Frequently Asked Questions


Kigers can become tame and gentle
but it takes time and patience

Can Kigers be tamed?
You must overcome the horse's fears that he is in danger and establish trust through least resistance training methods. Trying to change a Kiger by force or aggressive behavior increases fear and decreases trust. Once trust is established, the horse will recognize the adopter as his new leader and provider of food and protection. Then training becomes easy.

Does your refuge take any horse that is no longer wanted?
Our program is dedicated to working only with a small population of Kiger Mustangs.

How many horses can the refuge support?
Our goal is to provide a safe haven for as many Kiger Mustangs as possible within sustainable pasture management practices. We presently have only a small initial herd because of space limitation. This is why we desperately need a donation of a large land tract that can become a homeland for the Kigers.

Is the refuge funded by the federal government?
The Kiger Mustang Refuge is funded by you – 100%. We were started by caring individuals and exists thanks to donations from caring individuals and organizations.

Can people come and ride the horses?
The Kiger Mustangs Refuge cannot offer trail rides at this time as our primary goal is to care for horses in distress. However, we hope to provide riding opportunities in the future.

What do wild Mustangs eat? How do they survive?
They can eat a wide variety of plants depending on the environment and the season. If a Mustang is provided food and becomes dependent on it, then it is considered domesticated (loses its ability to live in the wild). At the refuge, we feed hay and we do offer nutritional supplementation to specific horses that require it, especially to the horses that suffer from neglect or abuse.

What is the difference between an American Mustang and Kiger Mustang?
The American Mustang sprang from the Spanish horses that the Conquistadors brought to the Americas in the 1500’s. Some escaped to the wild and became feral. Settler farmers, cowboys and the Native Americans used them for the next 400 years. Over the years the feral horses were captured and mixed with other breeds to create horses for specific purposes. What makes the Kiger Mustangs so special is that their bloodline can be traced back to the original Spanish Mustangs; they were never mixed with other breeds like the American Mustang. This is why it is so important to protect and sustain the Kigers.

Isn’t the BLM responsible for the Kiger Mustangs?
The BLM manages two special areas in southeastern Oregon for wild horse with Spanish Mustang characteristics. The two areas are located in the Burns District and are know as the Kiger and Riddle Mountain Herd Management Areas. The BLM promotes adoption of horses from these areas as a way to control the size of the herd. Some misguided people have adopted Kiger Mustangs from the BLM only to discover that they cannot provide the home they thought they could. Horses from these unfortunate situations are the ones we accept at our refuge.


© Kiger Mustang Refuge, Inc — a non-profit organization