Return to Freedom currently provides a safe haven to more than 400 wild horses and burros. With roundups ongoing, it is vital that we provide a place where freedom, genetic diversity and natural lifestyle are preserved.
On 300 acres on the Central Coast of California, our herds live in large pastures at the Return to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary where they are free to maintain the natural behaviors and social structure they knew in the wild.
Our Model of Solution-Based, Non-Intrusive Wild Horse Management
Because we allow our equine residents to maintain their natural lifestyle and social behaviors, we must manage population growth. For us, managing population growth by separating mares and stallions is not a solution as that separates family bands, disrupts natural behaviors and undermines the natural lifestyle of wild horse herds. Castrating stallions into geldings is not an option as that further depletes an already threatened genetic pool.
To manage population growth in an ethical and sustainable manner, we administer a non-hormonal and reversible contraception to our mares under the guidance of Dr. Jay Kirkpatrick, Director of the Science and Conservation Center in Billings, MT. By utilizing this approach, we are able to maintain our horses in their natural bands without uncontrolled reproduction or habitat degradation.
“Return to Freedom’s pioneering model represents a breakthrough in the humane and effective management of wild horses, allowing them to express the social organization and behaviors common to the species, without fear of uncontrolled reproduction.” —Dr. Jay Kirkpatrick, Director of the Science & Conservation Center, Billings, MT