Blind Horse Proves “No Unwanted Horses”


25 Year Old Horse Lights Up Lives of Many

“A lot of people give up on horses, just because of an injury or old age or no matter what it might be, but an animal’s not done ‘til they’re done. You might not win all the races, but you need to let an animal do what they’ve got to do.”

Blind Scooby and Tom Boyd, tied in first place ~ photo by Jason Fochtman

When Thomas Boyd began looking for a horse to add to his family’s stable a few years ago, he thought he found the perfect one on Craig’s List.

Boyd, operations manager for City Glass in Cleveland, and his wife, Amber, drove to Alvin to inspect the horse they’d seen online. What they found was an older, neglected animal that didn’t look worth the money it would take to feed him.

“Nothing like the picture,” said Boyd. “You could see every bone in his body. He was starving.”

The owner was asking $800 for the horse, but Boyd said he didn’t think the sickly animal was worth more than $200 or $300, if that much.

“I messed with him a little out in the pasture, and we walked back up to the truck and got ready to leave,” said Boyd. “He ran over there by us and started braying.”

The owner was amazed. She told Boyd it was the most action she’d seen out of the horse in a long time.

Still hesitant, Boyd gave $300 for the animal, took him home and named him Scooby Doo.

“It was probably a year I spent with him, every day, brushing him down, giving him baths, feeding him,” said Boyd. “But I got him back to health.”

The lady who sold the horse said he hadn’t had much riding time, but Boyd said when he rode Scooby for the first time, it was magic.

“It was like riding a dream,” he said.

Boyd began roping with Scooby a short while later and discovered the old horse loved it.

Even after Scooby lost his sight, the two were able to work together through spur and touch signals.

After going to a “playday” (a family oriented horse riding competition) three years ago as a practice horse for their daughter, Boyd said Scooby picked up barrel and pole racing like a natural, in spite of his blindness.

“Low and behold — I brought him out here, he wants to run,” said Boyd.

Completely blind and 25 years old, Scooby still loves to compete.  He and Boyd are currently tied for first place in the Tarkington Prairie Playday Spring Buckle Series.

Held over a period of four weeks, the series includes pole, barrel and straight barrel races, as well as a “mystery” event.

TPPS coordinator Patty Vandver, who began TPPS with her husband, Bubba, said Scooby and Boyd are an inspiration to everyone.

“They are really something special,” she said with a smile.

Boyd said he’s tried to retire the horse, but every time the family gets ready to leave for a competition, Scooby runs to the fence, braying until they give in and let him go along.

“He’s a warrior,” Boyd chuckled. “He just doesn’t want to stop.”

Boyd said, if nothing else, he wants people to learn from his experience with Scooby.

“A lot of people give up on horses, just because of an injury or old age or no matter what it might be,” he explained. “But an animal’s not done ‘til they’re done. You might not win all the races, but you need to let an animal do what they’ve got to do.”

The TPPS finals are scheduled for 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 20, at the Half Head Arena located on FM 163 in Tarkington Prairie.

For more information, call Patty Vandver at 210-831-6790 or email

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  1. How wonderful that Tom Boyd’s compassion saw in the bony body and heard in the braying a horse starved not just for food but for love.

    Bless his soul for saving Scooby and for proving, through devoted attention and a can-do spirit, that neither old age nor blind eyes can handicap a healthy, happy horse.

    Scooby Doo’s special story reminds me of Skidboot, another Texas companion-animal legend: When the blind Skidboot passed away five years ago at the ripe canine age of 14, he was mourned by many, including me. I have a feeling Scooby is making the same kind of deep, lasting impact.

    I hope Tom and Scooby enjoy the TPPS finals next month. No matter where they place, they’re winners in my amazed, grateful eyes.


    • BlessUsAll: How right you are. Horses have souls, hearts, and want companionship and love as well as being cared for. I saved a horse that had been starving to death in a field in September to learn she has laminitis. She has been shoed, has gained some weight, but we are still watching that coffin bone. The day we picked her up she amost fell down and could hardly come out of the trailer. We took our time taking her to the round pen until we could construct another small corral the next day close by so we could keep an eye on her. We have since then increased the size of her coral and she now comes to me to get her favorite treat, romaine lettuce. I firmly believe that she knows she was saved from her death. She is a sweetheart and I know she will never run again or be like a normal horse, but she is loved and cared for. It is an expensive medical care to treat, but this horse is worth it. I don’t know if the original owners threw her out because of the laminitis or if they couldn’t afford her anymore, but I wish I had found her before she got the laminitis. GOd BLESS YOU TOM FOR SAVING SCOOBY WHEN HE WAS TRYING TO TELL YOU THAT HE NEEDED YOU. You have been rewarded for your saving Sooby by the love and continual wanting to be part of your life and fun. May you have many years together and that Sooby hangs in there for another long time. Tom, you and your family have the love of this horse and you are blessed.


      • And bless YOU for saving your beautiful romaine lettuce-loving sweetheart, Lynne! Yes, she knows. 🙂


      • Lynne there are many things here to be Thankful for , and you certainly are one of them !!!! Please all watch the movie The Silver Stallion, filmed in Australia starring Russell Crow magnificent ……………………found on Netflix……………………..


  2. On Facebook look for ‘Takoda a friend to everyone’. An evil person tried to kill Takoda with an ax or machete leaving him blind. Then they tied him behind a barn out of sight of the road and left no food or water. They wanted this horse dead. Why? I don’t know. He is as sweet as he can be and is adjusting to his new world of darkness. He is available for adoption from Jasmine’s Dream Ranch and Rescue in Arcadia, Fl should anyone wish to help. Even donations would be nice.


  3. I have said over and over again that the horses the pro’s claim are of no value are priceless. Here at our rescue we have many horses in sanctuary that are senior, some missing eyes or going blind, lame in some form, etc. These horses work absolute miracles daily with special needs children and at risk youth. Value is not in question here……….greed is their only drive. If they took the time and energy they spend in trying to open slaughter plants and helped to place these horses in environments where they could do good for people, the problem would be solved. Instead they wish to line their wallets with our horses blood. There’s not a child here at our rescue that is not wiser, more compassionate and understanding of these horses value than these so called “grown ups”. Sickens me.


    • Bevkins77: Well said. How right you are. The adults looking for slaughterhouses are nothing less than KILLERS, hoping to get rich on our beautiful horses’ blood. THey are the worst of the human race, if we could even consider them human. They deserve to receive what they want to happen to our horses. I don’t normally think this way but on this I am adament of what they deserve. THey deserve only disgust by all, including their families. THis shows they have no character or compassion.


  4. Thank you for a heart-warming story. With all of the tragedies that horses are facing, it is nice to know that sometimes people are smart enough to take good care of them.


  5. Wonderful story about compassion. I saw a similar story about a guy in NM who loved his horse so much he paid for a prosthetic leg for the horse (twice) rather than put him down. Maybe off subject, but was wondering if anyone saw any of Obama last nite speaking at the Correspondents Dinner and I quote: What’s the difference between a soccer mom and a pit bull? The pitbull tastes delicious. Now, this is exactly the kind of third world thinking that Obama is trying to shove down our throat. He’s conditioning us in the US for this kind of thing. Gee, after we run out of horses to slaughter, we can start in on dogs & cats. Yummy! He didn’t get much of a laugh about it last nite, which makes me hope that there are still some people out there who don’t appreciate his attitude toward killing horses, wolves, polar bears and the like. Don’t wat to offend any democrats, I was a democrat and voted for this mass killer of animals. Won’t make the same mistake in Nov.


    • BARBARA! It’s pretty obvious you are a Republican. You missed the point entirely. President Obama was at the annual Press dinner which is supposed to be a big joke for the entire evening.

      President Obama was trying to make light of the story that when he was sent to Africa to visit with his Grandmother, (he was a young boy at the time), he was served dog meat. Now, he doesn’t eat dog meat, or serve it at the White House, or want the American people to eat dog meat.

      He also showed a short version of the Lion King cartoon and quipped that he was showing a video of his birth. Do you think that he was born in Africa? He made a point of saying to the FOX newspeople, “it’s a joke”.

      He also referred to his birth in Hawaii and winked, he was making a joke!

      I am so tired of people who grasp at straws trying to twist things that the Obamas do or say to make the public think they are strange or trying to force some kind of odd beliefs on the American public.

      Please,please , confine your comments to all things horse and go to the political forums to voice your views about the President. Gee, this is the second time I have seen a comment from you against the President, shouldn’t you give it up on a forum about horses?

      If you think that the President is actively trying to bring dog eating and horse eating to our country, then say so, but I just can’t see where you are coming from.


      • To Greyfel & all the other democrats I’ve offended……I’ve been a democrat for nearly 50 years & have voted for every democratic president in that time, including Obama (mistake cause he doesn’t keep his word. A person’s word should be sacred). Somehow I didn’t find Obama’s comments very funny (and neither did many there since he didn’t get much of a response). It is imperative to bring Obama up in discussions about horse slaughter since he was the one that signed the bill that started possibility of horse slaughter again in the US. On the one hand I guess this is a good thing because even while slaughter was outlawed in the US, thousands of wild horses and burros were still being shipped to Mexico for slaughter. Now we’re fighting even more to stop all this. Not to worry, I’m giving them he** on the political sites too.


