Give a Rescued Wild Horse or Wild Burro a Forever Home...

Return to Freedom has specific adoption criteria to ensure that the horse(s) and/or burro(s) are placed in suitable environments.
Due to limited resources and the constant need for displaced wild or special needs horses and burros to find sanctuary, we may occasionally have horses or burros available for adoption, specifically those who will benefit from having more attention in a private home. Over the past 24 years, RTF has successfully collaborated with individuals, other organizations, state & federal agencies to find homes for wild horses and burros in need.
We typically place horses in bonded pairs or groups; however, each situation is different. Under no circumstances will we place a horse in an environment where it will be stalled or confined for most of the time or be alone. The horses and/or burros may not be sold, slaughtered, abused, or live without other equine companions.

Please review our Terms and Conditions. If they are acceptable to you, fill out an Application and send it to us, along with the signed Terms and Conditions. Email applications to or mail to Return to Freedom, P.O. Box 926, Lompoc, CA 93438.

Available for Adoption



Brislawn is a 2017 bay roan Spanish mustang (gelding) from the Cayuse Ranch in Oshoto, WY. He is curious but shy and not yet haltered. He is sturdy and will likely mature about 14.2 hands. Brislawn would make an awesome endurance horse, cow pony, or any other job you have in mind for him!




Santiago is a 2017 bay Spanish mustang (gelding) from the Cayuse Ranch in Oshoto, WY. He is about 14.2 hands, and has lovely, floaty movement. He is friendly and loves to be scratched, and has started working on his halter training and picking up his feet.



Willamina — DOB-May 4, 2014, 14 Hands Tall

Willamina is a well-mannered bay filly. She was born a herd of wild Calico mares. She was found alone and abandoned shortly after birth. She may have been rejected by her mother or stolen by another mare who did not have the milk to feed her. This sometimes happens in herds. For her survival she was bottle fed at Miracle Mustang for 4 months until arriving at Return to Freedom. She was paired with another orphan foal named ” Blue” and they have remained inseparable their whole life. Her feisty spirit has made her a survivor and she loves to be around people.

Although she has not been trained to ride and has spent most all of her life living with a band of Choctaw ponies and her best friend, Blue, she loves attention from humans and would probably enjoy learning things.

Both Blue and Willamina need to be in capable hands to develop them further. We are looking for the right environment and a human that will be kind, safe, enriching & educational !

Blue — DOB 2014, 14 Hands Tall
Blue is a well mannered blue roan gelding. As an orphan foal, little Blue was underweight, weak and exhausted. Miracle Mustang took him in; however due to his lack of strength, he spent most of his first few weeks lying down. Eventually, a 2 inch deep infected puncture wound on his chest was discovered as the culprit for his poor health. He had a tough start in life, but persevered and made a full recovery, at which point it became time for him to find a new home. Rather than separate him from his first and closest companion, Willamina, Return to Freedom took in both foals. Blue is a playful, willful, curious and affectionate horse.

Like Willamina, Blue has not been trained to ride and has enjoyed the pasture life. He is catchable, halters, leads, trims and loads. In the right hands this sweet boy could come along!

Heather and Chloe - DOB 2007


These mares have pretty much enjoyed the pastured life with occasional trails. Both mares have lot’s of energy and do best when going out a few days a week and have a regular routine.

These mares have been mostly ridden on trails. Heather doesn’t mind arena work but Chloe is happier on the trail!

Both mares are best suited for intermediate – advanced riders with good ground skills. We think if they are in a routine where they are going out on trails 3-4 days a week, Chloe could carry a less advanced rider.

After a year teaching with Carolyn Resnick and Nancy Zintsmaster at The Carolyn Resnick Method Liberty Academy in Escondito, Calif., where they helped humans learn The Carolyn Resnick Method/The Waterhole Rituals based on natural behaviors and leadership in wild horse communities, Heather and Chloe have returned to the sanctuary and are looking for a new home.


