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Oregon Wild Horse & Burro Areas

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BLM-Managed Wild Horse & Burro Herd Management Areas:
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OREGON WILD HORSE & BURRO AREAS

Learning about the specific herd management area where one's own horse or burro is from can enrich your appreciation for your adopted animal. It is in that spirit that these pages are offered. Do understand, however, that HMAs (Herd Management Areas) are not breeds. A horse or burro from one HMA has far more in common with all others from all other HMAs than it has differences. Within any particular HMA one will find variation in size, body type.
If you wish to know more about your horse or burro's ancestry, please also read the HISTORY section.

PBS Oregon Field Guide Episode #2508: Mustangs of Oregon :
 

Oregon has 18 Herd Management Areas with 4 BLM Districts and the US Forest Service.
Each HMA is managed carefully for a distinct type, according to its unique history.


Oregon has 18 Herd Management Areas:

PRINEVILLE DISTRICT:
Ligget Table

LAKEVIEW DISTRICT:
Paisley
Beaty's Butte
Pokegama

VALE DISTRICT:
Cold Springs
Coyote Lake
Hog Creek
Jackies Butte
Sand Springs
Sheepshead
(shared with Burns District with Heath Creek)
Three Fingers

USFS:
Big Summit
Murderer's Creek
Three Sisters

BURNS DISTRICT:
Alvord-Tule Springs
Heath Creek
Kiger
Palomino Buttes
Riddle Mountain
Sheepshead
South Steens
Stinkingwater
Warm Springs

COMPLEXES:
The Barren Valley Complex is comprised of Coyote Lakes, Alvord Tule, Sheepshead/Heath Creek and Sand Springs HMA's

Another recently designated Complex is Coyote Lakes/Alvord-Tule Springs

Oregon originally had these 11 Herd Areas, too, but they have been zeroed out:

data from http://www.wildhorseandburro.blm.gov/statistics/2005/index.htm

PRINEVILLE DISTRICT:
Ligget Table

According to Andi Harmon, Liggett Table horses descend from rodeo stock. They are mostly, if not entirely, reds (sorrel, chestnut). Ligget Table, 28,100 acres, AML Range 10-25

 

LAKEVIEW DISTRICT:
Paisley

Paisley, 297,762 acres, AML Range 60-110

Sandee Force says, "I think it is the Paisley horses that are prone to being gaited. There were more gaited horses in the early days but one of the managers wasn't fond of them and culled what he could. But the story behind that was that one of the ranchers liked gaited horses back before WWII, and had two TWH stallions brought out to his ranch to cross up with his mares. Both stallions got loose and he ended up just pulling the colts he liked off the wild herds. Many of those gaited horses were also loud pintos and good sized."

Dr. Gus Cothran performed genetic analysis of this herd in 2000 - 2001, checking on genetic health as well as possible ancestry.

This herd most closely resembles the Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse and the other North American Gaited Saddle breeds (Rocky Mountain, Tennessee Walker, etc) and the New World Iberian breeds (Paso Fino, etc) as well as the Moroccan Barb. The herd also bears markers suggestive of some heavy draft ancestry.

Dr. Cothran warned that although the herd is currently healthy genetically, herd size is sufficiently low that loss of genetic health is likely within the next 20 years. He recommended close monitoring.

Tonto from Paisley Desert, owned by Sheila Breckenridge, was DNA tested by Dr. Gus Cothran in 2014 and found to most closely resemble:1 Welsh Pony 2 shetland-hackney-3 North American Gaited Saddle Horse, especially Morgan & Saddlebred

A devastating wildfire swept through the Paisley Desert HMA in 2012, requiring an emergency gather. Here are some of the horses at the Burns BLM corrals immediately after their arrival:


Beaty's Butte

BEATY'S BUTTE HERD MANAGEMENT AREA

399,643 acres AML:  100-250 horses. 

Horses are managed for quality and conformation. Horses are of almost every color, although officially the herd is managed for dun.   Many foundation horses for the Kiger HMA came from Beaty's Butte.  The Beaty's Butte horses are reputed to have extremely good minds and temperaments.

Size range: 14 to 16 hands and weigh 950-1300 pounds.

Beaty's Butte HMA has been periodically gathered since 1984. Numbers of wild horses captured and removed for each successive gather are documented in the Lakeview District Office. The 2007 gather removed  255 wild horses. A  July 24, 2009 census showed the population within the Beatys Butte HMA to be 256, including 204 adults and 51 foals under one year of age. 189 horses were counted on the adjoining Hart Mountain National Wildlife Refuge; of these 157 were adults and 39 were foals under 1 year of age.

Adult wild horses in the HMA weigh an average of 950 to1,050 pounds and stand between 14.2 and 15.2 hands, with some stallions being slightly larger. The herd is managed for horses with dun color markings. Other common colors within the herd include black, bay, brown, and roans. Most have saddle horse type conformation with some Spanish horse characteristics. Peak foaling period for these herds is from March through May. Peak breeding period is from April through June. Currently, the existing sex ratio within the complex is approximately 50/50. Water is a limiting factor in certain years throughout the Beatys Butte HMA. Most of the watering areas in the HMA are in the form of seasonal reservoirs and springs that provide water during the spring through fall seasons or until they dry up.

