Texas horse with rare defect readies for trip to Knoxville for needed surgery

DRIPPING SPRINGS, Texas (KXAN) — The story of a horse with a rare defect and her young handler rallied KXAN viewers and Central Texans to donate tens of thousands of dollars this spring.

More than $27,000 has been raised for Barbara on a GoFundMe page, which is enough to cover the surgery she needs. Her owner hopes they’ll be able to raise the full amount of their $39,000 goal so the horse can stay at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville for a full six weeks for post-operation care.

Her caretaker, Shane Bookbinder, says the surgery, which is slated for later this week, is a second chance at life. “From there on, she could be any type of horse she wants. She could be a pleasure horse, a riding horse or a pleasure horse. Any type of horse she wants to [be].”

Barbara was born in January with a wry nose, a deformity that pulls her nose to the side making it difficult to breathe and even eat.

“The minute I saw her, I fell in love with her,” Barbara’s owner Martha Talley told KXAN’s Lauren Lanmon in April. “I just can’t see killing something, you know?”

“She’s a good friend, not just a good horse,” Shane said. “There’s more things right about her than there is wrong. She’s just super nice and she’s never tried to bite or anything.”

Barbra Shane Bookbinder and his horse Barbra, who was born with a nose deformity. After airing Barbra’s story, KXAN viewers stepped up and donated money to get the horse the surgery she needs. (KXAN Photo/Ed Zavala)

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