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Kiger Mustang

The Kiger Mustang: Linked Directly to History

   Mustang Leadership Partners counts among our stock five Kiger mustangs, a breed recognized only recently and bearing distinct genetic ties to the wild American mustang’s Spanish past.

   All Kiger mustangs are a shade of dun, ranging from buckskin to claybank and Grullo. Other distinctive markings include a dorsal stripe, jack stripe, zebra stripes on the legs, arm bars, tri-colored mane and tail, ears with a dark outline and fawn colored interior, a facial mask and cobwebbing. Kigers average about 14-15 hands in height, with finely pointed ears, a medium head size, prominent eyes and a fine muzzle. Noted for their agility, intelligence, courage and boldness, Kigers are at the same time gentle, calm and willing to please.

   Brought to Mexico in the 1500s by Spanish conquistadors, the ancestors of wild American mustangs eventually populated much of the American West. In 1977, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) conducted a routine gather for branding, counting and examination of wild American mustangs in Beatty’s Butte, Oregon. Ray Harding, a BLM wild horse specialist, noted a group of remarkably similar horses who bore the distinctive markings of the breed’s Spanish forebears.

   Harding separated the 27 mustangs from the rest of the herd and divided them into separate bands in order to protect them from an unexpected natural catastrophe. Genetic testing at the University of Kentucky confirmed Spanish markers in the mustangs’ blood and dominant genes for the primitive dun factor coloration and markings.

   Ripples of excitement moved through the world of mustang supporters as news spread of the discovery of this small band of wild mustangs with such a strong genetic link to the past. They were soon established as their own breed and named after the Kiger Mountain where the main herd was placed.

   Three of our five Kigers are registered with the Kiger Mesteño Association, an organization that has been registering Kiger mustangs for over 20 years (our other two Kigers are too young for registration). At Mustang Leadership Partners, our Kiger mustangs are highly trainable and versatile. They respond well and have the special, spirited nature and intelligence that distinguish the wild American mustang.

For more information:

• Kiger Mesteño Association (

• Rancho Bayo (

• Born Survivors on the Eve of Extinction by Hardy Oelke, published in 1997 by Ute Kierdorf Verlag, Germany.

• America’s Last Wild Horses, by Hope Ryden, first published in 1970, with updated editions in 1978, 1990 and 1999, published by the Lyons Press.

• Mustang: The Saga of the Wild Horse in the American West, by Deanne Stillman, published in 2008 by Houghton Mifflin Company.

• Honest Horses: Wild Horses in the Great Basin, by Paula Morin, published in 2006 by University of Nevada Press.

• Mustangs: Wild Horses of the West by Marie-Luce Hubert and Jean-Louis Klein, published in 2007 by Firefly Books.

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