Barbara has a new snout

Gary Zupancic, Staff Reporter

A few months ago, an Arabian foal named Barbara was born with a defective nose and snout. This was due to her leg being in the wrong position over her snout in the womb. It was a serious condition, as the foal could not nurse properly.

The original owner wanted to euthanize the horse, but Martha Carroll-Talley would have none of that, as she became attached to the animal. Barbara, named after Barbara Streisand, would live and be normal after she had an operation at about six months. It was hard to keep her alive and it took some doing with lots of expenses.

One problem was the foal’s mother had to be taught how to nurse the foal, only from the right, and Barbara had to have supplemental commercial milk. But throughout all of her handicap, she was sweet as could be. It was heartbreaking to see her struggle. One pet on her head and she would follow you around like a puppy.

With the constant human care, at three months she was not shy. Her trainer Allen Pogue had her doing tricks at that early age. Pogue, along with his wife Sue De Laurentis run Imagine a Horse training method and had been caring for Barbara.

Horses naturally have the “flight or fight” mentality and will run away when confronted. But with training, that can be replaced with love of humans, submission and the love to be petted.

At six months the foal had the corrective surgery at the University of Tennessee with Dr. James Schumacher. The students at the university also fell in love with the horse and posted pictures on Facebook. “The students said it was the best filly they have ever messed with. She’s a dream, ” Carroll-Talley said.

The first operation on the horse didn’t go as planned. “The bone graft from the rib that they put in didn’t take. There were tons of pins in her. Three weeks later they had to do it again.” But this time the operation was successful. Her snout was fixed.

“Since the operation, she’s gained 140 lbs. eating grass and hay like a normal horse.

Carroll-Talley continued. “Every four weeks or so she will have to have her teeth grinded down, for about a year,” to give her a normal bite as she grows older.

This coming weekend, Barbara will have a homecoming of sorts, at the Cedar Chest on the Wimberley Square. 

Sue De Laurentis from Imagine a Horse in Dripping Springs is bringing a trick horse, Andy, from Little America Miniatures in Buda to perform on October 14, from 11a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Cedar Chest on Wimberley Square. The store will be providing food at 11a.m. for those attending Barbara’s Welcome Home Party/Fundraiser.  

“We are excited to host the Welcome Home party so that we can also make this a “Thank You” party to all those that have been so much help in making Barbara’s surgery a great success,” Sarah Barlow the owner of the Cedar Chest said.

The silent auction will begin at 10 a.m. and end at 5 p.m.  Plenty of great auction items such as Powder River coats, a Cabela’s fly fishing package, and a glass lamp. The Cedar Chest also had a t-shirt made with Barbara’s picture on it for a $25.00 donation.  All funds for the silent auction and t-shirts will go towards paying Barbara’s medical bills.  

For more information: The Cedar Chest, 13915 Ranch Road 12 Wimberley,

Phone: 512-847-1100,

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