Protecting Wild Horses with Jenni Kayne

Jenni Kayne, photographed by Nicki Sebastian, wears the Tillie Top with her own Jenni Kayne Cashmere Cocoon Cardigan.

Known for her decidedly laid-back California aesthetic, LA-based designer Jenni Kayne is also a lifelong animal lover who grew up riding horses (and continues to ride each morning—“I call it my moving meditation,” she says). When she came across the work of the American Wild Horse Campaign—an organization dedicated to preserving and protecting the freedom of American wild horses and burros—on Instagram, she knew she wanted to become involved. Now an ambassador for the AWHC, Jenni works to support their efforts and help spread awareness about their work. We spent an afternoon with Jenni (and her menagerie of animals—including a handful of rescue mini donkeys and mini ponies) at her home in Mandeville Canyon to learn about the mission to protect wild horses.

Jenni wears the Rhoda Dress with her own Jenni Kayne Cashmere Cocoon Cardigan

Tell us a bit about your personal connection to horses—what role have they played in your life over the years?

I grew up riding horses, and I continue to ride every morning. I call it my moving meditation. I love being out in nature and feeling present in the moment without my phone or any distractions.  

I also love the connection I feel with my horses. Horses are really intuitive, and they feel everything going on around them. If you’re nervous, they’re nervous. If you’re at peace, so are they.  

My connection to horses has only deepened over the years, and has evolved into where we are today with a whole family of animals that live at my Mandeville Canyon home. We have mini donkeys, mini ponies, goats, chickens—it’s an entire farm at this point and I couldn’t love it more.

Horses are intuitive—they feel everything going on around them. If you’re nervous, they’re nervous. If you’re at peace, so are they.”


How did you become involved in the American Wild Horse Campaign? What drew you to this cause, and what does your involvement currently entail?

I’m a total animal lover and a lifelong equestrian, so when I discovered the American Wild Horse Campaign on Instagram, I was immediately drawn to the organization.

Horses are herd animals and live in bands, which is their family. When you look at how these horses are being rounded up, you see families being torn apart. It’s just so upsetting, especially as a mother, so I knew I had to get involved.

Last summer, my daughter Ripley and I went out to the range by our home in Lake Tahoe with some of the AWHC team and we were ten feet from the horses—it was magical, and we learned so much about these icons of the West who don’t have a voice.

I’m currently an ambassador for AWHC, so I work hard to support any and all of their efforts and spread awareness. I have so many friends who are horse or animal lovers and nobody knew about this cause, so it’s been powerful to share what’s going on and help do our part.

What’s the easiest way for us to get involved?

Go to their website to read more about their efforts! I also think it’s impactful to follow them on Instagram and repost anything they share that requires extra eyes and action.

Jenni wears the June Top with her own Jenni Kayne Relaxed Trouser and Drew Cardigan

Jenni wears the Rhoda Dress with her own Jenni Kayne Leather Braided Strap Sandal

Published June 10, 2023