Gone But Not Forgotten
Return to Freedom’s American Wild Horse Sanctuary is home for the wild horses, wildlife and animals that have found refuge here. Their presence here creates a transformative quality which touches all who visit. As our cherished friends and teachers move on to greener pastures, we celebrate and honor them and what they taught us.
As we approach the holiday I want to share some sad news but also gratitude.
Mystic, one of our ambassador stallions left this world to run in the next. He was approximately 30 years old. It is painful to know he is no longer here in the hills , but many of us share 16 years of memories with him and for that time we are forever grateful.
Mystic was one of the first stallions to arrive at Return to Freedom in 1999. He was captured during the total removal of 279 horses from Hart Mountain -Fish and Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.
RIP Mystic, I love you so much. You made this dream a reality. We see you, we honor you. Est. DOB 1984 -Captured 1998- died October 31 2014ABOUT JACOBI
Jacobi is the first foal born to a young Choctaw mare named Francis Ma Con A Qua (Little Bear). Born premature in a torrential rainstorm, this tiny new foal was abandoned by his mother for a few hours after birth. Though new babies generally begin their lives with their herd, Jacobi was shaking with cold and so fragile that RTF staff decided to bring him and his mare into a deeply bedded stall in our vet barn.
We watched them closely and after 5 uncertain days, Jacobi showed signs of improvement and began to walk and run along side his mother. He enjoyed a short but happy life in the Choctaw herd pasture as a healthy and willful young colt. Like his ancestors, who carried the Choctaw and Cherokee people along the Trail of Tears, Jacobi had a strong heart and courageous spirit.About Commanche
Commanche was a very special, paint mustang that came to the Return to Freedom Sanctuary in 2001. Rescued many years before that by a very special woman named Maggie Dumais, Commanche’s life was not always very happy. He endured many hardships before being rescued.
When Maggie brought him to live out his senior years at our sanctuary, he quickly became a beloved member of the RTF family of horses. He spent his summers grazing and enjoying the company of his herdmates in our south pasture. His incredible kindness and gentle demeanor with children made him the perfect horse for our youth at risk programs. Many young guests had an unforgettable experience grooming and bathing him, walking him or just stroking his soft muzzle.
In February of 2009, Commanche passed in the comfort of his winter paddock, with his best pal Marilyn at his side.