Three Sweet Senior Geldings

Texaco (Chestnut gelding)
21 years old, Senior Special needs:
There is not much we know about Texaco’s background except that he was a Mexican charro horse and was handled roughly. He therefore remains timid around people. Once he warms up to you, however, he’s easy to handle. Stands for trims, vet, and grooming. Once he trusts you, he loves attention. He gets along well with other horses. Texaco sometimes needs special attention directed towards his eyes, which are sensitive to flies. This loving sweet boy needs someone who is kind, patient and with a gentle touch. He is approximately 22 years old.

Mustang Sally

Mustang Sally was adopted by Monty Roberts from the BLM along with two other horses. Shy Boy, one of the adopted horses, became Monty’s ambassador horse. Mustang Sally help teach students at Monty’s school for a time, but he never became a consistent riding horse and didn’t seem to like it all that much. Eventually, Mustang Sally was brought to RTF to return to a herd life at the sanctuary. A few years ago, Mustang Sally injured his leg while out in the hills and needed some surgery. He healed but he walks with a gimp. Other than that he in good health. He enjoys people, he loads, trims, bathes, groom. Very sweet gelding who loves to be groomed.


Cowboy is a large quarter horse born in 1990. Because of his split ear, his name used to Split. He took people safely on trail rides until he was retired about 7 years ago. He can be haltered, led, loaded, trimmed and vetted. He needs a kind touch.

These three sweet elder horses have had very different journeys but their paths converged at RTF’s American Wild Horse Sanctuary. Here we have cared for them for many years and tended to their special needs. They are all easy to handle and would probably enjoy a little more attention than they receive here!

Although we love having the presence of these gentle geldings at the sanctuary, we feel that these three boys could be very happy in your pasture where they are free to graze, socialize, receive and GIVE love and affection! These boys are perfectly suited to become companion horses.

The three of them have gentle and kind dispositions, and love to be groomed. Texaco and Cowboy can be cautious at first due to the harsh treatment they received earlier in their lives. We hope to find them the perfect home, where they can be well looked after!

Finding these geldings good homes would free up some of our resources, which can then be used for wild, unhandled horses in need. We would prefer for these gentle boys to be adopted together or at least in a pair. If you are only interested in one and have other horses at home, we are willing to reassess on a case-by-case basis.

Return to Freedom is committed to finding the right home for these senior geldings. For these special animals, we are waiving the adoption fee so the funds can go towards welcoming them into their new home, special feed and care.

To adopt, please review our Terms and Conditions. If they are acceptable to you, fill out an Application and send it to us, along with the signed Terms and Conditions. Email applications to or mail to Return to Freedom, P.O. Box 926, Lompoc, CA 93438.

Happy Adoptions!


This absolutely beautiful strawberry roan mare has finally found her person! Cecilia was born in 2012 at the sanctuary in the Hart Mountain herd. The Hart Mountain Fish and Wildlife Refuge in Oregon removed all wild horses in 1998. Horses from that total removal were the first to arrive to Return to Freedom as we opened our sanctuary gates in December 1998. We DNA tested some of the horses and found strong Spanish influence which is strongly displayed in some of the horses, like the stallion Freedom. Because the PZP contraception does not work on all mares, Cecelia was born to Adeer and sired by Freedom.

