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Year In Review

Dear Free Rein friends, supporters, and team members,

To reflect and to dream is the beauty of the year’s end.

I want to share with you some “mustang news” and a brief summary of this year’s achievements.  And I want to let you know what we are thinking about for next year.  So please allow me a moment for some Free Rein reflecting and dreaming.

Reflecting on 2022

My first thought is about a dream that came true.  We began rescuing mustangs four years ago.  Hard to believe that since the inception of this program we have rescued, trained, and found loving forever homes for twelve mustangs.

Currently, we have five amazing mustangs in our program:

  1. Smoke has been in training for seven months and has proven to be a quick learner, calm, and a smooth ride. He is ready to be re-homed. If any of our horses would be a match for the HBPD mounted unit – this is the one.
  2. Sapphire came to us after being at auction houses and shuffled around. She has had a lot of trauma, and after six months of training, we do not believe she will be happy with people on her back. She is extremely sweet when you earn her trust, and a home with other horses on land to roam and graze would be a win for her.
  3. Governor enjoys pasture life with our resident mule Wilbur and his other wild mustang friends. He is next to begin training.
  4. (&5) Whiskey and Tennessee are the newest members of the herd. They acclimated nicely and received the best care from the dedicated team of volunteers who are excited to see what they will become over this year.

Mustangs are not the only animals in our herd. 

Bella, Tucker, Alph, Checkers, Raza, Winston, and Wilbur have been with us for many years and continue to work with our therapy team to provide help for people in need. With the assistance of Dr. Gabi Gross and under the leadership of Bridgette Radzai, these horses and mule are cared for like million-dollar show horses. Our herd has never been healthier or happier.

At Free Rein we are honored to work with at-promise youth, first responders, and veterans to provide equine therapy, growth, and learning sessions. To provide this model of therapy is why our founder Dr. Carole Harris started Free Rein. She had a dream to help others so that we could contribute to building healthier communities. 

In 2022 more than 400 people received therapy in our pastures. Those 400 people can now bring the lessons and healing into their homes, relationships, and communities. We heal one at a time, but the work that we do in the pasture empowers entire communities to build on the lessons our horses teach! 


A sampling of 2023 events and dreams:

  • We are adding mini horses and goats to the herd. You heard that right!  Planning and procuring materials to build out their barn and fencing is on our bucket list for 2023.
  • It is our goal to train and re-home five mustangs this year, allowing us to rescue more.
  • Lots of fun events are being planned, including our successful monthly Hug and Grooms, Spooktacular in the Fall, Spring at the Stables, our annual Gala, and of course, Day of the Horse.
  • We want to work with home schools to become accredited members of their curriculum.
  • We want to reach out to companies to assist with team building and leadership mentoring.
  • We want to invite more community sponsors to share our work and mission.
  • We want to grow our monthly donor program to 100 people.


Whether you are in the pastures with volunteers working daily to care for the animals, attending our events, following and sharing us on social media, or just reading emails like this one – you are considered a member of the herd. We are grateful for your support and love.

Please consider putting us on your 2023 Bucket List.  Share your knowledge, contacts, time, and generous giving.  Our work impacts people’s lives today and the communities of the future, and we will be extending our reach throughout the year.

It is an honor and a blessing to serve all of you in this powerful work of horses healing humans.  Have a happy and glorious beginning to the new year, and I hope to see some of you at our first Hug and Groom of 2023 on January 1st.


Justine Makoff



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