The pony was suffering with horrific bleeding wounds on her back legs that were so deep her muscles were exposed, when she was found tied up on Follingsby Lane, in January 2016.
Elsa was spotted by a passer-by who contacted the RSPCA inspector, who rushed to the scene and described Elsa as suffering with the worst injuries she had ever seen on a horse.
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Elsa, named after the Disney princess because of the frozen weather at the time, was rushed to a vet who gave her emergency treatment and strong painkillers.
Thanks to painstaking round-the-clock care by staff at the specialist equine vets and the team at RSPCA Felledge Equine Centre, in County Durham, Elsa was finally in safe hands.
It is not known how Elsa suffered her painful injuries but the vet predicted that her wounds were at least three days old by the time she was found. The owners, and offenders to the horrific injuries were never found.
Elsa’s road to recovery continued to be a bumpy ride. As her wounds started to heal, the skin became tight and sore, and once she began to go out into the paddock, her grooms noticed she was also lame.
X-rays revealed poor Elsa was in fact suffering with ‘laminitis,’ causing the painful rotation of the pedal bone in one of her feet - another serious condition for the young pony to overcome.
After several months of specialist treatment, Elsa bounced back, and landed herself a foster home for several months, before recently returning to RSPCA Felledge, where she is being introduced to being ridden.
Lisa Paulin, manager at RSPCA Felledge Equine Centre has been by Elsa’s side since she was first rescued three years ago. She said: “Her story is inspirational of how a horse without hope can demonstrate such bravery despite their dreadful start.
“Now fit and well Elsa has been enjoying her ridden work at the centre. She is ready to move onto the next chapter in her life finding her forever home, where someone can offer her that love and security she very much deserves.”