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Windcross Conservancy

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animals, Protection of Endangered Species, Wildlife Preservation & Protection, Wildlife Sanctuaries

Mission: Historically the Spanish Mustang has helped build North America. We provide education on it's impact and background to the public. We also provide a place were we can house these horse on a preserve. Today there are more and more horses being lost and liquidated. We cannot save them all, but we can save some. We strive to match the integrity of the horses, the honor of our grandfathers, the truth of our grandmothers and the courage of the Old West.

Target demographics: Spanish Mustang Preservation

Direct beneficiaries per year: 35 horses,provided volunteer student experiences to a dozen young persons

Geographic areas served: South Dakota, North America,

Programs: Educational volunteer/internships, public outreach events, school presentations, not to mention the Spanish Mustang Preserve in Buffalo Gap, SD 57722

Community Stories

30 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

We learned about Windcross on a previous trip but had to wait due to overbooking of our time. Now we regret that choice. We have three very curious and intense children. To be honest, we were afraid about how they would do in this environment. The moment we watched Ms Lucia take the hand of our youngest I knew we were in good hands. Her calmness and love of those majestic animals seemed to transfer right thru that hand holding. We watched as the children touched, groomed and eventually rode on these wonderful animals that seemed to know a kindred spirit. We spent 30 days and visited six National Parks. These hours spent at Windcross were our most peaceful and connecting. We have since shared with everyone we know heading that way. We will be back and our youngest still remembers how to calm his pony brain as he was taught. :)

Grandma Rebecca

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

What an amazing place! During our our visit this year two foals were born and two had been born shortly before. Enjoyed our annual visit immensely. These are the luckiest horses to have these caring, compassionate people looking after them. Hope lots of people stop by and get a tour. Well worth the time spent.

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This ranch for the preservation of the Spanish Mustangs never ceases to amaze me in the dedication and love given these animals. The time and money the Roda family sacrifice personally is beyond anything I have ever seen. The family and volunteers give their own time to share the story of the horses and the everyday life on this ranch. Their hard work is commendable. I would recommend a visit to Buffalo Gap and this amazing ranch.

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1 Andra3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered at Windcross conservancy for the last two summers. It was an amazing and open minding experience. Windcross conservancy taught me so much about Spanish mustangs and horses in general but also about keeping alive breeds that are in danger of extinction. An amazing family doing some amazing and great things. My stay with them was so nice, inspiring and interesting, because not only are they generous and welcoming they also teach you new things and are always ready for a new adventure. I had the best two summers of my life and I'll never thank life enough for meeting this family and their horses.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer with Windcross Conservancy. Over the years I have become very cynical and frankly skeptical. It takes a lot to earn my trust. I am appalled by the lack of value people seem to have for personal integrate. Windcross Conservancy's president Lucia Roda is a breath of fresh air to this tired soul. Her family comes first but after that she is totally devoted to the preservation of the Spanish Mustang. She has personally experience the pain and frustration dealing with unscrupulous people and organizations and is meticulous about absolute transparency.
I can also testify to the endless hours she devotes to the care of the horses, the promotion of the breed and the establishment of programs will assist in their preservation. Her husband and children also contribute many hours towards the operation and sacrifice many things like family holidays in order to make funds available to fill in the shortfall of funding needed to operate the program.
Why is it important to preserve the Spanish Mustang and why the urgency? The Spanish Mustang is a important part of American history. They are the quintessential horse of the Old West. They were the cattle working horses from California through to Texas and north. Much of the modern breed Quarter Horses' ancestry and Pony of America can be traced to Spanish Mustangs.
The Spanish Mustang originated in medieval times. They have both physical and character traits, that are passed on genetically, that have been lost in modern breeding programs; things such as extremely strong feet and legs and conformations which enable outstanding athletic ability. There are less than 300 breeding mares left and the numbers are declining rapidly. Once they are gone we cannot get them back. Windcross Conservancy is racing against time.
I believe that Windcross is an Non Profit that is worthy of peoples' support. It has is important cause and any contributions are used wisely and with the utmost integrate.

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2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This past year has been a real struggle for Windcross Conservancy. The drought last summer inflated the price of hay astronomically high. I know that the Roda family dug deeply into there own personal budget to ensure that the horses were well cared for. It takes incredible dedication to a cause to do without yourself, to ensure that the work goes on. These are people of real integrity and it is so difficult to know how hard they work and not be able to help more. This non-profit works to preserve the gene pool of these amazing horses and a living piece of American and medieval European heritage. If we lose this genetic treasure we will lose both physical and behavioural attributes that are rare in modern breeds. Thank you to the Roda's for their endless work.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

Last year I stayed three weeks at Windcross Conservancy helping out with the horses. The Roda's are a great family and everyday I saw and experienced their love and passion for their horses and their work. The horses themselves are great as well: I never met any horses that have such a great and different personality than those. They live in a really nice and big pasture where they can just be horses and they are so friendly to all the visitors. I hope you keep up doing what you're doing for a really long time!

