Freedom Reins is more than an equestrian clothing line. With a mission to help make a difference in the lives of horses, Freedom Reins was founded as a way to fund the rescue and rehabilitation of horses. With 100% of its profits going to their rescues, the clothing line has rehabilitated 28 horses and counting.
Forever Freedom Reins began when Owner and Founder Christina Hays was a student at Texas A&M. Hays had been involved with horses for years when two potential rescues entered her life, Mystery and Boomer. Mystery and Boomer had a profound effect on Hays.
“Mystery was a 24-year-old paint mare found tied to a tree in an abandoned, overgrown commercial parking lot near downtown Houston,” Hays told us.
Mystery was extremely malnourished when she was found, with a body condition score of 1. After several days with no response from law enforcement or local rescues, Hays knew she had to step in.
“On the third day I untied her, loaded her, and took her immediately to the equine hospital,” Hays said. “She had multiple cracked molars that had rotted into her sinus cavities. Mystery underwent sinus flap surgery as well as multiple dental surgeries with our surgeon in Kerrville.”
Boomer was Hays’s first slaughter rescue. Even after years of involvement in the horse industry, Hays had never heard of horses being slaughtered for consumption. She saw Boomer’s picture online along with a ship date and knew what she had to do.
“He was a well-trained ranch horse that was tender footed and lame,” Hays said. “I thought to myself, ‘This horse served his whole life to humans and this is how he is repaid. Dumped at slaughter to die at the hands of those who once told him to trust.’”
Hays made an impulse decision to purchase the horse and trailered eight hours to pick him up. When Hays arrived at the kill pen, the scene was deeply upsetting to her.
“I was disgusted, emotional and angry at what I saw. Hundreds of horses being lined up and ran through chutes to be tagged, sorted and loaded onto semis. I couldn’t believe this happens here in the US. Where are the laws protecting animals from this cruelty and why does everyone turn their heads to these large-scale operations?”
While the process of rehabilitating Boomer and Mystery was inspiring, the bills to do so ran close to $10,000. Hays knew she couldn’t keep rescuing unless she found a way to cover the costs. This is where Freedom Reins came into the picture. Hays’s plan was simple:
“By selling cute, quality clothes and accessories, I could use the profits to fund rescue. Over the years it has surpassed all expectations and the family of followers and supporters has been incredible.”
Now, at 24, Hays continues to own and run the rescue on her own with the help of some volunteers consisting of lesson students and families. Many of Hays’s lesson students have even ended up adopting some of the rescue horses. Hays is proud of the quality of care the rescue provides for each horse from the time they come in to the time they are adopted.
“They all receive the same treatment as high dollar show horses. They have warm, plush stalls, supplements, specialized vetting, farrier care every 6 weeks, and anything else they need. I’ve see many rescues turn into hoarding situations where they take on way more horses than they can possible provide quality care for and I swore I would never fall into that way of rescue. These horses have large grassy pastures not overcrowded dirt pens.”
For day-to-day updates on all of their rescues and equestrian apparel, follow Freedom Reins on Instagram @freedomreins and on Facebook @foreverfreedomreins. Visit foreverfreedomreins.com to donate and purchase their clothing online.