A colt found with a headcollar embedded in the flesh of his face is flourishing in his new home.
The pony, now named Star, was rescued by World Horse Welfare in 2013.
The then two-month-old foal was found with a headcollar embedded in his face due to it not being adjusted as he grew.
Star was taken to the Royal Veterinary College in Potters Bar where he had surgery to remove the headcollar, which had damaged his nasal bone, causing him great pain.
Once well enough, Star was moved to World Horse Welfare’s Glenda Spooner Farm Rescue and Rehoming Centre to begin his rehabilitation.
“He had never been handled so was very fearful of humans but with dedicated care and attention he slowly began to make progress,” said World Horse Welfare spokesman.
“The damage from the headcollar was so severe that he is left with permanent scarring and damage to his facial bones, but thankfully this doesn’t prevent him from leading a normal, happy life.”
Star has since been rehomed by Hertfordshire-based Charlotte Shepherd.
“When I first saw the story about what had happened to Star I couldn’t quite believe it; the extent of his injuries was horrific and the fact he was so young,” she said.
“I couldn’t quite get my head around how or why anyone would let this happen. I knew I needed to help him and offer him his for ever home; I had the space for him and the knowledge with youngsters — I knew it was the right thing to do. I applied for him straight away.
“Star has come on leaps and bounds since I rehomed him. He was still quite nervous when he arrived so it has taken time and lots of TLC to make him the pony he is today. He really is my best friend, a true mummy’s boy!
“He’s been enjoying learning about the world and developing his education so I know he has a bright future ahead and I’m hoping he can be backed to ride in the future.
“I would 100% recommend rehoming. There are so many horses out there in need of their for ever home and when one pony is rehomed it makes space for the next one who is need of help from World Horse Welfare.”
September marks World Horse Welfare’s annual rehome a horse month, which highlights the benefits of rehoming.
Each year, World Horse Welfare rehomes around 300 horses and ponies with more than 1,800 currently in homes around the UK.
“Rehome a Horse Month is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the many reasons why rehoming should always be the go-to option for anyone looking for a new horse or pony,” said World Horse Welfare deputy chief executive, Tony Tyler.
“Not only can you be guaranteed complete honesty and transparency, but you also receive the support and back-up of the World Horse Welfare team, plus the safety net that the horse or pony can be returned to our care at any time should your circumstances change.
“We are so grateful to all of our fantastic rehomers who are giving these horses and ponies a second chance at the life they deserve and it really is incredible to hear of all the amazing things they are achieving. From loyal companions and hacking horses to show ring successes – it seems there is nothing rehomed horses and ponies cannot do!”