Photo by: Irene Vejar

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IMPORTANT: COVID-19 RESPONSE AND IMPACTS TO 2020 PROGRAMS SEASON

Return to Freedom is modifying operations for its 2020 programs season in accordance with the latest guidances from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as the State of California, Santa Barbara County and San Luis Obispo County health authorities. If you are currently registered for a program or are planning on registering, please check the links above for updates and current guidances. Activities at our Lompoc sanctuary fall under Santa Barbara County health authority guidelines. Activities at our satellite San Luis Obispo sanctuary fall under San Luis Obispo County health authority guidelines. Return to Freedom staff will also reach out to all registered participants the week prior to their program with additional information.

For programs Return to Freedom is able to hold, we’ll be implementing practices including limiting the number of participants in accordance with health authority guidelines, practicing safe social distancing, requiring masks and gloves to be worn by all staff and program participants, as well as other steps to help protect the health of visitors, staff, and the horses and burros. Of course, we will not be able to accommodate anyone who is ill or has been in contact with someone who is ill for the safety of all visitors.

Please reach out to us at programs@returntofreedom.org if you have any questions regarding our 2020 programs season and visiting Return to Freedom. We hope that we have an opportunity to host you!

Please note that the Return to Freedom American Wild Horse Sanctuary is open to visitors only by appointment or during an event. To visit or to book a reservation for a program or event, please email us here.

Overview of Return to Freedom’s Tours and Events

SANCTUARY TOURS
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Join us for staff-led sanctuary tours at RTF’s Lompoc sanctuary headquarters.

This is a staff-guided walking tour of the sanctuary with some time for quiet herd observation along the way. Meet some of the mustangs who live here and represent a vital link to the history of the horse in North America. Learn about the horse as a native species with its origins in America, their dispersal throughout the world, and their return to their home continent as it is interwoven with our cultural heritage.

Healthy snacks, fruits and beverages provided. Recommended minimum age is eight years. Suggested admission: $65 per adult; $25 for children 17 & under. Time: 3 p.m.-6 p.m. This is an introductory tour.

Please click on the date you would like to register for:

Saturday May 2, 2020

Saturday June 6, 2020

Saturday July 4, 2020

Saturday August 8, 2020
The August 8 program has been canceled due to COVID-19 safety concerns. All current registrants will be contacted with options for rescheduling or canceling. Please check the “Private Tours and Retreats by Special Arrangement” section below for options that remain available for scheduling a private visit. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by this scheduling change.

FAMILY DAY AT THE RANCH
Petting Burro
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Come along with your kids to help us out at the sanctuary for the day. Learn what it takes to run a wild horse sanctuary: feeding, manure scooping, and grooming a tame burro or horse. End the afternoon meeting more of the horses, including Spirit, and herds.

Healthy snacks, fruit, and beverages are provided. Recommended for children ages 8-16.

Activities run from 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Admission is $65 per adult and $25 per child (17 & under).

To register please click on the date you’d like to attend:

Saturday July 11, 2020
This program has been canceled due to COVID-19 safety concerns. All current registrants will be contacted with options for rescheduling or canceling. Please check the “Private Tours and Retreats by Special Arrangement” section below for options that remain available for scheduling a private visit. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by this scheduling change.

Wild Horse Photo Safaris and Workshops at Return to Freedom

Return to Freedom (RTF) hosts photo safaris at our location in Lompoc, California, on 300 acres, and at our satellite sanctuary, on 2,000 rolling acres, in San Luis Obispo, California. RTF photo safaris are scheduled by appointment and are led either by RTF volunteers and/or professional photographers who know the sanctuary, the herds, and the light. To schedule a personalized photo safari either in Lompoc or in San Luis Obispo, a minimum of four guests is necessary. Contact programs@returntofreedom.org.

