At the heart of the Ranch is our horses. Horses are what often draw participants to the Ranch, they're who God uses to help break down barriers very quickly to allow hope to enter a hurting heart. Horse Sponsorship is the primary way we are able to fund the work done at the Ranch, continuing to offer mentor sessions completley free-of-charge to all who come.
DOB: Unknown, Approximately 1991 Arrived: 3/12/2019 (Rescue)
now session horse and permanent Ranch resident.
Joseph, formerly hip #1790 was pulled from an auction in Middle Tennessee. He was found standing in a pen with about 100 other horses , and many of whom, at this particular auction end up with one of three kill buyers in the area. Having researched well how to pull from this auction responsibly (without adding an inflated purchase price into the seller's hands), our volunteers were able to pull him on the night of March 12, 2019. He is a senior Saddlebred gelding who was likely around 25-28 years old in 2019.
The instant he walked out of the auction house he let out a deep sigh, as if knowing he had ended up in caring hands. He loaded onto the trailer, and slept most of the drive back to the Ranch.
He was evaluated by our vet the next morning: infested with parasites, needing to gain 300lbs, lacking basic maintenance care by his previous owner, and had quite a road of recovery ahead so a plan for his rehabilitation was made.
After 3 months of Rehabilitation, he officially joined the horses that can be ridden by participants. His engaging personality that beckons each visitor with a friendly nicker. His outgoing personality and workmanlike nature under saddle make him the perfect session horse.
READ JOSEPH'S STORY HERE: "Joseph's Journey"
DOB: 5-22-1999, Arrived: has been with us since the beginning!
Breed: Anglo Arabian (Arabian x Thoroughbred)
Sponsor: Fully Sponsored since January 2017
by The Jaeckle Centre - www.thejaecklecentre.com
Boston is one of those once-in-a-lifetime horses who has a willingness to try anything. He's stubborn, strong willed, and has a lot of personality with an opinion about everything. In talking with a string of several previous trainers he had, he was characterizid as “mean” “uncontrollable” “crazy” and “worthless”, Carissa purchased him in 2009 and through patience, trust, and the guidance of some amazing horsewomen after channeling that energy into Eventing and Show Jumping for a several years, Boston is now a most trusted session horse.
Boston has a knack for using his stubbornness to help teach everyone about persistence and the reward it produces when combined with putting another's best interests first.
His favorite treat is either an apple bran muffin or a poweraid slush. He loves galloping across an open field, and knows how to bow and give kisses for cookies.
DOB: 2007, Arrived: 11/16/16
Abandoned in a small outdoor dog pen for over a month when his owner became addicted to drugs, Freedom (named by participants) was rescued from his situation when the horse community stepped in to save him. His rescuing family took him in and then realized that, despite the obstacles of fear and trust he would have to work through, he would be a perfect fit for Freedom Reigns.
When he first got to the Ranch he was afraid of small spaces, a stick (crop/whip), and very over-reactive to any movement but through the use of natural horsemanship techniques and constant and consistent work, he has become much more trusting and is engaging in the things that used to scare him.
He is a favorite of participants, especially for those dealing with anxiety and fear in their own life. Working with Freedom requires very controlled and quiet movement for him to feel most confident and he visibly shows physical changes when participants take active measures to relax themselves. His favorite thing is to simply have his head held next to someones chest, and he loves having his lower lip scrunched and played with.
DOB: 5/3/2006, Arrived: 1/28/2020
Breed: AQHA Quarter Horse (Registered Name: MB Buckman Chaser)
Bronson, true to his breed, is as quiet, steady, and good natured as they come. He’s a “been there done that” accomplished Western horse having done mounted shooting, sorting, and barrel racing.
He was loved and cherished by his former owner, Evie Jaeckle, and when a severe suspensory injury threatened his ability to ever be sound again, the Jaeckle Centre used their therapy services to rehabilitate him. While they were not able to bring him back to his previous performance levels they were able to make him comfortable so he could be turned out to enjoy life in a big pasture with two other horses.
When Evie learned of the Ranch’s need to have another session-ready steady and reliable horse, she mentioned Bronson to Carissa and within the same month he was donated to Freedom Reigns Ranch.
Bronson’s incredible foundation, training, and excellent manners make him the perfect quiet session horse. His demeanor is a testament to people putting their best foot forward to care for the horses they’re entrusted with and ensuring that they’re cared for throughout their life, even when things don’t go as planned. Evie was very disappointed but she never gave up her hope that Bronson could return to work in some capacity. That’s why when she heard about freedom reigns need she knew it was meant to be.
For a lot of our participants, life simply threw them circumstances beyond their control and they’ve had to grieve in the process of realizing that how they expected and hoped things would turn out for them, didn’t happen. And in this, they’re able to relate to Bronson’s story. As we know, God is amazing at writing redemption stories and He has a plan to bring good out of our pain and loss if we give it to Him. For Bronson, that looks like getting to walk step-in-step with youth and young adults at the Ranch who need a reliable and steady partner to help carry them through the challenging circumstances they’ve experienced, and we are so thrilled to welcome him to our herd!
