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The ASPCA recognizes that America’s wild horses and burros occupy a special place in our history and deserve to be protected. So why is it that the government agency in charge of their care—the Bureau of Land Management—doesn’t seem to feel the same way? Over the years, the BLM has rounded up tens of thousands of our wild equines, often using cruel methods, and shipped them to tax-funded holding facilities where they are confined for the rest of their lives.

With more wild horses now in holding facilities (50,000) than on the range (30,000-40,000), the situation has never been more urgent. The ASPCA is fighting to make the BLM scrap its current management strategy and implement more humane, sustainable methods of wild horse management, but we cannot do it alone.

With your support, we can continue our critical work to change the way the federal government treats these majestic animals. If you’re ready to stand up for our wild herds, and countless other threatened animals who count on us, please make a donation today.


Movie presentation of American Mustang
In an artful blend of documentary & character-driven narrative, the majestic wild horses of the American West are revealed in stereoscopic 3D. The intricate dance between a man & a wild horse presents lessons for us all including the battle-hardened special interest groups fighting over the American Mustang.

Wednesday, September 10 6:30PM – 8:10PM
at Edwards Big Newport 6
300 Newport Center Dr, Newport Beach, CA, US, 92808 (map)
$12.00 General

Be a part of this journey and support our American wild horses. If we all get involved we can make a difference!

Give our American wild horses hope. They deserve our respect.

Give our American wild horses hope. They deserve our respect.

Return To FreedomThis story was posted the other day. Thank you to everyone who continues to work tirelessly in order to save our American wild horses. A big thank you to U.S. Senators Mary L. Landrieu and Lindsey Graham for coauthoring this bill.

Landrieu: Horse Slaughter to be Banned Again in U.S.
Receives final vote this week

January 15, 2014

WASHINGTON— U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., today announced that the bill funding the government for FY2014 includes a ban on domestic horse slaughter. The ban prohibits the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) from using federal funds to inspect horsemeat intended for human consumption, effectively banning domestic horse slaughter and protecting the public from toxic horse meat. The provision, coauthored with Senator Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is expected to pass both the House and Senate this week before going to the President for his signature. Sen. Landrieu added the language to the FY2014 Appropriations bill in June that funds the Department of Agriculture, which was part of today’s funding bill.

“I am relieved that horse slaughter is now banned in the United States, protecting the American public from the very serious health and safety risks posed by horse meat. Slaughtering horses is inhumane, disgusting and unnecessary, and there is no place for it in the United States. I appreciate Sen. Graham’s partnership to ban this cruel practice, keep our food supply safe and save taxpayer dollars,” Sen. Landrieu said. “I will continue to push for the passage of the SAFE Act, which aims to permanently ban the slaughter of horses in the United States and prohibits the transport of America’s horses to other countries for slaughter.”

The ban included in the FY2014 Agriculture Appropriations bill would last for the duration of the bill. To permanently ban horse slaughter, the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act would permanently prohibit horse slaughter operations in the U.S., and end the current export and slaughter of more than 150,000 American horses abroad each year. The SAFE Act has the bipartisan support of 28 Senators. A companion bill has been introduced in the House by Reps. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., and Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill. and has the bipartisan support of 163 congressmen.

It has been awhile since I have posted on my blog. I have been working on a book about Return To Freedom American Wild Horse Sanctuary up in Central California. This was truly a labor of love and I am hoping it will be another way of sharing what Return To Freedom is doing to save our American Wild Horses. This link should work below if you copy and paste it into your browser!  Enjoy! Susan

Photo Book for you! Shutterfly

From: Susan Brown MatsumotoYou’re invited to view my photo book at Shutterfly. Enjoy!

