Breed Description

Colors: Bay dun (sv: brunblack) & grulla/grullo (sv: musblack) are desirable. Red dun (sv: rödblack), black (sv: svart) & bay (sv: brun) exist, but are not as common. Grey (sv: avblekbar skimmel) & roan (sv: skimmel) exist but are not accepted for traditional division in KHAR and not in studbook I in Sweden.
Markings: Primitive markings; Dorsal stripe, zebra-like stripes above knees, dark colour around muzzle and ears with dark outlines and lighter interiors, bicoloured mane and tail, little or no white is desirable.
Height: Average 14-16 hands. 
Appearance: Body conformation is distictive with a short, broad and well muscled back. Their chest has good depth and width. The head displays a broad, flat forehead, wide, prominent eyes and fine muzzle. Their ears are finely pointed and slightly hooked at the tip. Their neck is well-crested, their bones dense and their hooves compact.
Area of use: Endurance, western, trail, pleasure, jumping, dressage etc. A very versatile horse where only Your imagination sets the limits!

For full breed description, please go to:

Additional info:
Many kigers have an extremely soft trot! Looks like ordinary trot, but you do not bounce!! :-)

The hoof quality of a kiger can not be compared to other breeds! Really hard and compact. No shoes works perfectly fine.

The Kiger mustang is well suited to be kept outside all year long (with shelters of course). Their fur adapts optimally to different climatic conditions; from summery velvety to thick and woolly during autumn and winter.  

Kiger Gorge, Oregon, USA

Breed Name

The name of the breed comes from an remote area in Steens Mountains, called "Kiger Gorge".


The Kiger Mustang originates from the Spanish horses the conquistadores brought over to the US in the 1600:th century. Many of these horses turned wild over the centuries and mother nature made sure only the strongest survived. This made the Kiger Mustangs extremely hardy and healthy horses.

The BLM (Bureau of Land Management) make sure the number of wild horses in the US is fairly constant. Each third or fourth year they do  "round-ups", where excess horses are put for adoption in order to keep the herds at manageable levels. In 1977 during a roundup they found a number of horses in the south-east of Oregon, all with the same primitive colour and markings. DNA-tests where made and proved a close relation to the Spanish horses brought over a few hundred years earlier. These horses were separated from the rest. 7 were placed in the Riddle Mountain HMA (Horse Management Area) and 20 in Kiger HMA. These horses where the first to be called Kiger Mustangs. All registered Kigers today originates from these two herds or are directely captured (and freezebranded) from these areas.

This makes the Kiger Mustang a new kind of breed which the nature has created on its own during centuries and until 1977. Still there are about one hundred wild Kiger mustangs in Riddle Mountain and Kiger HMA controlled by the BLM.

Note: The BLM has previously had a few horses from other HMA:s for adoption to breeders whereupon these where registered as Kigers to contribute to another genepool. These horses are called "found horses" and they and their offsprings have "found blood". To be able to separate these horses from the originals, KMA describes the origin of each horse in their studbook. Some breeders have chosed to continue to breed with found blood and some are strictly against it. 

Steen's Mountains wilderness is found in southeastern Oregon. The terrain includes mountains, steep gorges, rocks and plateaus. Here the horses feed mostly of grass, wormwood (malört) and juniper (enbuske). Water is found in streams, small lakes and springs.

Steen's Mountain, Oregon, USA

The Result...

Steen's Mountains wilderness area in the south-east of Oregon, where the Kigermustangs live today, is known for the weather extremes- from blistering heat to sudden snowstorms. During a long time this climate and environment has created tuff and hardy horses that can stand everything from oppressive heat to freezing cold. Genetic imperfections, such as susceptibility for diseases or weak bones and hoofs have during centuries been culled by the toughest breeder of them all- mother nature.  The Kiger Mustang is known to be a very healthy horse with hard hoofs and bones like steel.

The Kiger Mustang has great stamina and is very intelligent. They have a low resting pulse and recover quickly, in nature it is a must for survival.

The Kiger Mustangs can extract energy from grass with less than 1% protein and still thrive. They can eat much that other breeds wouldn't think of; weeds, bark and fallen leaves. It is not unusual that they walk hundreds of miles each day on dry or frozen ground with little or no water to search for food and at the same time maintain a good physique.

The modern Kiger Mustangs have retained the caracteristics of their ancestors. The horses the conquistadores chosed to bring over to the US where considered the best horses of its kind back then. After a few centuries in freedom mother nature has created this horse to the unique legend it is today.

Some of the information on this page is collected from:

Program about how the kiger mustangs have developed to the unique, strong, healthy and intelligent horses they are today, and about the continous work of maintaining their qualities!   -Rural TV, USA 



All wild mustangs that are gathered by BLM are freezebranded on the left side of the neck. The freezebrand is built up by symbols according to the image below. 
From the freezebrand it is possible to read out a number and what year the horse is born. With a 8 digit freezebrand number BLM can go back and verify origin of each horse.