These Beautiful Wild Horses Were Unknown Until Discovered In Oregon In 1977

by | Mar 31, 2020 | Adventures, Eastern Oregon, Featured, Interesting, Southern Oregon, Travel, Wildlife

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The Steens Mountains in Eastern Oregon were hiding a long forgotten secret: beautiful wild mustangs that had been long forgotten. This herd of Kiger Mustangs are direct descendants of horses brought to the New World by Conquistadors in the 16th century, and were discovered in the Steens Mountains in 1977 by the Bureau of Land Management who were on a survey mission.

Spanish Ancestry

Where to see wild horses Oregon

Wild Mustangs at Steens Mountain. Photo by Robert Shea via Flickr CC2.

In 1977 the herd was twenty seven horses strong and looked to be of pure Spanish descent.

Where to see wild horses Steens Mountains Oregon

Wild Mustangs At Steens. Photo by Dan Dzurisin via Flickr CC2.

DNA testing was done and it was determined that the horses were definitely linked to the horses the Spanish explorers had in the 1600's.

Kiger Mustangs Spanish Horses Oregon

Two wild mustangs in the Steens Mountains. Photo by Dan Dzurisin via Flickr CC2.

Somehow this herd had survived unknown for five hundred years in the rugged wilderness of Eastern Oregon.

Wild Kiger Mustangs. Photo by Dan Dzurisin via Flickr CC2.

The BLM moved the horses to Kiger Gorge in the Steens Mountains and gave them the name Kiger Mustangs. Check out this video from Matt Cook who went looking for the wild Kiger Mustangs:

You can find more information about the Kiger Herd Management Area here.

Kiger Mustangs Old Spanish Horses Conquistadors

Wild Mustangs at Steens Mountains. Photo by Dan Dzurisin via Flickr CC2.

Have you been out to see the Kiger Mustangs yet? Let us know in a comment and tag your friends who love horses! If you go, be sure to be respectful and not approach them.


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Written By Jessica Tomlinson

Jessica Tomlinson is a native Oregonian currently living in Southern Oregon. She has been blogging since 2006. She loves nature, photography, hiking, camping, and exploring Oregon's wilds.

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