of Every Month
Put on a smile and roll up your sleeves! Volunteer at Return to Freedom from May through August 2017 and help us feed wild horses — and a lot more!
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
Join us on the last Saturday of each month, May through August, for docent-led sanctuary tours.
This is a docent-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.
Light refreshments provided. Recommended minimum age is eight years. Suggested minimum donation: $50 per adult; $15 for children under 12. Time: 3 p.m.-6:00 p.m. This is an introductory tour.
On the last Saturday of every month, join us as we push up our sleeves and tackle various projects around the ranch. End the day with a tour and some quiet herd observation in the hills! Bring your own lunch. Light refreshments provided. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Join the tour from 3p.m -6:00 p.m.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
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 the 100% pure Tribal strain Choctaw Ponies, 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, 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 donation: $200 per person; minimum four participants. 7 a.m.-10 a.m. and 4 p.m.-7 p.m.
To schedule a safari at Return to Freedom, contact us by email or call (805) 737-9246.
On 2,000 acres of horse heaven in Central Coastal California, 70 wild horses and 16 burros roam free. Safaris last three hours and can be scheduled for early morning or late afternoon.
Horses from the Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge in southeastern Oregon grace the beautiful rolling hills of San Luis Obispo — with a few of the ocean in the distance. A picnic basket with healthy snacks and beverages will be provided. Or you can end your safari with a pre-arranged picnic lunch or dinner in the hills with mountain top views of the sea.
Minimum suggested donation: $350 per person; minimum four participants. 7 a.m.-10 a.m. and 4 p.m.-7 p.m.
To schedule a safari at Return to Freedom, contact us by email or call (805) 737-9246.
July 9-July 14, 2017: Beginning to Advanced Photographers. Join Tony Stromberg for a six-day equine photography workshop that takes place at Return to Freedom’s Wild Horse Sanctuary in Central Coastal California.
Return to Freedom, now with two locations, is home to more than 350 rare and beautiful mustangs from all over the U.S. “We have produced this workshop successfully for eight 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
Clinics and Workshops
June 25, 2017: This class will show you how you receive your information, validate your style, and bring a greater awareness to your own intuitive abilities. You will learn to practice with a variety of techniques. The class will enable you to get a clearer picture and more information as to what’s going on with your animal companions.
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.
August 4-6, 2017: Linda Salinas is both a skilled clinician and a dynamic instructor who seeks to empower her students while ensuring the integrity of the horse. She is a gifted teacher who feels that, as we open our hearts and minds, horses in their infinite wisdom can assist us in our journey toward self-realization.
Linda is also a certified instructor in the Carolyn Resnick Method of natural horsemanship. She travels worldwide to share The Waterhole Rituals which were developed through Resnick’s observation of horses in the wild. The rituals provide a means by which we can bond and communicate with horses without the use of tack, force, or restraint, in a free environment.
June 10, 2017: Once a year in June, we spend a very special day at the sanctuary. Come along with your younger children and/or teens to help out at the sanctuary for the day.
Learn from RTF staff and volunteers! See what it takes to run a wild horse sanctuary: feeding, manure scooping, groom a tame burro or horse, and more. End the day venturing out to see the ranch on a hay ride and stop to watch wild horse herds. Participate in a Native American “Blessing of the Herds”. Meet Spirit and other Mustang Ambassadors!
Lunch: Light refreshments and snacks provided. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Suggested minimum donation: $65 per child/adult pair; $20 for each additional child or adult (a friend, additional parent, or a sibling). This program sells out every year, so please sign up in advance!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for schedules, fees, and other information. We look forward to make your retreat or tour a memorable and special event.
Note: Suggested minimum donations are for tours during the months of May 2017 through August 2017. For off-season tour inquiries (September 2017 through May 2018), please contact email@example.com.
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 tour is a light walking tour to view the sanctuary, visit our ambassador horses, and spend 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 are available by request. Light refreshments provided.Suggested minimum donation: $150 per adult; $20 for children under 12. Scheduled by appointment only (Mondays-Saturdays) and subject to staff availability. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Large Group Tours
Schedule a private tour for 20 or more! Great for school field trip, senior group tours, birthdays, clubs, youth groups, Pony Club outings, Girl Scouts, equine clubs or church groups! Bring a bag lunch and spread out a picnic blanket near the pagoda after the tour. Light refreshments provided.Suggested minimum donation: $50 per person, but varies by tour type and amount of guests. For a quote, contact: email@example.com. 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 two to three 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 factor the physical fitness level and ability of all guests into consideration when deciding on the route. Light refreshments provided. Suggested minimum donation: $150 per adult; $50 for children aged 12-16. Scheduled by appointment only (Mondays-Saturdays) and subject to staff availability. For an added fee, your party can end the day with a light catered meal from a local restaurant. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Private Photo Safaris
In addition to our scheduled Photo Safaris, Private Photo Safaris 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 three hours with you and your group out in the hills. Suggested minimum donation: $300 per person for tours with 1-5 guests; $200 per person for groups 5-10. Information for larger tours available by request. Special restrictions on photo use may apply. Contact email@example.com to view our photography waiver. Scheduled by appointment only (Mondays-Saturdays) and subject to staff availability.