Photo Book from Susan Brown Matsumoto


View photo book
If selecting “View photo book” doesn’t work, copy-and-paste this address into your browser:

All the years I have headed up to Lompoc I never paid much attention to the cities as I passed them by. That was until yesterday when I exited off Liberty Canyon Blvd. in Agoura Hills, CA. to visit The Healing Equine Ranch nestled in the beautiful Santa Monica Mountains. I had recently become aware of this organization via Facebook and wanted to know more about their mission. Needless to say, I was impressed with all that they do and felt right at home. Hearing the stories of the horses that they have saved and being able to watch the interaction of the herd was inspiring. There is something spiritual and calming just being around the horses and also being around others who care. I would recommend everyone go out and see what this is all about. Below is a blurb off of  The Healing Equine Ranch’s website. This will give you more of an insight on their mission. Kiki and Terry gave demonstrations of working with horses and how true respect, love and kindness will from a bond with one of God’s magnificent creatures._DSC7113

The Healing Equine Ranch (aka t.h.e. ranch) is nestled in the beautiful Santa Monica Mountains in California. We are a 501c3 organization and our goal is to create a positive and natural environment where horses and humans can interact and learn.We are inspired by the knowledge we gain from interacting naturally with horses. Utilizing the techniques of those who have gone before us and those who continue to spread the word, we offer experiential learning for anyone with a love of nature and horses. We know that by improving our own skills with horses, we receive benefits in all areas of our lives. Enhanced partnerships, stronger leadership, improved communication, self esteem, boundaries and more honest relationships. Most importantly, In this high tech fast paced world, we have slowed down and really listened to the inner voice that guides us. Possibly for the first time in years.Using our own model, Natural Equine Interactive Learning (NEIGL), we present basic natural horsemanship skills with an emphasis on human self development.  The exercises presented in our program provide the opportunity to cultivate mindfulness and awareness, and help identify how to stay present in the moment.

Becoming aware of the delicate balance between our mental, physical and emotional states is the foundation for productive relationships. Along with learning real skills to be around horses, our participants notice many positive changes in their lives, including a happier, healthier state of mind and a more confident approach to life and problem solving.

Our popular Horse Mornings for Women series is the ranch’s flagship program. Utilizing the NEIGL approach, this program allows you the opportunity to explore what you bring to the relationship with horses, while giving you tools, tasks and situations that will to help you partner with these beautiful animals. By learning just a few key points, you could be on your way to a life-changing and enriching experience with horses that will invariably carry over into your other relationships. This program can be customized for all demographics, including families, couples, school programs and groups in the workplace.

Return To Freedom American Wild Horse Sanctuary. A place that they call home where love and hope abound. ~Susan

His nostrils flare,
With noble delight,
His wide white eyes,

Full of fight.

He is a King,
With blood-red coat,
Charcoal hooves,
Upon wind he floats.

The breeze of heaven,
Flows through his mane,
He gallops through my heart,
And back again.

~ Tiffany Moss

Horses can form close bonds with humans, yes even wild horses. How blessed we are to have that opportunity. We bring joy to their lives, yet the joy they bring to us is priceless.

Horses are naturally gregarious needing the emotional security of a herd. Being flight animals their first response to an frightening,unknown or threatening situations is to run away. If a horse is deprived of company or not allowed to express its natural instincts, it can become stressed and start to behave unpredictably.

“In the wild, a horse herd has a strict hierarchy, composed of one alpha stallion, several breeding mares, young stock and foals. As the young stallions reach maturity, they are driven from the herd and form separate “bachelor herds.” Stallions from the bachelor herds eventually may challenge the alpha stallion of the herd. Each horse knows its place within the herd, and new foals are quickly taught the boundaries of good behavior. Domesticated horses put together in a field will quickly develop their own version of the herd environment, with the most dominant horse (male or female) taking on the role of leader.”  ~ Sara Clark

Roy is a volunteer at Return To Freedom and enjoys spending time with the horses and photographing them. My photograph shows wild horses can bond with humans as they learn to trust and feel safe with them. As with humans, love goes a long way with these magnificent horses.

American Wild  Horse  Holocaust. Will you stand up for them? Without your help and financial support our wild horses may someday just be a memory. Our children’s children may only be able to see wild horses in books or videos. No longer will they be running free the way God intended them to be. I don’t want to say I wish I had done more to save them. Please join with me and others who believe in protecting the rights of our magnificent American wild horses. You can even start in our own backyard with Return To Freedom American Wild Horse Sanctuary in Lompoc, CA.