From adopter Elena Rose: “In November 2020, I got my first horse. Before adopting her, I spent as much time at RTF as I could, watching Cecilia’s herd and learning from them. I was lucky enough to spend a couple of days with Nan Zintsmaster, who gave me all the tools I needed to start working with Cecilia on my own. With tidbits from Liberty Training under my belt, I felt confident working with mustangs on the ground. After adopting Cecilia, my mother and I followed my horse to Angi Murray’s ranch in Leona Valley, where Cecilia had been started under saddle years ago. We spent 3 months there learning from Angi. In between sessions in the round pen, I would spend as much time with her as possible. At the end of those 3 months, Cecilia and I were ready to take on the world! And by world, I mean trails. After that, Cecilia moved to Calabasas with a family friend who specializes in Parelli style work. Cecilia loved her new pasture mate and the open space. I spent every moment with my horse as possible. We reviewed the Liberty work we learned from Nan and the lessons that Angi taught us. We learned drill team patterns in Calabasas and went on many trail rides. Going out on the trails is Cecilia’s favorite thing. She loves to run and run without a care in the world! In March 2021, we moved to a 1.5 acre ranch in Acton where we could have all our animals with us, and we wouldn’t have to travel very far to see Cecilia. All I have to do is walk 30 seconds and I’m with my horse. I’m so happy I’m here! And with help from Angi, we now have a mini herd of horses! One older gelding, who already lives with us, and a mare and a two-year-old gelding who are training at Angi’s. From here on out, my mother and I are full-time ranchers and Cecilia will never be bored. But beyond that, my relationship with Cecilia has deepened even more than I could’ve hoped. Whenever I work with her, it takes no time at all to become reconnected. I’ll hear Cecilia neighing for me when I start walking down to feed her breakfast. She does get a little bit jealous when I work with other horses, but I always make time to give her the attention she deserves. Cecilia is my baby and I love her to death, and I wouldn’t trade her or our relationship for anything in the world.”


CHOCO — DOB 2007

We are delighted to announce that Choco and his best friend Midnight were adopted in 2017 to the Midland School in Los Olivos, California. At Midland, these two have become the student’s favourites. When not receiving their daily dose of love and attention from the kids, they are to be found meandering in the school’s ample, grassy pasture.
Find out more about Midland School




In the spring of 2017, Jessica and Skip Jankowski gave mother and daughter burros Rosie and Lola a forever home on their new 20-acre ranch in Buellton CA! Rosie and Lola will now receive the daily affection and attention they desire from this loving family!

Skip also adopted one of our very special Sheldon colts, Jack! Jack now has a new name and he is Skip’s best friend.




Wendie Malick, her niece Gwen and husband Richard, adopted two social and noble steeds from our Challis herd. Stuart and Bo were born in captivity after their mothers endured the Challis Idaho roundup in 2009.

Bo and Stuart now live with three other horses, a burro, and two dogs in California!


Yvonne and Mike Rockwood were ready to open their hearts to a new addition to their small herd…of Arabs! One of their endurance trail horses needed to be retired and Yvonne needed a calm horse with stamina who would enjoy long scenic trail rides!

I introduced them to Tess, a beautiful strawberry roan mare from Freedom’s band in our Hart Mountain herd. As Tess got older she sometimes had a hard time finding her place in the herd.

The Rockwoods adopted Tess last year and brought their gelding Rocky up to live with her at our trainers ranch in Santa Ynez for three months while Hector slowly and systematically brought Tess along under saddle! The devoted Rockwoods came up every weekend for three months and joined in.

Here is an update:

August 22, 2015
Hi. We are doing so great. We just moved to Colorado and Tess and Rocky have great new space — lots and lots of room — 1/2 acre to themselves. The farm (Kenlyn Arabians) grows the hay both for a business and for the farm. So they have tons of good food all the time. Tess has been very healthy. Tess has been the most incredible, smart, loyal horse ever. We have not had one negative experience with her at all. The trainer you directed us to to start her was a godsend. We go on day trips into the mountains every weekend now, and have had several camping trips. Today, we are practicing crossing water. We are used to people raving about our beautiful Arab, but no more. All heads turn to Tess. Her beautiful full mane and majestic look. She remains dominant and no horse dare come near her if food is around! Thank you for checking in with us. A short video of Tess is viewable below.


Please review our Terms and Conditions. If they are acceptable to you, fill out an Application and send it to us, along with the signed Terms and Conditions. Email applications to or mail to Return to Freedom, P.O. Box 926, Lompoc, CA 93438.