Police in Keady, County Armagh were called to an incident where a horse was set on fire at about 9.20pm last night (19 May).
A member of the public put the flames out and tended to the horse until a vet arrived.
The horse was malnourished and had suffered burns.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland (NSNI) said its injuries would have been much more serious but for the actions of the person who quickly put the flames out.
“This was an horrific incident where an already malnourished animal was subjected to horrendous treatment,” PSNI Inspector Nigel Graham said.
“I would like to thank the community member who treated the horse for their swift actions and quick thinking.
“We are very keen to trace the owner of the horse and we would also like to speak to a number of youths who were seen in the area.”