Trip Planner: USA / California / Lompoc / Return to Freedom, American Wild Horse Sanctuary
Our Model of Solution-Based, Non-Intrusive Wild Horse ManagementFor Return to Freedom, American Wild Horse Sanctuary and beyond, use our Lompoc trip website to get the most from your Lompoc vacation.
Return to Freedom is a national nonprofit wild horse conservation organization dedicated to preserving the freedom, diversity and habitat of America's wild horses through sanctuary, education, advocacy and conservation.
Return to Freedom has long been a player in the fight while coming from a very unique position. Not only does RTF have a nationally respected voice for advocacy, we also operate the American Wild Horse Sanctuary with over 500 wild horses and 44 burros.
On 2300 acres on the Central Coast of California, our herds live in large pastures where they are free to maintain the natural behaviors and social structure they knew in the wild. RTF has also leased 1800 acres of pasture and rangeland in Northern California.
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 disruptsnatural behaviors and in some herds 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
Return to Freedom reviews
I don't even know where to begin. Volunteering here (or you can pay for a tour) was the most fabulous day I've had in a long time. The people that own it and run it are all just so nice and...
I don't even know where to begin. Volunteering here (or you can pay for a tour) was the most fabulous day I've had in a long time. The people that own it and run it are all just so nice and... more »
My 30 year old son, 20 year old daughter and I thoroughly enjoyed a very full day at the Return to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary. We applied to volunteer for 4 hours in the morning then a 4 hour...
My 30 year old son, 20 year old daughter and I thoroughly enjoyed a very full day at the Return to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary. We applied to volunteer for 4 hours in the morning then a 4 hour... more »
Beautiful sanctuary. The horses are well taken care of and just gorgeous. We got to go within the herd, and the horses got so curious and came right up to us! It was a magical experience to be crowded by these majestic animals.
I've known Family & Friends nearly 13 years. Quite a Fantastic experience!! If you love Horses & the Pacific Coast Very nice Trip
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