 Return to Freedom relies on the generosity of its donors to help us care for our wild horses and burros, offer educational programs, and preserve some of the most threatened genetic strains. Though one person cannot do it all, if everyone does a little, together, we can make a real difference in the lives of wild horses and burros.

Make a Donation

The simplest way to help support Return to Freedom is to make a general donation. Your gift will be used in whatever way it is most needed at the time that you give. We are proud to have achieved a 4 Star rating from Charity Navigator, your assurance that your donation is being used wisely.

Sponsor a Horse

You may want your gift to go to a specific purpose, like purchasing hay for one of our rescued horses or burros. Sponsoring a horse is a great way to have a connection with one of our animals at the sanctuary. We will send you a certificate with a photo and description of a horse or burro that your monthly contribution helps us to feed and care for. Sponsorships also make really meaningful gifts!

Meet some of the horses in need of a sponsor.

Become a Sustaining Member

Monthly giving helps Return to Freedom by letting us know we can count on a certain amount of income each month. Having that security lets us spend more time saving horses and less time fundraising! Maybe the monthly horse sponsorship is not in your budget right now. Or maybe you would like to give more each month than a sponsorship. In either case, the sustaining membership program would be for you. Your monthly gift provides the monthly income and security we need to operate our 300 acre wild horse sanctuary.

Thank you for reading my blog and for considering joining this cause. Alone it is impossible. Together anything is possible.


Today I thought I would share with you one of the stories from Return To Freedom’s website. Beautifully written by RTF to share what is going on in America with our wild horses. Thank you RTF for letting me share your story. For those reading my blog please visit Return To Freedom, American Wild Horse Sanctuary’s website @ Read more stories and find out how you can help preserve and protect our wild horses.

Gypsy – Challis mare

In the high ridges and sagebrush basin just outside of Sun Valley Idaho, some 400 wild horses roamed the 154,000 acre Challis Herd Management Area. They lived peacefully along side a diverse species of wildlife including deer, elk, mountain lions, wolves and bear. The Challis herd made their life here. They were born, courted, fought, raised family bands, survived and died for generations under the endless skies… where distant mountain ridges were their only boundaries.

Until 2009 when a helicopter on the horizon would shatter their world forever. A government roundup drove the horses in a frenzy into traps and catch pens. Mothers were separated from their young, family bands were ripped apart, and — though they fought valiantly – stallions lost the mares and young they had protected all these years.

For 19  of the horses who survived the roundup , salvation would come in the form of a group of local women and a photographer who had been documenting the Challis herd for years. Elissa Kline (the photographer), Jodi Herlich and Doro Lohmann adopted 1 stallion and 18 mares – most pregnant – and found a small parcel of land to lease where the mares would be safe and together until a permanent solution could be found.

Return to Freedom provided that solution and has welcomed the Challis horses and their offspring to our California sanctuary. Now numbering 29 with their 3 year old fillies and colts born after capture, the Challis herd arrived at our sanctuary this summer. Here they are resuming life as they once knew it. Though we cannot replace the stallions, family members and herd mates that they lost in the roundup, we can offer them freedom, safety and the comfort of one another.

Please help us continue to rescue displaced wild horses like the Challis herd by sponsoring a horse today. We have several Challis horses in need of a sponsor. Meet Carmela, Nelson and Gypsy and consider helping with a monthly sponsorship to offset the cost of their feed and care. Thank you for your compassion and support.

The beauty of the Lompoc hillsides and valley were only outmatched by the beauty of the wild horses…

Standing in the pasture with the tall grass blowing gently in the wind, the beautiful Lompoc valley spread as far as my eyes could see I witnessed the complete joy of running wild horses as they frolicked in the tall grass. They neighed, their nostrils flared taking in the warm air and the pure unbridled joy of running wild penetrated their very souls. The pounding of the hooves and the wind whipping up around me as they ran by was pure exhileration. One might say it was a religious experience I felt being so close to God’s magnificent creations. For me it was. I will never forget that moment for the rest of my life. I felt these horse’s pure joy as they knew they were safe and loved. They were free again just as God intended them to be.Image