      • Barbara,
        I guess we can go round and round this issue. I am registered Dem, but vote the person for pres. and other things. I can’t say that I like any of the present contenders on the Republican side, and will not vote for them.

        I think you have a perfect right, of course, to say what you will, but I think some of your comments are biased and not completely the truth. They are designed to set people against the President which is fine if the thing you speak of is the truth.

        As we went over before, the bill he signed was a much larger one that contained the item affecting the wild horses because it was slipped in by others. It would have brought the govt. to a halt because he would have been vetoing the budget. Is that what you would have had him do?

        If you have something truthful or unslanted to say, by all means say it. I say give ’em hell when they deserve it.


      • Kathryn, I have spoken no untruths. And, yes, veto and shut down the gov’t. Would’t be the first time, since no one in Wash. can seem to agree anymore. If you don’t believe what I reported about Obama’s distasteful joke, you can see it on You Tube. I sawit on CNN. The rest of the networks have not been showing that paricular comment he made so guess I’m not the only one who thinks it was in bad taste considering his record on animals (horse slaughter, Salazar & BLM, wolves, polar bears and now allowing hunting in our nat’l. parks is up for approval. I know the republicans have basically destroyed the middle class and they’re not good for the middle class, but Ialso know Obama’s policies and appointees are not good for the animals. That’s what’s most important to me.


      • To Barbara Leonard,

        Again, you and I are not understanding each other. It is untrue to report something that did not happen like you tell it. Of course I saw and heard that joke, and the entire program, I was watching it on CNN live and thought the entire thing was hilarious.

        Obama made fun of himself and all of the goings on in D.C. and the world. It was a night for jokes, DON’T YOU GET IT?

        When you choose to tell something in a way that twists it in order to make your point of view, you are telling an untruth. I did not say the joke was not told, I said that you twist things to your viewpoint and tried to convince others reading your post that President Obama was trying to bring third world values and customs to our country.

        No matter how many times you come back at me with this, I will continue to say that you need to examine your tactics when you make comments.

        It is obvious to me and probably to others that you do not like Obama, will not vote for Obama, and will make comments designed to turn others against Obama.

        I will continue to read what you have to say, but will always be aware of the way that you present things.


      • Kathryn, difference of opinion. I thought that joke was in very bad taste and guess I’m not the only one cause audience didn’t give him much of a response and all the other channels I’ve seen did not show a clip with that joke. All of us here are for the animals, let’s just leave it at that. I won’t ever say a good word about Obama’s policies unless he changes them.


      • Barbara….you didn’t offend me with your post. I understand (I think) what your were trying to say.

        Doesn’t matter party affiliation to me; it is what is in the heart demonstrated by actions that counts to me. We have good and bad, regardless of party affiliation; Democrat, Republican, Independent, Libertarian, etc. Acts matter!

        I get that Obama was trying to make a joke…with his wild equine and food safety record, I think the joke was in poor taste (NO pun intended), albeit in response to the ruckus Hannity brought to the table.


    • Barbara, I saw it and it was a joke based on his experience growing up as a child when he lived in Indonesia. He is not trying to get us to eat dog, or conditioning us for goodness sakes.


    • Try a republican again and see how much they value wildlife over corporate mining, fracking, drilling and exploitation of our natural resources. What does Mitt Romney value over all else? Profit. Good luck with him. Hope my vote cancels yours out.


  6. AWESOME STORY !!!!!! Thank You RT, and Thomas Boyd , there are lots and lots of these stories out there, the Horse is so completely filled with wonderment …………There is an older movie Starring Russell Crow, The Siver Stallion, found it on Netflix yesterday, filmed in Austraila , it is well filmed the story, is of a stallion and his herd , this movie is so well done it is a must for all of us to see, imformative a wonderful movie i highly reccomemend for everyone…………….. if all can find the time , it is so worth watching !!!!!


  7. This horse trusts this man completely and this shows the pros that just because they think a horse is useless… they are not.


  8. I just love hearing these stories. There was a story about an Arabian horse that too was blind, but
    the horse and the owner rode as one. They competed in several “A” shows and went on to the Arabian Nationals. The horse was outstanding. I for one love the older horses. Most of them have lived some wonderful lives. The sad thing is that some may end up at auctions or the worse. God bless Tom and his family for hearing the horse thru the holy Spirit. There is a special place for horses and ponies like this. Children and adults learn from these animals who sometimes are
    afflicted with the same problems..Great Story…May the “Force of the Horse” be with on this Sunday as we continue the love of our beautiful horses.


