In Loving Memory of Bob - Beloved Session Horse
DOB: Jan 1st, 2003
Height: 15 hh
Arrived: August 13, 2021
Ran Strong and Free: August 30, 2022
Bob (a.k.a. “Bobbio” because of his long, flowing mane) was a Mustang who spent the first six months of his life in the wild before he was gathered from Salt Wells Creek, Wyoming. Bob’s first owner adopted him from a Mustang holding facility and trained him as a heeling rope horse. Then, Bob went to a new owner, who let him live a cushy lifestyle as a companion, super fun trail mount, and mounted patrol training partner. Unfortunately, a major change in their life situation forced Bob’s owner to make some tough financial decisions—and that meant Bob needed a new home. He was donated to Freedom Reigns Ranch, his owner gaining comfort in knowing he would help so many people. Bob had a "Gentle Giant" personality and won the hearts of everyone he came in contact with.
Bob passed away from an intense battle with colic surrounded by people who loved him. He left many broken hearts behind but we are so grateful for the time we had with our sweet Bob.
Well done, Bob. You are free again.
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: May 22, 1999
Arrived: has been with us since the beginning!
Breed: Anglo Arabian (Arabian x Thoroughbred)
Sponsor: Fully Sponsored by The Jaeckle Centre since 2017
Carissa bought Boston in 2009 and quickly found that he is one of those once-in-a-lifetime horses who’s willing to try anything. His past trainer labeled him as “mean,” “uncontrollable,” and “worthless" because Boston is a strong-willed and opinionated horse. Through patience, trust, and the guidance of some amazing horsewomen, Carissa worked with Boston to overcome his bitterness toward the world and learn to form a partnership with his riders. Boston is now a trusted session horse. He has a knack for using his stubbornness to help teach people about persistence and the reward that comes from putting someone else’s best interests first.
DOB: Unknown (30+ years old)
Arrived: March 12, 2019
Sponsor: Fully Sponsored by St Paul's Episcopal Church since 2021
Joseph was rescued from starvation and neglect in 2019. His former owner had determined that Joseph had outlived his worth and abandoned him to an unknown fate. The instant Joseph walked out of his situation, he let out a deep sigh, as if he knew he was finally in caring hands. After three months of rehabilitation, he regained enough strength and body weight for Ranch participants to ride him. His workmanlike nature under the saddle and his engaging personality make him an easy favorite at the ranch. He beckons each visitor with a friendly nicker and loves attention. Joseph's story displays how God has the final say on our lives and can use even the most unlikely of things for His glory. We love our Joseph and hope to have many more years with him!
Arrived: November 16, 2016
Sponsor: Fully sponsored by anonymous donor!
This gelding was abandoned in a small, outdoor dog kennel for over a month when his owner became addicted to drugs. Fortunately, caring neighbors and the local horse community stepped in to save him. A rescue family took him in—and quickly realized he would be a perfect fit for Freedom Reigns. Freedom was scared of people at first, but through natural horsemanship and constant, consistent training, he has become much more trusting. He’s even engaging in things that used to scare him! When Ranch participants learned the horse’s story, they named him Freedom. Freedom needs people to use very controlled, quiet movements so he can feel his most confident, and when participants take active measures to relax, so does he. Freedom loves to simply have his head held next to someone's chest—and to eat treats, of course!
Registered Name: MB Buckman Chaser
DOB: May 3, 2006
Arrived: January 28, 2020
Breed: AQHA Quarter Horse
Sponsor: Still looking for that perfect match.
True to his Quarter Horse breed, Bronson is as quiet, steady, and good-natured as they come. He’s an accomplished Western horse who has competed in mounted shooting, calf sorting, and barrel racing. His former owner, Evie Jaeckle, loved and cherished Bronson, so when he suffered a severe suspensory injury, the Jaeckle Centre used their therapy services to rehabilitate him. The injury healed, but Bronson’s competition days were over. As we know, God is amazing at writing redemption stories, and He has a plan to bring good out of our pain if we give those hard things to Him. When Evie learned that the Ranch needed another steady, reliable horse, she donated her old friend to us. For Bronson, the injury that ended his Western competitions led him to a new career, where he gets to walk step-in-step with Ranch participants who need a steady partner to help carry them through the challenges they’ve faced.
DOB: Unknown (around 20 years old)
Breed: Tennessee Walking Horse
Height: 14 hh
Sponsor: Partially sponsored by Katherine Woodall
Redemption (nicknamed "Remi") was brought to Freedom Reigns Ranch out of a neglectful situation. He was found starving in his former owner's backyard by law enforcement who called us after the owner surrendered Remi. Upon arrival at Freedom Reigns, it was clear Remi was a fighter. He was always on the alert and active even though he had been nearly been starved to death. Remi's recovery has been a joy to watch as he has transformed from a nervous, high-strung survivor to a calm, eager-to-please companion. He loves scratches and being adored. He is currently going through training to be evaluated as a Session Horse! To read Remi's full recovery story click here!
