Kelsey, a teenager from Illinois, lives with her mother on a farm with horses. She is passionate about horseback riding and her love for these animals is boundless. But one day, while out for a drive with her mother, she made a shocking discovery.

As Kelsey gazed out the car window at the surrounding countryside, she noticed a strange-looking heap lying in the grass.

You can watch the whole amazing story in this video:

She asked her mother to stop the car and when she stepped out, a chill ran down her spine as she realized what she was looking at: lying before her was a horse so malnourished it looked like skeleton. The poor animal was exhausted and obviously in great pain.

Kelsey and her mother were speechless — they had never seen anything like this before. Carefully they helped the little horse to its feet which was no easy task. They tried to put it in their truck, but it was too scared to move and wouldn't cooperate.

But Kelsey refused to give up. The last thing she was going to do was leave the poor creature alone at the side of the road. Seeing that getting it into the truck wasn't going to work, Kelsey had an idea. She took the horse by the bridle and began to lead it into the field. Slowly but surely they walked all the way back to her family's farm.

It took four hours to cover the nine miles, but Kelsey was patient. As they walked, Kelsey whispered words of encouragement to the little horse.

Finally they arrived, but the worst was not over. The horse was in terrible condition and urgently needed medical attention. She was so badly starved that her bones were showing through her skin and her back was covered with whip marks.

The horse was so starving that she'd probably run away to find food. Kelsey and her mother couldn't believe that someone could abuse and neglect an animal so terribly.

Yet despite being rescued, the horse's chances of survival still weren't great and Kelsey knew this. That didn't stop her from doing all she could. She spent four nights sleeping in the stable, waking up every two hours to check on the special patient.

Kelsey's mother was even amazed at her devotion. "I would have slept with the horse maybe one or two nights, tops," she admitted.

Kelsey named the horse "Sonny" and after a few days it started to look like she was going to make it after all.