When We Think of Freedom


Memorial Day weekend always brings about talk of freedom - and, this year, freedom seems to be a topic on everyone's mind.



Many of the horses at the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary lost their freedom when they were rounded up and removed from their home rangelands. It is ironic that America's wild horses are so often used to represent the free spirit of America, yet the vast majority of America's wild horses have, indeed, lost their own freedom because of we humans.


Today, freedom for at least some of America's wild horses has been restored at the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary - the vision of World War II veteran, Dayton O. Hyde. The horses here are free to make friends and family groups, and they are free to roam the vast acreage of the Sanctuary.

Freedom Promised

Ghost Dancer's Shadow was born on this land. Her mother, Ghost Dancer, was a notoriously wild and untouchable mare who found restored freedom here. She raised Shadow to know every canyon, prairie, and path through the Sanctuary.

photos by Heather Oliver Photography

The Price of Freedom

The freedom promised to Ghost Dancer's Shadow and all the wild horses is the first and foremost priority of the Sanctuary. In these times of uncertainty, it is the one thing we can absolutely guarantee the horses in our care.


We are committed to their freedom and understand that it comes at a price. Supplemental hay in the winter months, energy cake, mineral blocks, random veterinary care, access to fresh water - all of these things are made possible because of you - our generous supporters. Your support makes freedom possible for the horses!

For the Greater Good


The price of freedom for the horses also includes suspending public visitation to the Sanctuary. To make the very best use of your donations, we employ only a small staff that is extremely committed to the horses. If one of us gets ill, the repercussions ripple through the entire human side of the organization and stretch our human resources beyond capacity.


We know you are disappointed that tours and visits to the horses are not available, but please understand and respect that we have made this decision in the best interest of the horses and the freedom we have promised them.


Also know that we are exploring options to keep you connected to the horses you love. More photos and more stories are coming! Technology can be challenging here - lots of wide open spaces does not always mean great connections for technology - but we're looking at our options to use technology to share glimpses into the life at the Sanctuary.

The horses thank you!

We thank you for all the big and small ways you may have helped to provide freedom for the horses. We thank you for recognizing that freedom is not always free - for humans or wild horses.


And we thank you for your continued support that allows us to do the work necessary to guarantee a life of freedom for these wild ones that represent the concept of freedom in America!


Give Us a Call!

Monday - Friday

9 am - 5 pm MTN




Susan Watt, Executive Director

605-745-7494 - direct line



Melinda Kersten



Karla LaRive


Offices are CLOSED


In keeping with our mission to preserve and protect this land to provide a haven of hope for America's wild horses, the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary is private property and CLOSED to the public. 


Please respect the horses' home.

Thank you for supporting the horses with your donations and purchases through our online gift shop!

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