DOB: May 10, 1999
Arrived: May 16, 2016
Breed: Welsh Cobb Pony
Sponsor: Partially sponsored by Claire Tyner-White, Jessica Miracle, and Amy Springer.
Pogo used to live with the Brandt family and had his own little girl. Together, they competed in the discipline of eventing. Pogo was well-cared for, but he had a bit of a mischievous streak. One day, he got himself into trouble and suffered a deep cut to his hind leg. Thankfully, the wound healed because of his owners’ and trainer’s excellent care, although it left a large scar on his leg. A few months after the injury, Freedom Reigns Ranch took over Pogo’s care. Kids often ask about his big scar, and it helps many of them realize how God can restore and heal us from our wounds just like Pogo has recovered from his injury. Pogo is now a steady and reliable session pony, and (for the most part), he stays out of trouble these days. He will also do anything for a cookie!
DOB: April 10, 2006
Arrived: April 18, 2018
Breed: Warmblood Mix
Sponsor: Partially sponsored by Connie Martin and Brandon Ferguson
Finn came to Freedom Reigns Ranch as a special gift from the Hupy family. He is beautiful and as steady and confident as they come. He was an excellent partner for Amelia Hupy, a talented hunt seat and equitation rider. But over time, Finn developed bone spurs in his hocks that ended his show career. Because he was such a young and endearing horse, the Hupy family knew Finn wouldn’t like simply being retired to pasture. Then they heard about Freedom Reigns Ranch. They thought Finn would be a great session horse. . . and he is! Finn moved seamlessly into session work and now helps participants understand how someone can be powerful and gentle at the same time. We are so grateful to the Hupy family for bringing us Finn!
Arrived: March 27, 2020
Breed: Miniature horse
Height: 33 inches
Sponsor: Fully sponsored by Pascal Jouvence since 2022
Good things come in small packages, and Goliath is no exception! This pint-size gelding was our COVID-19 quarantine project. We loved training this feral, un-catchable mini—who has now transformed into a beloved pony and good horse citizen. He fits a unique need in our ministry: He’s an approachable, adorable, transportable, fun little guy for those who may not be ready to work with a bigger horse or pony. Goliath may be small, but he makes up for it in personality. . . he’s the herd leader! Every herd member listens to him without question. If you visit the Ranch, you can spot him in the pasture wearing his grazing muzzle (such a little pony doesn't need a lot of grass) or taking a nap while the rest of the herd stands guard. Goliath also travels to outreach events around town. . . usually covered in glitter, thanks to the girls at the Ranch.
DOB: May 7th, 2021
Arrived: September 30th, 2021
Breed: Standard Donkey
Sponsor: Still looking for that perfect match
This little donkey is our youngest herd member at 7 months old and quickly claimed our hearts. Born from an emaciated, 30 year-old mare, it is a miracle that both Flair and his mother survived. As a result of his difficult start, Flair has a cleft palate and flared nose which only adds to his adorable demeanor. Flair LOVES having his ears scratched and enjoys exploring the barn and pasture. We anticipate once he is fully grown he will be suitable to be a riding donkey for sessions. Donkeys require care and training that is different from horses, so we are thrilled to get to start him from the beginning! Thank you to Jenny Raabe-Eastep for entrusting us with this precious life. Thank you to his foster mom, Bonnie, who cared for him before being weaned from his mom.
Arrived: October 6th, 2021
Breed: Registered Spotted Draft
Height: 17.2 hh
Sponsor: Partially sponsored by Mike Snyder
Buddy's former owner is in the final stages of terminal cancer and his wish was for each of his beloved horses to find good homes. The incredible folks he entrusted with that task were true to their word. Through a rescue connection, he learned about us and we welcomed Buddy into our herd. What a somber joy it is to get to be a part of helping to say that his horse will be well-loved by so many. Please be praying for peace and comfort as Buddy’s human of going on 14 years passes from this life into his eternal life.
We decided it was important to honor the legacy left by his former human and keep the name he has had his entire life. Buddy fits the need for a strong, steady mount with a kind demeanor that anyone can ride...including the dads that join their kids in sessions! We are so grateful for him!
Arrived: October 5th, 2022
Height: 16.3 hh
Sponsor: Still looking for that perfect match!
