Lompoc, CA

Seeing Wild Horses in the Countryside of Lompoc, CA

Anne Bonfert

Wild HorsesKamila Maciejewska/Unsplash

Lompoc as a town on the Californian coast attracts every year countless visitors coming to Santa Barbara County for several activities like hiking, nature photography, wine tastings, and many more. Another attractive tourist destination is a wildlife sanctuary for horses. Wild Horses.

It's amazing that we still do have wild horses in the country these days but the continuous expansion of civilization and more and more livestock cuts into these species' homeland and their natural habitat. To preserve the wild horses in the west and their grazing ground a sanctuary had been founded.

Due to the pressure of the government more and more wild horses have to be removed from the land and put into captivity.

Return to Freedom provides a safe haven for wild horses who have been removed from their home in the wild. More than 350 wild horses and burros have found a home here." - returntofreedom.com

Return to Freedom - a safe heaven for the horses

The sanctuary located in the countryside of Lompoc has not only given a safe place to live for 350 of those horses but is also making sure they remain in their natural habitat. The vast western landscape is their home and where the rare breeds can be protected.

Return to Freedom is a model sanctuary inspiring others to follow their lead model. As the first of its kind, they have rescued entire family bands. The sanctuary recognizes the deep bond wild horses have between each other and does not want to break them in an effort to protect them. The horses remain in their herds and just get relocated to the sanctuary ground.

Many of the rare genetic strains of wild horses which can be found at Return to Freedom are already extinct in the wild.

"Collaborating with esteemed equine geneticists, American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, the Science and Conservation Center, and other wild horse conservators, we are committed to protecting and preserving the last of these unique bloodlines." - returntofreedom.com

Part of the protection of wild horses is also public education. Therefore we opened our door for visitors to see the animals in their natural habitat and experience their living. To get understanding from the public it is important to include them in the project.

Support the sanctuary

There are many ways to support the sanctuary. Apart from going for a visit and taking part in one of the offered tours, one can donate to the foundation or step up and work in form of a volunteer. The Sanctuary in fact heavily depends on the work of volunteers since they provide each year a proud number of 3,000 working hours on the ranch.

There are lots of different options for someone who would like to help. From supporting as a volunteer for a day to longer projects one can step in and help.

" Return to Freedom is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and depends on the kind and generous donations of people like you to keep our wild horses and burros fed, as well as to continue our invaluable work in legislation, lobbying, and hands-on rescue." - returntofreedom.com

If you are interested in the history and protection of wild horses in the wild west, this is the place to go to. Please let me know about your experiences if you've been to the conservancy already.


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I am a traveler. Photographer. Writer. Teacher. Skydiving instructor. Adventure enthusiast. Nature lover. And fell in love with the African continent. My stories go around travel, nature and all kinds of adventurous activities.


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