A young cob found in a desperate condition Buckinghamshire has found a new home.

Rafiki, at 18-months-old, was among a group of several fly-grazed horses rescued by the Blue Cross in January. Three were found dead and a further two had to be put down due to high burdens of encysted small red worm.

Rafiki had a huge worm count of 5,300 eggs per gram and needed urgent veterinary attention.

He was nursed back to health by staff at the Blue Cross and within weeks his health had greatly improved.

The youngster was rehomed by a Cambridgshire-based horse lover on 25 September. Margaret, who preferred not to give her surname, suffers from severe arthritis and is unable to walk following an operation. She now uses a power wheelchair to get around.

“He gives me a reason to get up in the morning,” she said. “Once I had got used to the wheelchair I was bored, getting fat, and really missed fresh air and equine company.

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“I looked at the Blue Cross website and there he was. It was instant. We went to see him and he was perfect. He was not the slightest bit bothered by the wheelchair and quite happily sniffed me all over.

He is kind, gentle and so patient. He is doing me much more good than anything I can do for him.”

With the help of her daughter, Margaret plans to introduce Rafiki to as much as she can, including a saddle, bridle, rugs and a trailer.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better home for Rafiki,” said Vicki Alford, from Blue Cross.

“We are currently inundated with lovely young cobs like him and are desperate to find them good homes before winter sets in and our resources become tighter. If you are an experienced horse owner with the knowledge, time and facilities to give a youngster a home, please get in touch.”

The death of some of Rafiki’s companions has prompted Blue Cross to remind horse owners to treat their horses for encysted small redworm during the late autumn/early winter. The charity advises horse owners to speak to their vet for worming guidance.