    • It is against the law to send blind equines, or sick for that matter to sale/auction….especially for human consumption. An old equine is another matter.


      • Denise,

        As we all know, blind, old ,thin, fat, pregnant, barely alive, they are all shoved on the truck when it comes to the possibility of squeezing another ten dollars out of their poor souls and hide.

        I often wish that there were real avengers in this world that could appear anytime evil and cruelty rears its ugly head. The caped crusaders would immediately grasp the offenders and dispense justice.

        There are stories of blind horses and ponies, terrified in their darkness, stumbling into the trucks.

        I even read a story about a veterinarian who hangs out with the buyers at auctions, and was seen making fun of a blind mare as she stumbled around the ring before she was bought for slaughter.

        Now, to me, that is the ultimate evil. If I ever am in the presence of such doings, there will be hell to pay.

        And of course, we know of mares giving birth on the slaughter floor. We have heard the stories of the hammer put to the head of a newly born foal.



      • Yes, Kathryn….we ALL know they still get shipped to kill. I was trying to make a point that the basic of laws and regulations are not enforced.

        Now these animals in serious health and poor weight are being rejected at the border…….and still the Feds and states do NOTHING!

        I understand that the foals are killed and thrown into the tankage pit.


    • Gail, wonderfully said. Man cannot imagine the wonders of a horse == so many was loved and cared for and due to a disgusting, inhumane human, they are forever afraid of any human again. I see two at the santuary I have my horses at. They are truly lovely horses but one especially, will not come near you, It has no trust for humans he has been so abused. May the guy that did this to him, pay the ultimate price. THis horse may never know love and trust by a human again and may die alone. Heaven forbid. How lonely an existance. I wish I could bring some love to him. I try but I know if it will come to pass, it will be a long journey, but I will try.


  9. Anyone as disgusted as I am regarding the previous owner pricing an older, starved, neglected equine at $800.00??????? I read those kind of stories ALLLLLL the time!

    What an asshat! Come down to plant earth, you freaking MORON!

    Kudo’s to Scooby’s new/current owners.


  10. If only there were more Tom Boyd’s in the world–people with the ability to see beauty where others only see something to discard.


    • Louie,
      Thank you for that wonderful youtube video. The wild burros are a treasure indeed

      . I remember the beautiful book by Marguerite Henry named Brighty of Grand Canyon.

      . We have a small bronze statue of Brighty. I understand that the large statue of Brighty has a bright shiny nose from all of the children patting him on his nose.


    • Dear Louie, Just wanted to thank you for the awesome video, and to let you know I called Rick Perry ………………………………..


  11. This is Thomas owner of Scooby Doo. Would like to say a big thanks for all y’alls wondeful comments. Ride tall in the saddle friends and GOD BLESS!


    • Thomas,
      God Bless you, your family and Scooby Doo. You gave us a wonderful story to warm our hearts and remind us that the world has good as well as bad.
      Sometimes we get so saturated with the bad that we need a story like yours.
      Thank you.


      • Amen, Kathryn.

        Please give hugs and kisses to Scooby Doo from all of us, Thomas.

        And Scooby Doo, we know you’re “reading” this (in your heart), so please give XOXOXs to Thomas from us!


    • Dear Thomas…you are cut from special cloth….something God has made. He makes us all, but some choose to spit at God; even right or wrong for that matter.

      Congratulations on your and Scooby’s success; remind others what is the right thing to do.

      And no, I’m not a vegan or want to shut down agriculture (how stupid would that be???!!!!)

      I studied ag and know what we got now is wrong…..bad wrong.


    • Welcome to SFTHH, Thomas. My wife and I live not far from you (between Magnolia and the Woodlands) and as luck would have it I will be back in the U.S. next month when you two compete, we may stop by and lend our support!!!!

      Way to go!


    • God Bless you, Thomas, for taking Scooby & giving him a chance, instead of turning your back & walking away. You were brought together, & yours is an amazing, awesome, wonderful story!!


  12. R.T. Thank you for this beautiful true story on this Sunday. I hope this proves that one day there will be no more of the heartless humans running around to make money off our beautiful horses and donkeys. May GOd bring this to pass and all the animals he has created will live long, happy, and cared for lives.


  13. What a story!! First this is total PROOF that horses are extremely intelligent, owing to the fact that this animal saw this man, and KNEW there was someone he could connect with…I just find
    it difficult to believe that a horse can BRAY….none of mine ever have, but my donkeys are masters of that sound……besides that tho, this horse had chosen to have this man in his life and was rewarded by being sold to him, and then forming a truly unique so deep that his ultimate trust allows him to know without a doubt that nothing will happen or go wrong to him when they are together. This is a story that should be published for all to read so they will KNOW that horses are not just meat on the hoof, but animals that are just as capable as a dog for being able to understand and know emotions and respond in kind.


