Helena is safe and has permanent refuge on hundreds of acres at Return to Freedom’s satellite sanctuary in Northern California. Helena has a calm demeanour, but is very observant and watches quietly with an intense, focused gaze. She has unique star-and-snip facial markings which adorn her face beautifully. With a statuesque presence, she immediately evokes a sense of awe to onlookers. She is independent but enjoys the community of more than 60 mares and a few geldings she lives with.
In the winter of 2009 and early 2010, close to 2000 wild horses were captured from the Calico Mountain Complex in Northwestern Nevada’s Great Basin. Approximately 140 horses perished either during or as a direct result of the roundup.
In 2010, Return to Freedom gave sanctuary to 20 stallions and 74 mares who endured this devastating roundup which shattered their family bands forever.
These horses are a testimony to the enduring spirit and hardiness of the diverse strains of horses that adapted to the remote Great Basin habitats. Draft horses used to develop the vast ranchos bred with breeds such as morgans, standardbreds and thoroughbreds used for cavalry adapted to the rugged and remote terrain and returned to a natural state over the last few hundred years.