Around eight horses are currently roaming on land off Newcomen Drive in Tipton, which is owned by the waste disposal firm Mintworth Transport Ltd. The horses are not owned by the firm.
Local residents joined forces and contacted the Express & Star to express their concern for the horses, and anger at the state of the land.
"These horses desperately need shelter, especially the ones that will have their foals soon. The canal is always frozen over during the winter, and the grass there is already dead," they said.
Terry Brookes, who is a member of Sandwell Strides, and regularly walks along the canal towpath, said he often sees the horses.
The 61-year-old from Powke Lane, Rowley Regis, said: "They are just left to roam. It's a such a shame they are just left and not looked after.
"They must be so very cold when the weather is like this."
A resident of Calley Close, who asked not to be named, said local residents had fed the horses because they were so concerned.
She said: "I do just feel so sorry for the horses. There is a really steep bank at the back of the houses, and they come down there. I'm always worried they will fall. It's cruel really."
The land currently has planning permission for 200 homes, but as yet there has been no work on the site.
Although the horses are not owned by the firm, council bosses said the company was liable for them.
Great Bridge councillor Derek Rowley said the council has no powers to remove the horses because they are on private land.
He said: "It is completely irresponsible to keep horses on that land.
"It is not safe for the horses, and to be quite frank they are in a bad state. It is particularly bad in such freezing weather. We as a council have contacted Mintworth, and informed them they have liability for the horses.
"We have also contacted the RSPCA."
The Express & Star contacted the registered address for Mintworth Transport Ltd, on Compton Road in Wolverhampton, but was informed the company is based offshore and is unavailable for comment.