    • Singlewolf: Talking about bonds. In May, 2009, I lost a beautiful former breed and show horse that was at a sanctuary 1-1/2 hours from my home that I wanted to adopt when I retired. For a year and one-half I drove there on Saturdays to be with him and his companion horse, Annie. One Saturday, a month before he died of a heart attack, I was walking him and another girl was walking Annie in the arena. We stopped for a minute and when I turned around, the Arabian had my shirt sleeve in his mouth between his teeth. THis happened four times and each time I didn’t know he had done it, he did it so tenderly that he would not bite. The last time we stopped and the other girl said, look where he is looking? He was looking at Annie and she said she thought he was telling Annie I was his. I looked at the Arabian and told him I was his, I loved him and also Annie and that I couldn’t be with them except on Saturday so they needed to take care of each other during the week. I then asked him if he wanted to walk the arena again or go to his corral and he walked to the corral. Every week after that he would let me groom one side of him, I believe remembering that he should let Annie get groomed first. I would groom her and go to finish his other side, and he would nuzzle me. He understood everything I said to him. He was so intelligent and so gentle, and I cry for him practically every day. I see Annie still but not each week and hope to get her upon my retirement. ThESE ANIMALS ARE AMAZING. I have rescued an Arabian that was starving in a field and she his suffering from laminitis. I think she knows whe was saved from death and is such a sweetie. I don’t understand the evil that humans can be and what they do to these gorgeous and smart animals. THey trust the humans in their lives only to be tossed aside like an old shoe. These animals deserve to be treated fairly, loved, and care for as family members and not discarded. May all the killer buyers and those in the auctions houses contributing to the slaughter chain, get the same done to them. This is unsciounable. TRUE bonds like Thomas has with Scooby and I had with IBN are rare. I would never have believed it to be possible had it not happened to me. May Thomas and Scobby have many more enduring years together with much love between them.


  14. singlewolf,

    You are so right. Horses are very smart, I’ve been working around them all my life. I have seen them do things no one would believe.

    My very favorite horse was so smart that he would stop and wait for someone to come help him if he got into barbed wire. He did it a couple of times. We had the damned stuff because he was in a huge place with hundreds of acres and they had to use wire instead of wooden fencing.

    I also have worked with horses that learned ways to discourage riders. One horse learned that he could get rid of people by rearing over backwards. We did not know this when he was purchased. After he did it more than once, with no provocation, we realized it was his way of scaring riders off. Unfortunately, he did it once too often and landed on the rider, breaking her pelvis. He was not used for a saddle horse after that.

    One of the most rewarding things is to observe horses in their natural state, free on pasture. We were lucky to keep our horses on a large ranch where other horses roamed free. It had been a cattle ranch but after the husband died, the widow sold the cows and brought in horses for boarding.

    Each horse knew its owners car sound. In the evening most owners arrived to feed after work. The horses knew the sound of their owners car and would run out to meet them.

    All of the horses were loose to roam the large acreage and they formed their own groups. My favorite horse hung around with my daughter’s pony and another pony. It was fun just to go out there and sit under a tree and watch the horses and ponies.

    I could keep on with stories, there are many, but my point is, they are wonderful, smart, feeling and loving beings. Anyone who has worked with horses and taken the time to understand them knows that.

    I feel sorry for the people who only consider horses a marketable piece of meat, or a marketable athlete, they are so much more. You can use a horse for sport or work and still love and understand them.


  15. What a wonderful, compassionate story of love between a horse and his people. God bless Tom and Scooby Doo and may they share many more years of love and companionship with each other. It always amazes me when people call animals dumb. Right. Animals are anything but. I donate to several horse rescue organizations. Some of the animals that are rescued can barely stand and are nothing but skin and bones. Many have serious, untreated injuries. But, show them a little love and care and these wonderful animals respond to humans with affection and seem to forgive and forget all the abuse they suffered at human hands. I do not understand why so many “authorities,” do nothing to those who starve, abuse or abandon their horses. These animals are dependent on people for food, water and care and cannot help themselves when these things are withheld. It is time to get far stronger anti-cruelty laws put into place. It is also very important that these laws are enforced, and not with just a slap on the wrist. There is something very wrong with someone who would abuse, starve, or abandon any animal. Horses helped settle this country. They deserve love and care. Those who won’t care for their horses or those who think support horse slaughter should never, ever own a horse.


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