by the RSPCA.

She was found tethered by a chain and weighed less than half of what she should have.

“I was utterly shocked when we arrived that night to rescue her — she was just so thin, a complete bag of bones,” said RSPCA inspector Sam Garvey.

“She was just crouched there on the hillside, terrified and trembling, chained to a piece of scrubland with no food or water.”

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Lara was taken from the hillside in Harlow and treated at Catley Cross Veterinary Clinic in Halstead.

Last month (August), the one-year-old moved into her new home with the vet’s receptionist, Hannah Tottle.

Lara has formed strong bonds with her new stablemates in Great Wigborough, Essex — Welsh section C Honey and Shetland Lily.

“She is a special, loving horse who’ll be with me forever,” said Ms Tottle.

“The team at Catley put in so much hard work and they never gave up on Lara.

I wanted to make sure she went on to have the life she deserved, so that’s when I decided to rehome her myself.”

Lara beforeAlong with a serious skin condition (pictured right), Lara’s hooves were in a very poor state when she was rescued.

She has been receiving treatment and her feet have improved greatly thanks to remedial shoeing.

Ms Tottle added that it would be a bonus if she can back Lara in the future, but her priority is her wellbeing.

“I just love hacking, so if she’s a happy hacking horse that will be great,” she said.

“A few local shows might be nice too, but I’m not going to ask her to do anything she doesn’t want to.”

Mr Garvey added: “This was one of the worst cases I had ever seen, so I am absolutely thrilled she has settled into her new home.

“I wish Lara lots of luck for the future, she well and truly deserves this loving home.”