PHOTO SAFARIS IN LOMPOC
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On 300 acres, photographers are able to experience diverse herds of the American Mustang. Horses who look as though they have literally stepped off the pages of a history book — such as descendants of Padres Kino’s Spanish Mission horses, the Iberian Sorraia type Sulphur Springs herd and the rarely found Cerbat Spanish Mustang. Then, in the hills, are descendants of cavalry and ranch horses from the Great Basin and other rugged areas on Western Public lands. The sanctuary is also home to wild burros who live in the romantic oak forest.

Minimum suggested fee: $200 per person; minimum four participants. 3:30 p.m.- 7 p.m. (dark)

To register for 2020 Wild Horse Photo Safari dates in Lompoc click on the date you’d like to attend:

Saturday June 27, 2020

Saturday July 25, 2020
The July 25 program has been canceled due to COVID-19 safety concerns. All current registrants will be contacted with options for rescheduling or canceling. Please check the “Private Tours and Retreats by Special Arrangement” section below for options that remain available for scheduling a private visit. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by this scheduling change.

Saturday August 22, 2020
Registration for the August 22 program is full.

PHOTO SAFARIS IN SAN LUIS OBISPO
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On 2,000 acres of horse heaven on California’s Central Coast, 84 wild horses and 24 burros roam free. You may choose to embark on a photo safari or herd observation experience. While photographers will follow the best light, observers will instead have the opportunity to quietly watch herd behavior and move at their own pace. Each experience will have its own guide. Safaris last three-five hours and can be scheduled for early morning or late afternoon. Prescheduled safaris are held from 3:30 p.m. – dark.

Horses from the Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge in southeastern Oregon, along with other family bands, grace the beautiful rolling hills of San Luis Obispo with a view of the ocean in the distance. A picnic basket with healthy snacks and beverages will be provided.

Minimum suggested fee: $350 per person. A minimum of four participants are required to hold the Safari.

To register for 2020 prescheduled Wild Horse Safari dates in San Luis Obispo, click on the date you’d like to attend:

Saturday April 25, 2020

Saturday May 16, 2020

Saturday July 18, 2020

Saturday August 15, 2020

Saturday September 19, 2020

PHOTO WORKSHOP WITH TONY STROMBERG

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July 19, 2020 – July 24, 2020 Join Tony Stromberg for a five-day equine photography workshop that takes place at Return to Freedom’s Wild Horse Sanctuary on the Central Coast of California.

Return to Freedom, now with two locations available to host photographers, is home to more than 465 rare and beautiful mustangs from all over the U.S. “We have produced this workshop successfully for many years now,” Tony says, “and it continues to be one of my favorite places to photograph my favorite subject, so much that it feels like a second home to me.”

Tony will share a lifetime of experience and insights, the specific techniques and processes he has learned throughout his life, and his unique philosophy about what goes into creating an image that is evocative, moving, and captivating … an image that has depth and soul, and is not just a “snapshot” — an image that carries a message to the heart.

Please note that a considerable percentage of the workshop fee is donated to support the sanctuary and its educational programs, and to support the foundations that are trying very hard to preserve an American icon against a tremendous amount of opposition. This is why we continue to do this workshop every year — because we are passionate about this cause and because we want to help the horses and the amazing people who devote their lives to helping them. —Tony Stromberg

WATERHOLE RITUALS WITH CAROLYN RESNICK

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June 18 – June 20, 2020 Join Carolyn Resnick and Nancy Zintsmaster for a three-day clinic that takes place at Return to Freedom’s American Wild Horse Sanctuary in San Luis Obispo, California. Experience the Waterhole Rituals and Liberty based Training with a deeper understanding of The Carolyn Resnick Method of Horsemanship.

