In 1978, 80 wild horses who had been living on public land were captured and in danger of being destroyed. The founders of the Wild Horse Sanctuary stepped in and made the radical decision to rescue these horses and create a safe haven for them.
At the same time, they launched a media campaign to bring attention to the plight of these and hundreds of other wild horses. There are approximately 30,000 wild horses roaming free in the western part of our nation. The Wild Horse Sanctuary of Shingletown, Ca helped create a national moratorium on killing any un-adoptable wild horses that are seized from public lands.
The WHS currently has about 300 wild horses and burros living free on the 5,000 acre sanctuary. They live in family bands - mostly smaller bands of geldings and the handful of stallions on the property have their mares and foals. The WHS Executive Director, Jill Tobia, explained, “We feed the wild horses and burros in our care approximately 10 months per year. We feed over a ton of quality grass hay and alfalfa daily and offer free choice mineral supplement tubs and dewormer throughout the year.”
Any foals that are born at the Sanctuary are placed in loving homes away from the Sanctuary. Potential adopters must complete an application and undergo an interview with Sanctuary staff to ensure they have the knowledge, facility, and financial means to care for a young, unhandled horse.
The WHS welcomes more than 2,000 visitors and volunteers each year who like to view these magnificent animals in their natural habitat to better understand how they can live in balance with other wildlife and plant life. Jill shared, “Many tell us their experience at the Wild Horse Sanctuary has led them to appreciate and advocate for wild horses everywhere.”
The WHS is always in need of financial donations to support their program. They rely solely on donations from individuals and receive no government subsidies.
The WHS has a lot to be proud of. Jill explained, “We are the first Wild Horse Sanctuary established in the United States. We have hosted a number of scientific studies with regard to reproduction/contraception and behavior. We continue to serve as a model for responsible wild horse and rangeland management.”
She continued, “We offer foot tours at no charge and 2 and 3 day trail ride adventures on the Sanctuary, which allows all people an opportunity to learn more about wild horses/the American Mustang.”
They are also working with another non-profit to develop an equine assisted therapy program to help people living with PTSD and trauma. “Many are women veterans and law enforcement officers. Together we will host therapeutic retreats using the natural setting and observation of wild horse behavior here at the Sanctuary to bring healing to those in need. It’s pretty exciting!” This new program will be launched this year.
To learn more about the WHS and how to help, see below.
Wild Horse Sanctuary
Location: Shingletown, CA
Donate: 5796 Wilson Hill Road, Shingletown, CA 96088
Trailer: NOT NEEDED
If you are interested in loaning or donating your horse trailer to this particular organization, then check out details of our Horse Trailer Donation and Sharing Program here. Then, post your comments below to help out!
Also, learn more about horse rescues in these two articles: