KBR Wild Horse and Burro Information Sheet


(Information and graphics courtesy of BLM, Burns District Office)

The Kiger Mustangs are thought to be one of the most pure herds of Spanish Mustangs existing in the wild today.

When thinking about Kiger Mustangs, you should distinguish them from most other wild horses. Most wild horses are of mixed breeding while the Kiger Mustangs possess all of the characteristics of the Spanish Barb from which the Spanish Mustang came and by today's standards the Kiger Mustang appears to be a pure breed.

Kiger Colors

The Kiger Mustang exhibits physical color characteristics known as the "dun factor," which was also common to a major portion of the horses which the Spaniards reintroduced into North America in the 1600s. Color classifications of the dun factor are: dun, red dun, grulla (mouse gray), buckskin and variations of these colors. Markings on horses having the dun factor include dorsal stripes, zebra stripes on knees and hocks, chest, rib and arm bands, outlined ears, top 1/3 of the ear on its back side darker than body color, fawn color inside of ears, multi-colored mane and tail, cobwebbing on face and face masks. The less white the horses have, the stronger the dun factor. An individual having the dun factor may have many, but not all of these markings.


Kiger Mustangs have the physical conformation of both the tarpan and oriental hotblood horses from which the Spanish Mustangs were bred, and they are slightly smaller than many of the present day breeds of horses. They have small round bones and small feet with very little feather on their legs and fetlocks. Their eyes are wide set and prominent. These animals also have distinctively hooked ear tips and fine muzzles. The Kiger Mustangs look very much like the modern day Spanish Sorraias. They are indeed a unique breed of wild horse.


In 1971 Congress gave the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) responsibility for "protection, management and control" of wild horses and burros under the Wild and Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act. The BLM manages two special areas in Oregon for wild horses having Spanish Mustang characteristics. The areas were set aside to reduce the chance of losing all the animals should a natural catastrophe occur. They are located in the Burns District and are known as the Kiger and the Riddle Mountain Habitat Management Areas (HMAs).

The Kiger HMA covers nearly 37,000 acres with a herd population established at a minimum of 51 and a maximum of 82 horses. The Riddle Mountain HMA contains nearly 28,000 acres and the horse population is managed to range between 33 and 56 head. When the herds reach the maximum population (based largely on what the area can healthfully support), excess horses are rounded up and taken to the Burns Wild Horse Corrals where they are processed and made available for adoption by the public. The herds increase at an approximate rate of 20% per year, necessitating a roundup about every four years.

Periodically horses from one herd are transported to the other to prevent inbreeding. Quality animals are returned to the herds after roundups to maintain herd integrity and improve adoptability. There is high demand for Kiger Mustangs to be used for pleasure and as breeding stock. They are noted for their intelligence and stamina.


(A Kiger HMA map will appear as soon as we can get it scanned in.)

Seeing the beauty of the Kiger Mustangs in the wild with their classic coloration and markings will add much to your enjoyment of our western heritage and is an experience which you won't soon forget. Please remember to be respectful of the horses as you view them. Stay on marked roadways, avoid water holes and remember to take binoculars. Remember, it is illegal to chase, harass or harm protected wild horses or to let your pets chase and harass them! This is particularly important at foaling season.

Important Note: Vehicular access from the county road to the view point is limited to 4-wheel drive vehicles in wet weather.

This is not a BLM operated or BLM sponsored site. It is run by private wild horse and burro enthusiasts. We are thankful to the BLM for providing the information which is presented here.

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