Horses are hard work, especially in the winter but nothing on earth excuses the level of neglect & cruelty that these animals went through.
The picture of the animal above clearly shows it's spine which you should only just be able to feel in a healthy horse/pony, underneath the inch thick coat will be ribs that stand out a mile & the belly isn't fat, it's bloated from worms that if left, will eat it into the internal organs such as liver/lungs/stomach. The horse will either die a slow death or have to be put down because of this.
A total of 111 horses, ponies, donkeys & a foal were rescued from a barn & field in Amersham, that doesn't include the 34 that were found dead both in the barn & piled against fencing or the 3 that were so pitifully thin they had to be put down on sight. The animals in the barn were packed in so tightly they had no room to move, were tethered in some cases & either stood next to or on top of the rotting bodies of others that hadn't been so lucky. They were starved of water & food. Their hooves are so overgrown that the hoof has split & cracked basically as far as it can go. They weren't found sooner because the field was screened from view with trees & the barn was secluded in the yard.
Horses being sold for meat is unfortunately a fact of life & not an awful lot can be done to stop it but to be kept in the condition these were kept in is beyond contempt.
My horse means the world to me, she doesn't go without a thing & her needs come above anything I may want at the time. I keep her myself & look after her myself. I've spent January nights, 11pm at the yard before now because she's been down with colic & I've needed to keep her walking & on her feet so she didn't twist a gut & have walked her in the freezing cold for an hour waiting for the vet. I've got up earlier in the mornings before work to sort & poultice her hoof when she had an abscess in her coronet band because of a thorn. I've gone out morning & evening to rug her up & turn her out & bring her in & bed her down for the night. Without fail she gets what she needs when she needs it. I've had physio done on her back because of back problems & had to get her saddle refitted. But I don't mind a bit because we've had her since she was two, she's now coming up 12. I broke her in myself & brought her on to what she is now, she is as loyal as any dog & so trustworthy my little sister, at two years old, could catch her & bring her in to the stable. Even our farrier says what a lovely animal she is & is the type of horse you get once in a lifetime. She wouldn't harm a fly & trusts people implicitly.