Whether you’re a beginner or a skilled horseman, this will be an unforgettable experience! You will learn to connect with horses at Liberty in nature. The Carolyn Resnick Method of training horses at Liberty, The Waterhole Rituals, will teach you a communication system that is natural to horses! Resnick developed The Waterhole Rituals more than 40 years ago from her observations of how horses in the wild communicate in harmony and unity, creating a method that helps humans communicate with horses by developing a deep bond, trust, respect and willingness, with no force and no pressure, and by allowing the horse to have a voice! She adapted this communication into a method that would help humans communicate with horses by developing a deep bond, trust, respect, and willingness; with no force and no pressure; allowing the horse to have a voice!

Clinics and Workshops

ANIMAL COMMUNICATION AND WILD HORSE WALK
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Animal Communication and Wild Horse Walk

Saturday August 15, 2020
Learn to communicate with your animals and companions as well as other animals using a variety of techniques. You’ll learn how to check for their well being and health issues. You’ll learn how to validate your answers and also get plenty of practice time reading other people’s animals. Toward the end of the class you’ll be guided by Return to Freedom’s staff into the hills to walk with the wild horses. Manuals included.

Time: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Fee: $325 (prepayment required)
Contact: Cindy Rackley, Reiki Master/Teacher
www.cindyrackley.com
Email: hawkmeadow4@q.com
Phone: 360-825-6949
Text: 253-653-5317

Cindy Rackley offers readings for people and animals. She is a Reiki Master/Teacher, Coach, and Healer. Her work incorporates many forms of Energy Medicine, applied Kinesiology, Vibrational Medicines, such as Homeopathy, Flower Essences, and Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils. She works with people, animals, and organizations in the United States, Canada, and Europe.

INTRODUCTION TO ENERGY MEDICINE COURSE
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Introduction to Energy Medicine Course

Sunday August 16, 2020 You will learn how to utilize Energy, Homeopathy, Flower Essence, applied Kinesiology, and therapeutic grade Essential Oils in the healing of people and animals. You will learn about energy fields and a form of applied kinesiology. You will also learn how to make your own homeopathic and flower essence blends for yourself and others.
Manuals and supplies included.

Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Fee: $295 (prepayment required)
Contact: Cindy Rackley, Reiki Master/Teacher
www.cindyrackley.com
Email: hawkmeadow4@q.com
Phone: 360-825-6949
Text: 253-653-5317

Cindy Rackley offers readings for people and animals. She is a Reiki Master/Teacher, Coach, and Healer. Her work incorporates many forms of Energy Medicine, applied Kinesiology, Vibrational Medicines, such as Homeopathy, Flower Essences, and Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils. She works with people, animals, and organizations in the United States, Canada, and Europe.

REIKI LEVEL I CERTIFICATION CLASS
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Reiki Level I Certification Class

Friday, July 17, 2020
Learn to heal yourself and others using this form of Energy Medicine.  Beneficial to People, Animals and Earth.  Reiki accelerates healing, alleviates pain and reduces stress.  Used in hospitals around the world.  Manuals included  

Time:  10:00 a.m. ~ 5:00 p.m.
Fee:  $195 (prepayment is required)
Contact Cindy Rackley, Reiki Master/Teacher   www.cindyrackley.com, email: hawkmeadow4@q.com, Call: 360-825-6949 or Text: 253-653-5317

Cindy Rackley offers readings for people and animals. She is a Reiki Master/Teacher, Coach, and Healer. Her work incorporates many forms of Energy Medicine, applied Kinesiology, Vibrational Medicines, such as Homeopathy, Flower Essences, and Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils. She works with people, animals, and organizations in the United States, Canada, and Europe.

REIKI LEVEL II CERTIFICATION CLASS
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Reiki Level II Certification Class

Saturday July 18, 2020
Must be a Certified Level I practitioner to attend.  Reiki Level II is Distance or Absentee Healing.  Learn to send healing energy to those in the present, into the future and into your past. At the end of the day, we will offer Reiki to the animals at RTF.  Manuals included

Time:  10:00 a.m. ~ 5:00 p.m.
Fee:  $225 (prepayment required)
Contact Cindy Rackley, Reiki Master/Teacher   www.cindyrackley.com, email hawkmeadow4@q.com, Call: 360-825-6949 or text: 253-653-5317

Cindy Rackley offers readings for people and animals. She is a Reiki Master/Teacher, Coach, and Healer. Her work incorporates many forms of Energy Medicine, applied Kinesiology, Vibrational Medicines, such as Homeopathy, Flower Essences, and Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils. She works with people, animals, and organizations in the United States, Canada, and Europe.

