The Kiger mustang is a strain of mustang horse located in the southeastern part of the U.S. state of Oregon. Feral horses with specific conformation traits discovered in 1977, the name applies only to wild-captured individuals and does not apply to their bred-in-captivity progeny, which are known as Kiger horses. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) administers two herd management areas for Kiger mustangs in the Burns District—Kiger and Riddle Mountain, in the Steens Mountain area. DNA testing has shown that Kiger mustangs are descended largely from Spanish horses brought to North America in the 17th century, a bloodline thought to have largely disappeared from mustang herds before the Kiger horses were found. Kiger mustangs are most often dun in color, although they are found in other solid colors. Compact and well-muscled in appearance, their coloration and phenotype make them some of the most desired by private buyers when horses are removed from the feral herds. The BLM rounds up the horses from the two herd management areas every three to four years, and auctions excess horses to the public, returning horses to public lands that meet the desired coloration and phenotype and sometimes exchanging horses between the two herds to maintain genetic diversity. Horses in private ownership may be registered in several breed associations, the largest and oldest being the Kiger Mesteño Association, established in 1988.
Also known as
This breed is also called Kiger Horse as well as Kiger Mesteño.
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