Langley family looking to adopt away horse

Barbara Muzzy feeds the hopefully soon-to-be adopted Lacy and the recently taken Frosty. Hard times led Muzzy to the difficult decision to give away her beloved horses.  - Ben Watanabe / The Record
Barbara Muzzy feeds the hopefully soon-to-be adopted Lacy and the recently taken Frosty. Hard times led Muzzy to the difficult decision to give away her beloved horses.
— image credit: Ben Watanabe / The Record

LANGLEY — The Muzzy family has a big problem.

Barbara Muzzy adopted an American Paint Horse that she can no longer keep. Now, she needs to find owners who can adopt and properly train Lacy, and whoever wants her needs to be qualified.

“An interested person would have to meet certain requirements ... to make sure we have an approved and qualified home,” said Island County Animal Control Officer Carol Barnes.

Any interested horse owners need to have experience in training, allow a home visit by Barnes and offer their veterinarian’s information.

Lacy has a dominantly light brown coat with a broad swath of white on her forehead and muzzle. The 13-year-old mare would be better suited for easy trail riding, Muzzy said.

“Lacy has a tendency to rear if she gets scared. When she’s calm, there’s absolutely nothing wrong.”

Island County Animal Control gets involved in a handful of large animal adoptions every year. While domestic pets can be sent to shelters, a 1,500-pound horse requires more space, more food and more safety than a 12-pound cat.

“As a humane officer, we get involved in adopting large animals when the call requires it,” Barnes said.

The mare needs more handling and time than Muzzy can afford, and that’s why she is looking for someone to adopt Lacy.

Lacy is better suited for trail riding. She is easily startled, and when that happens she rears and throws her rider. Muzzy said Lacy was a “cowboy’s horse” before coming to Whidbey Island, and that made her a bit skittish.

“Lacy’s more of a lady’s horse, a great trail ride,” Muzzy said.

Muzzy also called Lacy a dominant horse. While Muzzy’s other problem mare, Frosty, was aggressive toward her, Frosty was subdued when Lacy was around.

“These are not first-time people, probably not children’s horses,” Muzzy said.

Horse ownership is an expensive hobby. Muzzy estimated the monthly expense at $400 per horse, and most of that cost is for food. 

That doesn’t include the land for a horse to run and roam, or fencing to keep the animal safe, or for training.

Muzzy was originally looking to adopt out two horses, Lacy and her fellow American Paint, Frosty.

Fortunately, Frosty was adopted Friday to a South End horse owner.

The 11-year-old mare has plenty of personality; a stark white coat with brown markings, and she used her big eyes — she has Heterochromia iridium, her right eye is blue, her left is brown — to look at Muzzy often as she held a can of oats. Frosty can be cold toward women, however, and has a bit of an attitude problem.

“She has horrible ground manners. She’s apt to bite or kick,” Muzzy said.

Frosty understands riding commands just fine, which Muzzy demonstrated by riding her without a saddle. Rather, the white mare needs child-like basic manners — no biting, no bumping, no kicking.

“She respect’s other horses, but she does not respect humans in the upper echelon,” Muzzy said.

Barnes thanked Skagit Farmers Supply Country Store in Freeland for helping Muzzy care for the animals as she looked for new owners. The store is also accepting donations toward feeding Lacy until she can be adopted.

“We appreciate Cenex for their generous donation to help care for these two horses,” Barnes said.

Anyone interested in adopting Lacy can call Muzzy at 360-420-5582 or Barnes at 360-648-4422.

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