REIKI FOR ANIMALS
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Reiki for Animals

Sunday July 19, 2020
Time:  TBA
Fee:  TBA(prepayment required)
Contact Cindy Rackley, Reiki Master/Teacher   www.cindyrackley.com, email hawkmeadow4@q.com, Call: 360-825-6949 or text: 253-653-5317

Cindy Rackley offers readings for people and animals. She is a Reiki Master/Teacher, Coach, and Healer. Her work incorporates many forms of Energy Medicine, applied Kinesiology, Vibrational Medicines, such as Homeopathy, Flower Essences, and Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils. She works with people, animals, and organizations in the United States, Canada, and Europe.

Special Events

CELEBRATING SPIRIT'S 25th YEAR!
RTF_2020_TWIT_SPIRIT_FIN
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Spirit’s birthday gallops online Saturday, May 9!

Even at home, you can celebrate the 25th birthday of Spirit, the mustang who served as muse and model for the animators of DreamWorks’ 2002 Oscar-nominated film, “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimmaron!”

Youth and adults all over the world fell in love with America’s wild horses as this beautiful dorsal-striped stallion carried their dreams about freedom and horses in the celebrated animated film.

Since Spirit’s arrival at Return to Freedom’s Lompoc, Calif., headquarters sanctuary in 2003, the handsome, mischievous Kiger mustang has remained a favorite of visitors of all ages, including young viewers of DreamWorks Animation’s Netflix spin-off series, “Spirit: Riding Free.”

Join us this Saturday, May 9, for a virtual benefit celebration of Spirit’s birthday. Your $50 donation will give you access to this special page all year long as we add new footage, auction items, and more, and it will benefit the over 500 wild horses and burros in RTF’s care.

Highlights will include:

– Video messages from friends of Spirit, including insights from co-director Lorna Cook and screenwriter John Fusco

– Footage of Spirit

– Footage of RTF herds being released onto their summer pastures

– Downloadable Spirit coloring pages

– Silent auction

– More!

Photo Credits
Top: Sandy Sharkey
Bottom: Nancy Holly

Spirit Nancy Holly Cropped 440x290
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VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES
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For one day each quarter, join us as we pull up our sleeves and tackle various projects around the ranch from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm. Please bring your own lunch. Healthy snacks, fruits, and beverages are provided. The recommended minimum age is 8 years old.

Following the volunteer period there will be an opportunity for herd observation of one group of our sanctuary residents. Each volunteer day in 2020 will end by visiting with RTF’s herds.

To register to participate in our next quarterly Volunteer Day please click on the date:

Saturday July 11, 2020

San Luis Obispo Location: Let us know if you are available to help us at our 2,000-acre satellite sanctuary in San Luis Obispo. Water trough cleaning and thistle eradication projects are underway!

Recommended minimum age is eight years. Join our volunteer email list to receive volunteer updates. Let us know if you would like to volunteer for fundraisers or tabling events! For more information, email: volunteers@returntofreedom.org.

HOLIDAY APPRECIATION PARTY
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2020 date TBA
All Return to Freedom volunteers and supporters are invited to join us in celebrating the accomplishments and activities of 2020. Raise a glass, eat tasty treats, and visit our gift shop!