Louise C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have spent two summers volunteering at Windcross Conservancy, working with an incredible organization and the fantastic a Roda family, and my experiences have inspired and encouraged me with my passion for horses. Windcross caters for all of the family, and provides an informative, enjoyable experience, which will leave you with fantastic memories, and the want to support the aims Windcross strives to achieve, in protecting the Spanish Mustang, that is so often overlooked as a breed.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I found Windcross Conservancy on a volunteer site, and decided it was the place to see. I was nervous when I first arrived, not sure what to expect, but the family took me in and made me feel right at home. I learnt so much about the history of the Spanish Mustang, and fully intend to spread the word and gain support for Windcross. I had such a fantastic time, I decided to extend my trip and am already planning my next year summer there - it was truly difficult to leave! The people are wonderful, welcoming and amazing friends for life. I spent the whole time I was there laughing and learning - a true life experience. I would recommend Windcross to not only horse lovers but those with a taste for history and blissful scenery. I wish them all the best with their work.

Leigh Bob F.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is my fourth time coming out to Windcross conservancy to volunteer and it has been life changing for me, it has taught me how to be a better horsewoman. The Roda family have taught me so many things over the last three years, they are an amazing family.
What wind cross is doing for the spanish mustang as a breed isn't done anywhere else in the world to the quality it is done here. i would recommend windcross to anyone who wants an educational, fun and personal experience with the spanish mustang.

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

Windcross is an exceptional organization run by a remarkable family whomb I hold great respect for both professionally and personally . The work the organisation and the family do is fantastic, and I hope and prey for a successful and prosperous future.kind regards and best wishes for the future , the Flynn family.

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1 nizzie

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Having spent a fortnight at Windcross I can honestly say it was the most amazing experience in my life. To see the hard work that is done day after day, witness the problems being overcome and the wonderful way that people can interact with the horses is something that can only be truly appreciated when you come up close with them. Lucia Roda is a very strong person who puts herself out continually and unrelentlessly for this wonderful cause which she supports 200%. I wish her well and she has my continual prayers for a successful future.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This wonderful charity was set up to preserve the Spanish Mustang horses - endangered but some of the most beautiful horses in the world. The organisation is expertly run and the horses are foremost in their thoughts using a lot of their own money to finance it. They raise awareness by holding open days and inviting people along to see their work and taking on internees to help out and in return this gives these people an insight into the hard work that it takes to run Windcross. A well deserved cause run with dedication and love for their work.

Loree S.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Fell in love with the horses and the people. Couldn't take the people home :( so................ we left with 4 beautiful mustangs as ambassadors for the Northern Black Hills. What a gift! Their beauty and grace is beyond words not to mention a photographers dream.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Feel the power of the herd. Capture their grace and beauty in a photograph and know that you have stood witness to one of the last genetically preserved Spanish Mustang herds in the world. Nothing shy of magic is felt here. Come.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I volunteered at the Conservancy for a month. Inside of that month I learned so much about horses and about myself. Working every day with these people and their animals taught me to be flexible, because in life, nothing ever quite goes to plan. It taught me that to be professional and personal is OK. It taught me self respect, because the horses rely on you for relationship just as much as they do from the other horses. To them I was important. It taught me life lessons I could walk away with a better human.
The depth of knowledge and relationship at Windcross that can be explored is endless. The curators are professional without seeming aloof or distanced, and you can ask questions without feeling ignorant. The animals are beautiful and intelligent. The Conservancy is one of those places you can visit and it feels like coming home.

AHHC Europe Spanish Mustangs

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We have supported Windcross Conservancy from its birth and continue to do so. Although previously based in Canada and now the UK with our Spanish Mustangs we pledge support via our Facebook page. Windcross is now THE definitive preserve for the Spanish Mustang by virtue of its modern approach to conservation along with ethical breeding. As the old timer range breeders become a practice of the past Windcross Conservancy forgers ahead in its modernity. Despite the dwindling numbers of this rare breed worldwide Windcross nevertheless erred on the side of caution in this uncertain global horse market and bred no mares for 2014. This is to be commended rather than breeding mares for the sake of numbers. This year they have concentrated on training and projects involving the horses being seen and accessed by the public. Some Windcross bred horses have been sold to excellent homes that will now promote the breed. This is a people-friendly, family focused outfit and we recommend it every time.
Sarah Farman
AHHC (Europe) for the Spanish Mustang
www.americanheritagehorse.eu