DOB: 2002, Arrived: 3/29/2016
Breed: Appendix (Quarter Horse x Thoroughbred)
Fully Sponsored since April 2017 by Pascal and Michelle Jouvence
Dancer spent most of his life in a loving home with his previous owner As a part of a lesson program, he was relied on to help many different people learn the ropes of riding and helped give them the confidence they needed to move up to other more challenging horses.
At the Ranch, Dancer is a star session horse! He truly loves his job and he seems to know it's his responsibility to ensure participants feel safe and confident and he is so gentle with them. Dancer is often described as a "sponge"... whereas most horses act as a "mirror" to human emotions, Dancer simply takes and absorbs everything in, including nervousness and anxiety. He is as steady as they come when he is under saddle.
He can often be observed taking every opportunity for a nap and he is quite vocal when food becomes involved or he sees someone he recognizes. He LOVES bath time!
Breed: Welch Cobb
Pogo came from the Brandt family, who love him dearly. He had his own little girl and together they showed in the discipline of Eventing: It’s a fun and competitive equine sport that demands a horse be a well rounded individual. He was well cared for but had a bit of a mischievous streak and one day ended up getting his leg torn up pretty badly. Thankfully, the deep wound healed well because of his owner’s and trainer’s excellent care. We took over Pogo’s care a few months after the injury and kids often ask about his big scar. Pogo is not-your-typical-pony, and is steady and reliable, and (for the most part) stays out of trouble. He will do anything for a cookie!
We hope that the kids will gain insight as they realize how God can restore and heal us from our wounds as they see how Pogo has recovered from his severe injury.
DOB: 4/10/2006, Arrived: 4/18/18
Breed: Warmblood x
If there’s one type of horse that any program who works with kids or those who deal with fear needs to have it’s one who is big and strong, yet confident, steady, and gentle. He must have the heart for the “job”: to be engaging with each new person he encounters and not tire of some of the things that new or young riders can do that some horses to not have the ability to handle time and again… that horse at our Ranch is Finn.
Finn came to Freedom Reigns Ranch as a special gift from the Hupy family. He is a beautiful, 16hh, black, warmblood. He is as steady and confident as they come and was an excellent partner for Amelia, a talented equitation rider. And while the plan was for Finn to continue taking Amelia to shows, bone spurs in his hocks ended his career as a show hunter. Being such a young and endearing horse they knew that Finn wouldn’t like simply being retired to pasture and when Stephanie told the Hupy family about Freedom Reigns Ranch, they knew it would be a great fit…And indeed it is! Finn moved seamlessly into session work and has found his niche in helping participants experience the power someone can demonstrate while still encompassing gentleness. With deep gratitude to the Hupy family we welcome Finn into our Ranch family!
DOB: Unknown, approximately 2016 Arrived: 3/27/2020
Breed: Miniature horse
Height: 33 inches
From feral mini evading capture for a month, to now a beloved pony and good horse citizen. We loved getting to train him up -our “little Covid-19 quarantine project”- and realized he fit a need in our ministry for an approachable, adorable, transportable, and fun little guy for those who may not be ready for a big horse or pony to enjoy some horse time.
Goliath may be little in size, but he makes up for it in personality... he is the herd leader! Every herd member listens to this little spitfire of a pony without question. He can be seen enjoying pasture with his grazing muzzle on (such a little pony doesn't need a lot of grass), or taking a nap while the rest of the herd stands guard.
Goliath hangs out and greets everyone in the main lawn in session days and can be seen at various outreach events around town... much to his dismay, usually with glitter and adorned with some sort of decor. We believe him to be
Freedom Reigns Ranch always keeps a spot open for a foster horse from Hickory Hill Farm - a local well run rescue organization that works in coordination with law enforcement on animal cruelty cases. This partnership allows each organization to do what they do best: Hickory Hill handles all of the details of rescue and Freedom Reigns Ranch provides the care to rehabilitate the horse to help get them ready for adoption. Participants gain powerful hands-on experience in the redemption process and horses thrive under the love and care of our volunteers.
In the chance that we don't end up keeping our foster horse, we get to help find them a home where they will thrive and be loved for the rest of their life. These are rescues that Freedom Reigns Ranch has had the opportunity to love back to health as Foster Horses that are now in their new home:
Running Free of Suffering
Former Foster (adopted)
Former Foster (Adopted)
Former Foster (Adopted)
Gideon Leil (former session horse - adopted)
DOB: 2011, Arrived: 8/2017, went to his new home 11/2018
Breed: Selle Francias x Quarter Pony (DNA verified)
IMPORTANT NOTE about KILL PENS: Kill buyers have become masters at exploiting kind-hearted people and have created a market for horses being shipped to slaughter. If you decide to rescue we encourage you to ensure you do your research and are not contributing to the cycle. Support local rescues by volunteering or donating, offer to foster horses for rescues, adopt horses from rescues, or intercept horses before they find themselves at a kill pen. We discourage people from purchasing a horse from a kill pen as these are run by kill buyers who inflate prices well above what they paid for the horse to pull at heart-strings and to fund the purchase of other horses who will be sent directly to slaughter without ever being listed as "in a kill pen" for people to purchase.