The Appreciation Party will be held rain or shine.  Please call us a 805-737-9246 if you have any questions.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Private Tours & Retreats

Private Tours and Retreats are arranged on an individual basis. They can be scheduled on weekdays or weekends when there are no other scheduled events or activities at the ranch. The cost for large group tours and retreats are based on a sliding scale, and vary with each group. Please contact us at programs@returntofreedom.org for schedules, fees, and other information. We look forward to make your retreat or tour a memorable and special event.

PRIVATE TOURS AND RETREATS BY SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Private tours and Retreats are arranged on an individual basis. They can be scheduled on weekdays or weekends when there are no other scheduled events or activities at the ranch. The cost for large group tours and retreats are based on a sliding scale, and vary with each group.

Please contact us at programs@returntofreedom.org for schedules, fees and other information. We look forward to make your retreat or tour a memorable and special event.

Note: Prices listed below are for tours during the months of April-August 2020. For off-season tour inquiries, please contact programs@returntofreedom.org

Private Individual or Group Tours
Our most popular tour! Schedule your own private group tour, a combination of an informative Living History Sanctuary Tour with some time for sensitive herd observation. Spend 2 1/2 hours experiencing a vital link to our living history: America’s wild horses! Learn about the origins of the horse in America, how they shaped American cultures, what they face in the world today and what we are doing to preserve them. This can be a light walking tour to view the sanctuary and visit our ambassador horses and some time to quietly view the herds in the hills. For those who want a more vigorous hike or more time in quiet observation; custom tours available by request. Light refreshments provided. Suggested minimum admission $150 per person, with a minimum of four people or full payment for four people. Scheduled by appointment only and subject to staff availability. Contact programs@returntofreedom.org.

Large Group Tours
Schedule a private tour for 20 or more! Great for school field trip, Senior group tours, birthdays, clubs, youth group, Pony Club outing, Girl Scouts, equine club or church group! Bring a bag lunch and spread out a picnic blanket near the pagoda after the tour. Light refreshments provided. Suggested minimum donation is $50 per person but varies by tour type and amount of guests. For a quote contact: programs@returntofreedom.org. Scheduled by appointment only and subject to staff availability.

Private Wild Horse Herd Observation
Interested in studying wild horse natural behavior and viewing wild horses out in the hills? Schedule a private Wild Horse Hike where we will spend 2- 3 hours in the late afternoon to early evening quietly immersing ourselves in wild horse herds. This hike can be moderate to strenuous on uneven, steep terrain, although your guide will take the physical fitness level and ability of all guests into consideration when deciding on the route. Light refreshments provided. Suggested minimum fee $150 per person, with a minimum of four people or full payment for four people. Scheduled by appointment only (Monday-Saturday) and subject to staff availability. If your party would like to end the day with a light catered meal from a local restaurant, this can be arranged for an added fee. Contact programs@returntofreedom.org

Private Photo Safaris
In addition to our scheduled Photo Safaris, private Photo Safaris in Lompoc can be arranged upon request. Whether you and your amateur photo club want to photograph colorful wild horses in a serene setting or if you’re a professional photographer looking to expand your fine arts portfolio, this tour is the one for you! One of our experienced guides will spend up to 3 hours with you and your group out in the hills. Suggested minimum fee $300 per person for tours with 2-5 guests; $200 per person for groups 6-10. Information for larger tours available by request. Special restrictions on photo use may apply; contact programs@returntofreedom.org to view our photography waiver. Scheduled by appointment only (Monday-Saturday), and subject to staff availability.

Full Moon Evening Safari & Dinner
A meditative and reflective journey into the world of wild horses. These intimate evenings are hosted by Return to Freedom Founder Neda DeMayo, sharing her unique insight and understanding of wild herds. Special guests and staff may join to add their expertise. Once in the hills, our time will be reserved for quiet observation of the herds. At dusk we will gather for a light dinner, wine, storytelling, music, and discussion. Hiking level is moderate to strenuous on uneven, steep terrain. Not recommended for children under 12. Hiking boots, light jacket, and a reusable water bottle recommended for the hike. Suggested minimum fee $300 per person, with a minimum of four people and maximum of 10 people. Schedule is 4:30 p.m.-9 p.m.

