Mesteño, a Kiger Mustang stallion
|Distinguishing features||Some horses are gaited, every equine color, although dun is most common. Athletic, strong.|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Kiger Mesteño Association||Breed standards|
Horse (Equus ferus caballus)
Kiger Mustang is substrain of Mustang horse located in the southeastern part of U.S. state of Oregon. Originally feral horses with specific conformation traits discovered in 1977, the name also applies to their bred-in-captivity progeny. 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.
Discovery of the breed was the result of a BLM Mustang roundup in the Beatys Butte area in Harney County. During the roundup, it was noticed that among the horses collected from the area, there was a group with similar color and markings. DNA testing by the University of Kentucky showed close relation to the Spanish horses brought to the Americas in the 17th century. These distinct horses were separated from the other horses and the BLM placed two groups in separate areas to preserve the breed. Seven horses were placed in Riddle Mountain and twenty in Kiger.
The Kiger Mustang is considered to have bred true for generations to a certain type. Many of today's Kiger Mustangs can be traced back to a single stallion named Mesteño.
The artist's model for the title horse of the animated film Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron was a Kiger Mustang named Donner, also known as "Spirit", who lives at the Return to Freedom American Wild Horse Sanctuary.
Kiger Mustangs are primarily dun in color and have primitive markings, including zebra-like stripes on the upper legs and shoulders as well as a dorsal stripe which runs down the middle of the back into the tail. Typically a dun horse is a shade of muted tan or a light brown-gray with dark brown or black manes. A dun colored horse may have many, but not all, of the primitive markings which include the dorsal stripe, two-toned manes and/or tails, zebra-like stripes on the upper legs and shoulders, dark color around muzzle and ears with dark outlines and lighter interiors. Dun horses are generally identified as simply duns or grullas.
Kiger Mustangs, as a rule, are agile and intelligent, with the stamina and surefootedness seen in many feral horse breeds. Bold and with lots of "heart and bottom" (a term for courage and determination) but gentle as well as calm, they are used for pleasure riding as well as endurance riding, assorted performance competition under saddle, driving, and many other situations where an athletic horse is desired.
- "The Kiger Mustang". Bureau of Land Management. Retrieved February 9, 2012.
- "Beatys Butte". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. November 28, 1980. Retrieved February 9, 2012.
- "History of the Kiger Mustang". Kiger Mesteño Association. Retrieved February 9, 2012.
- Dutson 96 Horse Breeds of North America p. 148-149
- "Kiger Mustang". The International Museum of the Horse. Retrieved February 9, 2012.
- "History of Kiger Mustangs". Kiger Brand Mustangs. Retrieved February 9, 2012.
- "Spirit". Return to Freedom American Wild Horse Sanctuary. Retrieved February 9, 2012.
- Bingham, Larry (November 18, 2007). "Out of the Wild". The Oregonian.
- Map of the Kiger Mustang Area of Critical Environmental Concern - Proposed RMP from the BLM
- Photo of Kiger Mustangs near Diamond, from The Oregonian
- Kiger and Riddle Mountain Herd Management Areas from the BLM
- Kiger and Riddle Mountain Wild Horse Gather from the BLM