It's a little known fact that wild horses still exist in the United States today. As of September, 2000 and estimated 43,000 horses still roamed wild. Some of these horses are descendents of the Spanish mustangs that were brought by invading Spaniards in the 1600s. Until recently it was believed that no pure strains of these mustangs existed anymore, that all the bloodlines had been diluted by other breeds. In the 1970s, however, a small herd of wild mustangs was discovered in the rugged isolation of Southeast Oregon on the Steens Mountain. The herd consisted of 27 animals, and it was determined that these were pure descendents of the original Spanish horse. The horse was named the Kiger Mustang after the Kiger Gorge where it was discovered.
The Kiger Mustang has a distinctive dun coloring, varying from buckskin to a reddish color. They have "primitive" markings which include dorsal strips, "zebra" stripes on their legs and shoulders and rib and arm bands. It was this original coloring pattern that tipped the Bureau of Land Management workers who found the feral horses that this could be a unique breed.
Since the discovery of this herd, there has been a large public interest in the breed. The few Kiger mustangs that are available through the Wild Horse Adoption Program are quickly snapped up. Luckily, however, there are now quite a few places that breed Kiger Mustangs for selling, and one can be had for a price. By all accounts, the Kiger is an intelligent, curious, eager to learn animal and in great demand.