Dates can be scheduled by special arrangement, with a minimum of four people. Contact programs@returntofreedom.org.

Return to Freedom ranch is the perfect venue for your group’s next retreat!
Located in the California hills about 2 ½ hours north of Los Angeles, we make Return to Freedom’s American Wild Horse Sanctuary available on a limited basis to a variety of organizations for group functions and retreats. Groups enjoy a unique opportunity to come together in a sanctuary that opens the heart and in the magic of the natural world.
Features and Amenities Return to Freedom’s American Wild Horse Sanctuary is a 310-acre ranch offering quiet, outdoor settings for meetings, programs and a variety of group and solitary activities. Consider a walking meditation through herds of wild horses. Or, while enjoying our grounds, climb a magical tree house in our 60-acre oak forest—a perfect spot for contemplation, meditation, yoga or special times with your groups. And we are only 10 miles from one of the most beautiful beaches in south-central California. Enjoy a morning swim or walk on the beach. With breathtaking cliffs and pounding surf, it’s a location and experience that you’ll remember for years to come. To compliment your stay, additional amenities are also available. These may include massage, yoga instruction, and herbalist walks. You have a choice of accommodations for your group. Some groups prefer to camp out on the hills and spend the entire time in the beauty of our sanctuary. For those who choose not to, “rough it,” there are a variety of accommodations in nearby Lompoc that range from moderate to business class and also world class resorts within a 45-50 minute drive. When you call to set up your retreat, we can put you in touch with the accommodation of your choice. Please call us at 805-737-9246 to schedule your retreat.

Other Programs Benefiting Return to Freedom

PROGRAMS WITH LORRAINE TURNER
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Lorraine Turner Programs Benefitting Return to Freedom:
Lorraine Turner, author of Calico Horses and the Patchwork Trail and renowned facilitator of animal communication, supports Return to Freedom in numerous ways, including having the proceeds of her book sales and private animal communication sessions be donated to Return to Freedom.

Lorraine is a Certified Professional Animal Communicator and has studied with world-renowned Wynter Worsthorne of AnimalTalk Africa. Lorraine specializes in distant communication services that include general communication, animals in spirit, and missing animals for animals located anywhere on the planet or animals that have passed on. If you would like to learn more about Lorraine and her services, please visit her website.

Lorraine’s animal communication sessions are available to schedule privately with her for an $80 donation to Return to Freedom for a general conversation or a $100 donation to Return to Freedom for missing animals. Contact Lorraine directly at info@calicohorses.com to arrange your session with her and make your donation for your session to Return to Freedom using the button below.

Lorraine’s book, Calico Horses and the Patchwork Trail is available for sale at Return to Freedom’s online store

Testimonials:
“The messages that Lorraine was able to relay to me were unbelievably accurate and inspiring. I was amazed by her accuracy in depicting things that are going on in my family’s lives and hearts — currently, as well as past and future. To add to my amazement, Lorraine and I live in different countries, and the fact that she was able to connect with them through a photograph leaves me speechless! Wow!!” – Jenn, Canada

“I’ve had the blessing to work with Lorraine on some of my other animals. She is spot on…and the kindness she has is a rainbow bright soothing cup of all that’s right. If I had to explain how I felt after the sessions would be..the same feeling you get on a hot night…the cool side of your pillow. Thank you Loraine!!!!” – Shelli, Florida

“In my unsuccessful attempts to locate a horse I used to own, I decided to use an animal communicator having had great results in the past. I found Lorraine on Animal Talk Africa online. After emailing her with my plight, she responded with support and compassion. She quickly started communicating with him and relayed what she was receiving. It was so important to me to know that I was not alone in this search. He has now been located and is doing well. Thanks so much for your assistance!!” – Nikki, South Africa

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