Eleven years after she had to give up her beloved horse because her health was failing, a B.C. woman has been reunited with the long-lost pet that was narrowly saved from the slaughterhouse.

Splash came into Erin Rogers' life in 1995 as her diabetes was getting worse and she feared she was dying. The young gelding gave purpose to her life.

"I saw him and I just fell in love with him," she told CTV News.

But her disease became so severe that she required a double organ transplant, and she didn't feel she could give Splash the care he deserved.

She sold him to someone she trusted, but he was never far from her mind. Several years ago, with her health improving, Rogers began searching for Splash.

"I never forgot about him," she said. "I started looking on the rescue sites. I asked friends. I thought he was out in the Chilliwack area."

She learned that Splash's original buyer had sold him again. It wasn't until last week that a friend spotted the horse on the website for J&M Acres Horse Rescue in Maple Ridge.

"I just saw him on my friend's little phone and he was filthy and skinny, and I saw this tiny little picture and I knew that it was him and I just started crying and shaking," she said.

The rescue centre took Splash in after receiving a call that he was headed to slaughter. They found room for him and named him Jack.

"He was emaciated, he was skinny, he was really haunted-looking and he was having a bit of trouble moving," Amy Lizzee of J&M Acres said.

Within days of hearing from Rogers, rescuers reunited her with Splash.

"He's just as sweet as I remember," Rogers said.

Now 24 years old, Splash has arthritis and Rogers will never ride him again. Her health is still fragile and she tires easily, so the two old friends often spend their time simply sitting together.

With a report from CTV British Columbia's Michele Brunoro