The Wind River Wild Horse Sanctuary

The harsh reality is ecosystems are a delicate balance of each species coexisting together in the environment. There is a limited amount of resources in grass and water. And the wild horses are a very dominant species. They're smart. They're fast. They eat a lot of food. And they need to be properly managed. Jess Oldham


Meet The Oldham’s and The Double D Ranch!

The Wind River Wild Horse Sanctuary is located on the 900-acre, working cattle ranch known as the Double D Ranch. The Double D Ranch is owned and operated by the Oldham Family and it fuels their passion for agriculture. In addition to caring for the 225 wild horses, the Oldham’s look after their own cattle, sheep, and registered Quarter-Horses at the base of the Wind River Mountains’, east of Yellowstone National Park. Denise, husband Dwayne, and adult children Jared, Odessa, and Jess use horses daily to care for their cattle, sheep, and other horses. Additionally, the sanctuary honors their Native American culture and deep reverence of the horse. When they’re not caring for animals they enjoy spending time hunting, fishing, involved in 4-H and FFA, and just spending time with each other.


Since 2016, the Wind River Wild Horse Sanctuary invites visitors to learn about wild mustangs, Native American culture, and experience life on a working ranch on the Wind River Indian Reservation. The Oldham Family provides professional care in a free-roaming environment on their working cattle ranch for over 250 un-adoptable wild mustangs. This is 1 of 4 Public Off-Range Pastures, in partnership with the BLM (Bureau of Land Management), in the United States and is open to the public. Additionally, this is the only one located on an Indian Reservation, specifically the Wind River Indian Reservation.


Native American Ties to Horses

While the Wind River Indian Reservation was created for Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone tribes, the Oldham family belongs to neither. Their roots are equally anchored in Navajo and Anglo-American traditions. Odessa Oldham’s dad, Dwayne Oldham, has deep-rooted connections to this corner of Wyoming three hours east of Yellowstone National Park. His family settled here after the Civil War in the 1860s. His wife Denise Oldham is Navajo, having grown up on the Navajo Reservation in New Mexico. Fourteen years ago, the two, along with their four children, moved from the Navajo Reservation to Lander. They run the 900-acre working cattle ranch called the Double D Ranch.

As always leave a review if you enjoyed these stories and follow us on Instagram or visit the webpage of the Wyoming Humanities!

Sign up for the podcast newsletter using the QR code of follow this link:

Qr code Podcast newsletter sign up

Transcript coming soon.