Just for Kids!
“Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children.”
Return to Freedom’s Wild Horse Sanctuary is an environment where young people can directly experience America’s wild horses in a natural setting. Within nature’s classroom, the wild horse herds educate young people about our cultural heritage through the story of America’s horses — from origin as a native species to America’s wild horses of today. The stories of how our wild horses came to be, in the various territories they call home today, tells the story of our nation.
Whether by surfing our website or directly experiencing wild horse herds at our sanctuary, we hope to foster an environment where learning and understanding can deepen. It is our hope that in doing this, we will help nurture a generation that values the natural world around us and seeks to protect the environment and the animals with whom we share this planet.
America’s wild free-roaming horses are fighting for their lives. Competition over the use of rangelands and natural resources, like grasses and water, threaten the remaining herds. As beautiful as our wild horses are, no one makes profits on their freedom. It is up to each one of us as American citizens to speak up to provide protection for free roaming wild horses so that we may ensure that they continue to run free on the American landscape.
We Can All Make a Difference!
The American Wild Horse is a symbol of the freedom and power and has woven himself into the very fabric of what is America. However, as a nation, we have done little to extend either stewardship or respect for these noble animals. Instead, we have herded them, broken them, abused them, and slaughtered them. And now, without swift action, we are at risk of losing them forever.
Spirit was used as an inspiration and model for the artists and animators during the making of the 2002 DreamWorks animated film Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. The film, based on a script about a wild mustang written by John Fusco, a long-time figure in the mustang community, and was a combination of hand-drawn, traditional animation and state-of-the-art computer animation. In April 2002, after completion of the film, DreamWorks relocated Spirit to Return to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary, where he serves as a prominent ambassador of the Kiger Mustang breed.
Isadora-Cruce is a rare brown-and-white spotted medicine hat overo mare. She was born at Return to Freedom’s American Wild Horse Sanctuary in July 2002. Both Isadora’s Dam and Sire were from the original horses discovered and gathered from the Wilbur-Cruce Ranch in Southern Arizona when it was sold in 1990. Isadora’s Dam, Sonora (see photo and bio below), was an extremely intelligent and cautious lead mare. Her father, Francisco-Cruce, was a very calm and affectionate stallion, also a medicine hat overo.
In the 1950s, a woman named Velma Johnston — better known as Wild Horse Annie — was able to get a law passed to protect wild horses by getting school children to write letters to their Government officials. Young people can make a difference! Our wild horses have no voice other than the one we give them. We need young people everywhere to be that voice so that future generations will be able to experience and enjoy the majesty and beauty of wild horses running free.
While you’re here, find out how you, your class, or youth group can sponsor a horse who lives at Return to Freedom and receive cool donor gifts! And get more information about Spirit and wild horses in America. Visit our Advocacy page to learn the many ways that young people can help protect America’s wild horses.
I’m so honored. It’s so important to raise the awareness of other kids and that’s the best part of being in the position I’m in. I think it’s really important to give back to your community — and it makes you feel so good to get involved with a charity. I look up to people who are involved with organizations that help people and animals.
A very special thank you to Hilary Duff for serving as our Youth Ambassador from 2003-2005. Thank you, Hilary, for helping us to bring the plight of the American wild horse to young people all across America!