Originally "Leil", Gideon was pulled from a kill pen in Kansas by his former owner and after a short time came to Freedom Reigns Ranch. Due to no fault of their own, thousands of horses each year end up in the predicament of being unwanted and sold at low-end auctions. "Kill buyers" purchase these horses for a mere few hundred dollars at most; mercilessly loaded onto crowded trucks and transported over the Mexican or Canadian border to be slaughtered for human consumption. Aside ethical implications and the fact that humane horse slaughter is impossible, their meat is tainted with chemicals and drugs that are toxic to humans.
We had the privilege of bringing Gideon along in his training. While he loved people, his energetic personality and athleticism could sometimes get in the way of his desire to be a calm session horse. We started playing with Gideon over some small jumps and did some arena work to discover that he would probably make someone an excellent eventer or show jumper. We began the process of finding him a home that could channel his energy in a way that he, too, enjoyed and found that with an incredible eventing trainer. Gideon is thriving and loving his new job. He went from a discarded in a kill pen, to a beloved session horse, and is now an amazing eventing partner for a family in Florida.
In Loving Memory: Warrior
DOB: 4/14/2007 Arrived: 6/17/2019, ran strong and free on 6/25/2019
Breed: AQHA Racing Quarter Horse (tattooed)
Warrior was discovered by a Volunteer's sister in a grass-less rock pasture at a self-care boarding facility in Middle Tennessee. After law enforcement failed to step in, Warrior was purchased from his former owner by the person who discovered him and handed over to Freedom Reigns Ranch. He was immediately brought to our vet, examined, weighed (missing a staggering 450 lbs), given triage care and a re-feeding protocol established.
Freedom Reigns volunteers who cared Warrior around-the-clock for several days. Re-feeding a horse who is emaciated is a delicate and risky balance; while they need nutrients to gain weight, doing so too fast will overwhelm their fragile, compromised system. It is a long and slow process that has to be monitored very carefully.
For the first few days, Warrior seemed withdrawn. It wasn't until he met a group of Junior Ranchers 4 days after his rescue that he "woke up". Our founder recalls "the moment they surrounded him, I saw hope enter his eyes. His countenance entirely changed!". From that moment, he was engaging, loved his 5 minute hand walks, and thrived off of attention. He was defying all odds, and remarkably, showing weight gain with just getting water and hay.
Early in the morning on June 25, Warrior passed away suddenly and unexpectedly from an internal rupture. Despite our best efforts, he succumbed to the consequences of starvation from his former owner's neglect.
So many people who met Warrior in the 8 days he was at Freedom Reigns shared how deeply meeting him impacted them. To read one such story, click here:
Note: We believe at Freedom Reigns Ranch that we are to have a part in the redemption of God's creation where people have failed to realize their responsibility to care for those they were given charge over. Warrior's condition was witnessed by no less than 30 people, including an on-duty sheriff, before Freedom Reigns Ranch stepped in in an effort to save his life. Please report suspected or known abuse and neglect to your local Department of Agriculture and allow them to investigate. That resource in Tennessee is located here:
To meet our horses, scroll up
For additional information on horse sponsorship, click here.
Horse sponsorship is a contribution of $50+ per month for a partial sponsorship (full sponsorship of a horse is $5400 per year). To show our appreciation, you will receive a professional photograph of your sponsored horse, a special one-of-a-kind shoe that is decorated by one of our participants who spends time with the horse you've sponsored as well as quarterly updates on how your horse is helping impact and change the lives of participants at the Ranch. Please note: sending this appreciation packet takes about 8 weeks after your sponsorship begins to allow us time to have a participant create your special gift.
At the heart of the Ranch are our horses. Horses are what often draw participants to the Ranch, they're who God uses to help break down barriers very quickly to allow hope to enter a hurting heart. Horse Sponsorship is the main way in which the program is funded and allows us to continue to offer sessions completely free-of-charge to all who come to the Ranch. The eight primary horses we currently have at the Ranch come from a variety of backgrounds: loved and well cared for since birth, misunderstood and abused, to neglected with a completely unknown past. Often, participants end up seeing themselves in their horse's story, taking comfort in being with their new equine friend as they begin to allow some of their story to be revealed. Each horse provides 1-2 sessions per operating day at the Ranch and is loved on for countless hours longer.
Please consider how you can partner in hope and healing by sponsoring one of our "angels in horsehair". Providing each horse with hay and feed, veterinary care, necessary supplements, farrier (hoof) care, tack and extra care as needed is possible because of our incredible Equine Sponsors and we greatly appreciate every one!
This agreement in no way entitles sponsor to ownership and/or exclusive privileges in any way to sponsored animal or ranch property. Freedom Reigns Ranch accepts all liability, expressed and/or implied, for sponsored equine. Sponsor has the right to cancel this agreement with a 30 day notice to Freedom Reigns Ranch by emailing email@example.com. All monies received from sponsor to date of cancellation remain the property of Freedom Reigns Ranch. Please note that there may be more than one sponsor per equine.