Cyrus is a former show jumper who went to Animal Response Foundation (“ARF”) after his owner fell on hard times and she was very worried about him getting a good home. Freedom Reigns Ranch holds ARF in the highest regard so when we learned of Cyrus, and that they thought he would make a great session horse, we enthusiastically welcomed him. And we are so glad we did! We are absolutely smitten with this endearing, mischievous, and personable guy. He is a true gentleman and fun partner to our participants and is going to make such a difference in their lives. We are so excited and grateful for Cyrus!
Freedom Reigns Ranch always keeps a spot open for a foster horse from Hickory Hill Farm—a local, well-run rescue organization that coordinates with law enforcement to help horses from animal cruelty cases. Our partnership with Hickory Hill allows each organization to do what we do best: Hickory Hill handles all the details of rescue, and Freedom Reigns rehabilitates the horses to help get them ready for adoption.
Taking in rescue horses helps rescue people, too. Participants gain powerful hands-on experience in the redemption process, and horses thrive under the love and care of our volunteers. While we occasionally keep a foster horse, our main goal is 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:
Running Free of Suffering
Former Foster (Adopted)
Former Foster (Adopted)
Former Foster (Adopted)
Running Free of Suffering
Former Foster (Adopted)
Gideon - Former Session Horse
Arrived: August 2017
Breed: Selle Francias x Quarter Pony
Went to his New Home: November 2018
Gideon’s former owner rescued him from a kill pen in Kansas. After a short time, Gideon—who was originally named “Leil”—came to Freedom Reigns Ranch. We had the privilege of continuing Gideon’s training. While he loved people, his energetic personality and athletic ability sometimes got in the way of his desire to be a calm session horse. We started letting Gideon jump over some small fences, and he loved it! Once we realized that he would make an excellent eventer or show jumper, we began looking for a new home where Gideon could channel all his energy in a way that he enjoyed. Gideon is thriving and loving his new job. This horse, who was once discarded in a kill pen, is now an amazing eventing partner for a family in Florida.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Kill pens are facilities where horses are kept and sold for slaughter outside the U.S. Many kind-hearted people want to rescue horses from kill pens, and kill buyers—the people who run the kill pens—are masters at exploiting those kind-hearted people. They often let rescuers buy horses. . . then, they use that money to buy more horses, which they sell for slaughter.
If you decide to rescue a horse from a kill pen, we encourage you to do your research and make sure you are not contributing to this cycle. We discourage people from purchasing horses directly from kill pens, because that puts money into the kill buyers’ pockets and endangers more horses. The smartest way to help save these horses is to support local rescue organizations. You can do that by volunteering your time, donating money, fostering rescue horses, adopting horses from rescues, or intercepting horses before they find themselves at a kill pen.
Warrior - Running Free of Suffering
DOB: April 14, 2007
Arrived: June 17, 2019
Breed: AQHA Racing Quarter Horse
Ran Strong and Free: June 25, 2019
The sister of a ranch volunteer found Warrior in a grass-less, rocky pasture at a self-care boarding facility in Middle Tennessee. After law enforcement failed to step in, the volunteer's sister found Warrior’s owner, bought him, and handed him over to Freedom Reigns Ranch. Our vet immediately examined him and found that he was a staggering 450 pounds underweight. Right away, we gave him triage care and established a re-feeding protocol to help him slowly get used to eating again.
Freedom Reigns volunteers cared for Warrior around-the-clock. For the first few days, Warrior seemed withdrawn and unaware of things around him. It wasn't until he met a group of Junior Ranchers, four days after his rescue, that he “woke up.” Ranch founder Carissa recalls, “The moment they surrounded him, I saw hope enter his eyes. His countenance entirely changed! From that moment, Warrior thrived off of attention, and he loved his five-minute hand walks (designed to help him slowly regain his strength). He was defying all odds, and remarkably, gaining weight just by drinking water and eating good hay.
Despite our best efforts, Warrior passed away unexpectedly on the morning of June 25, from an internal rupture—a delayed consequence of severe starvation and neglect. While Warrior was only at Freedom Reigns for eight days, many people met and loved him. One even wrote about how Warrior impacted them.
Click here to read: Honoring Warrior
IMPORTANT NOTE: At Freedom Reigns Ranch, we believe God calls us to help redeem his creation when others have failed to fulfill their responsibility to care for it. More than 30 people, including an on-duty sheriff, witnessed Warrior’s condition before Freedom Reigns Ranch stepped in and attempted to save his life. We do not want more horses suffer in this way. If you know (or suspect) that a horse is being abused or neglected, please report its location and condition to your local Department of Agriculture, so they can investigate. In Tennessee, you can do that at this website.