Kimberly Carlisle and Flag Ranch – a True Calling

A Woman and Two horses interact outdoors in a green pasture at Flag Ranch.

True Calling – Kimberly Carlisle, Caramel and Tessa at Flag Ranch, a sanctuary where the horses are free to roam and graze and are not ridden or haltered. Most have been saved from the slaughterhouse by the sanctuary and its Supporters.

Flag Ranch was created by Kimberly Carlisle, a Stanford swimming Olympian and Flag, a Northern California-bred Standardbred harness racer. Flag was at the end of his racing career and Kimberly created Flag Ranch as a place for horses that had outlived the utility to their owners. Now the sanctuary has many horses with similar stories. They are free to roam the 100 acres in Calaveras County and be a herd.

The horses are not ridden. They are free to be horses and form their own social groupings within the herd. Spending a morning at Flag Ranch, I was impressed with how gentle and welcoming the horses were. I roamed freely among the horses snapping photos and interacting. There is a goat that similarly came to be part of the herd. Kimberly even has a 400 pound pig called Chop Chop that has the run of the place. There are dogs and cats as well. But the place is about the horses and connecting with them.

Flag Ranch True Calling

Jodee, a draft horse, grazes at Flag Ranch with the farmhouse and some of the rest of the herd in the background.

Beyond the community of horses, there is a larger community of like-minded people that donate money, rescue horses that are sent to the ranch and lend support in other ways. Flag Ranch is a beautifully realized vision and Kimberly has definitely found her True Calling.

You can learn more about Flag Ranch on their website at You can see more of my True Calling photos on my website. If you or someone you know has an unusual calling, let me know. I would love to bring their story to light with photos and help inspire others to pursue their true calling.

Flag Ranch Feed Time

Kimberly Carlisle feeds the herd at Flag Ranch. She works a full time job in San Francisco besides the four days each week she spends at the ranch.

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