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Windcross Conservancy continues to build on its past successes including adding the best Spanish Mustang bloodlines to its herd thus conserving this critically threatened breed. Yet it also sets a good example to us all by breeding less in 2013 to reflect the global downturn in the horse market. This year more interns and visitors and never a negative comment which has to be the best testimony to their success. I have been part of Windcross since it was launched and as volunteer Campaign Manager for the Spanish Mustang in the Arts am looking forward to our first project later this year - announcement soon! The internet enables such campaigns even although I now live i the UK with my Spanish Mustangs.
This is where Windcross has been somewhat unique to other Spanish Mustang organisations in that it has pioneered the arts too by inviting in artists and photographers. The horses are well-cared for - never go short on hay or feed - and people-friendly as many of the photographs demonstrate on their Facebook page. ......... and it is THEIR page as it is and always will be about the Spanish Mustang horses. As an artist and writer I am delighted to be a part of Windcross Conservancy.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It was my first time in the US and with Spanish Mustangs. Before I came to Windcross, i've never seen a Spanish Mustang and I didn't know much about them, but Lucy and her family taught me a lot about their character, behaviour and their history. I fell in love with these powerful horses and that great project to work at a non profit organization, helping with the daily farm work and training horses. My job as a Volunteer was awesome and I enjoyed these two months I stayed at Windcross! I really hope that I can come back someday to see the Roda family, the two horses I worked with and all the other animals! Thank you for everything :)

Vandurwen

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It was the first time for me in the USA and I was very nervous if everything will go well and if I would like it there. But after a few days I fell in love with the horses (especially two of them) and their history.
I didn't know much about Spanish Mustangs but learned a lot about them from Lucy and their family, although I knew much about horses before I came there, they surprised me in their character and behavior.
Now I can even imagine to get a horse from there to bring it to Germany, because they are so special.
I will definitly come back!
Sandra

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered at Windcross during the summer of 2013, during which time I was well looked after and made very welcome. The Roda family have a great depth of understanding of the land and its history and are always willing to share their knowledge. They adapt their tours to the individual needs of the visitor and provide those visitors with a fantastic opportunity to interact with the Spanish mustangs in a way they may rarely otherwise do. Walking among a herd out on the prairie whilst learning about their individual characteristics is a very rewarding experience. Not knowing much about horses previously other than what I had read in books, being around them on a daily basis, grooming, feeding and learning the basics of working with them was really great.

Whilst volunteering I learned a number of valuable new skills and was given every opportunity to back up my understanding of the way of life I was experiencing by visiting the many interesting sites in the Black Hills. Of those sites though, Windcross has to be one of the most unique, friendly and individually tailored experiences in the area.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a wonderful experience for all ages. The Spanish Mustangs are beautiful! The Hosts are knowledgeable! And the area is one of a kind: like the old rugged west. There is a mobile cart that gets you up close and personal with the Mustangs.

Melissa88

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A wonderful place that I still think about in my daily life. Windcross is knowledgeable and dedicated to preserving true-breeding Spanish Mustangs.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Windcross is a wonderful and deserving organization. I spent 2 weeks there in August 2012 and will never forget my life-changing experience. I hope the value of a place like Windcross will be more widely recognized.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A wonderful Family working together to make a great dream come true - i take my hat off to them.

1 Sarah109

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Windcross is doing fantastic work helping to preserve the Spanish Mustang horses which are on the endangered list. In doing so the organisation enlists help from volunteers and friends which gives these people, not normally associated with horses, an amazing insight into how Windcross works so hard to get the plight of these horses acknowledged and it is a privilege that my application for an internship for 2014 has been accepted as I welcome the chance to witness the work of this wonderful organisation first hand.

Nita2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My family has continually returned to Windcross Conservancy since we first visited, we have had a great visit each time, and learn more and more about the Spanish Mustangs, My father and mother have also visited Windcross and cherish their time there. Being able to have plenty of interaction with the mustangs feeding, petting, and talking to the horses has made my daughters very happy, which makes some very happy parents, and knowing Lucy and her family are watching over my girls is very comforting, no worrying!! We recommend every family take a trip out to Windcross and let those Spanish Mustangs work their magic, it is such a beautiful environment, and a great family too!!!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Windcross Conservancy is an amazing place for their Spanish Mustangs and people from all over the world! The Family we lived with took us in so lovingly, our time at the ranch were the most wonderful time I have had in the US! It was an incredible experience! Thank u so much!

Spanish Mustangs F.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Windcross Conservancy for the Spanish Mustang in South Dakota is the most professional and organised project for the preservation of this rare and critically threatened breed of American horse today. They breed ethically - more for quality and preservation of the best bloodlines than for numbers. All horses are DNA tested to assist in the creating of the DNA database. Their programmes include internees coming from from Europe as well as the USA and along with summer tour visitors have brought the Spanish Mustang to a wider audience. Lucia Roda and all the BOD work tirelessly to make Windcross Conservancy the professional yet welcoming place it is with many horses now under saddle and used in the various programmes. This 501c is the voice for the future of the Spanish Mustang.