A foal was suffering so severely from rainscald at a week old that his face, neck and parts of his body were totally bald.
But now he has been nursed back to health by south Wales-based rider Emma Le Page.
Emma, 20, of Ceredigion, found the as yet unnamed cremelo Welsh section A colt collapsed in a hedge on 4 August after his severely underweight dam was unable to feed him.
“We saw the foal with his very skinny mum in a field of semi-wild ponies near where we live,” said Emma. “But a few days later he disappeared.”
Emma searched for him and found the colt near death.
“He had fallen in a hedge in the pouring rain. We tried to stand him up but he just fell over — he had given up — so we put the foal in the back of the van and he just lay there.”
A vet called to see the foal told Emma it was the worst case of rainscald she had ever seen and gave him a dim prognosis.
But after bottle feeding every two hours until he would drink from a bucket and lots of care the foal has pulled through.
And at four months old he is robust and healthy.
The owner of the ponies told Emma she could have the foal and his dam. So Emma added both to her already busy yard of 12 horses and ponies as well as a six-month-old section A filly she bought at a sale for £24 to keep him company.
“He gallops round the field like a nutter with her and our section D yearling colt and mini Shetland,” said Emma. “His mum has also gone from strength to strength and now looks like a pony rather than a walking skeleton.”