Forage is allocated for 100 to 250 wild horses in the Beatys Butte HMA or 3,000 Animal Unit Months (AUMs).

Inventory data shows that horse utilization combined with livestock concentrate in the few areas with perennial water sources. Utilization levels can reach the 60-80 percent range within these areas. 10% of the available forage is consumed by wild horses when numbers are within AML. Since horses use the area year round, the affects of grazing are prolonged and recovery of plants reduced.

A long history of horses drifting into and out of the Beatys Butte HMA exists. There is movement between Sheldon and Hart National Wildlife Refuge, private land and the Burns District HMAs including Warm Springs and South Steens. "

- http://www.blm.gov/.../files/Beatys_Butte_EA_FONSI_DR.pdf

A Beatty's Butte gather began 9/15/09 and concluded 9/26/09.  They planned to gather 683 but actually only gathered 423, with 379 horses permanently removed and 44 being released back into the range.

No gathers occurred between 2009 and 2015. In summer of 2015, census counted 1500 horses living on Beaty's Butte and surrounding areas (Hart Mountain, etc) which, combined with 4 years of protracted drought, resulted serious range degradation and risk of starvation to the horses.

In fall of 2015, 1070 horses were gathered.

 

Pokegama


Pokegama wild horses on the range - photo by Kathy Howard

Wild horses have ranged in Pokegama since at least the early 1900's, when people began settling the area perhaps earlier. Pokegama is unique among wild horse herds, in that it is the only HMA in the BLM system that is located in the Cascade Mountains. Horses may have earlier roots but are mostly descended from working ranch stock originally owned and turned out by a local rancher back in the 1920's. Their conformation and range of coloring are consistent with a working ranch horse ancestry, primarily what we would now call Quarter Horses. Unlike most HMAs, which are located in desert and semi-desert regions, Pokegama is relative lush mountain and foothill forest and meadowlands.


Little Miss from Pokegama with her adopter, Holly


Star from Pokegama HMA, adopted by Andi Harmon


Pokegama, 52,272 acres, AML Range 30-50
Located along the Oregon-California border southwest of Klamath Lake & Klamath Falls

Click here for: A Pokegama-area Wild Horse Adventure

VALE DISTRICT:
Cold Springs

29,883 acres, AML Range 75-150; 

Andi Harmon says: "A little background on the Cold Springs HMA. Nearly 30 years ago now (2014), the HMA was almost completely wiped out due to several factors (none of them BLM-related). The manager at the time for that district, Jim Johnson, began "shopping" for the best of the best from other HMA's to "seed" that HMA and build it back up. It took 20 years to build the HMA and the first time it was gathered after that, which was 9 years ago, the horses that came in were so nice, well built, quiet, easy to handle and just plain nice to be around. My orphan Karma, who is now with Mike Branch in TN, came from there. "

The Cold Springs horses exhibit a high incidence of the Silver Dapples color gene - unusual among wild horses, although common in the Rocky Mountain Horses, an American breed developed from an American Mustang stallion from the Rocky Mountains.

Rumor has it that a ranch back in the 40's and 50's used to run their AQHA stallions with the wild herds there and bring in the herds in the fall, take out the babies they wanted and turn the rest back out. So there is likely some very old QH blood in those horses. Which would explain why many of them are quieter than others and also why some of them are a bit difficult, depending on the QH stallions they ran.

- Andi Burns, Oregon
Last Chance Ranch

 

  
Karma, adopted originally by Andi Harmon

COYOTE LAKES Herd Management Area

206,663 acres
AML: 125 to 250 horses
Size: 950 to 1,050 pounds, 14.2 and 15.2 hands, with some stallions being slightly larger.

Colors: The dominant colors are sorrel, bay, and black with a few pintos and buckskins. Coyote Lakes horses show the highest genetic resemblance to the light racing and saddle breeds, and particularly the Quarter Horse.

Sandee Force says: The Coyote Lakes horses have always been the gentle giants of the Oregon horses with a lot of draft in them. We had 2 from there that were big quiet nice minded horses that were just plain willing.

The Coyote Lakes HMA and the Alvord-Tule Springs HMA are currently being managed as the Coyote Lakes/Alvord-Tule Springs complex because of known migration between to the two HMAs through Sand Gap.

Dr. Gus Cothran performed genetic analysis of this herd in 2000 - 2001, checking on genetic health as well as possible ancestry. He found that this herd is very similar genetically to the Paisley Desert and Alvord Tule herds. The domestic breed most closely resembling this herd is the Quarter Horse, followed by the Thoroughbred. This herd is currently very healthy genetically, with good population levels and good genetic variability.

 

 
"Blackhorse" adopted by Sandee Force


Hog Creek

BLM TARGET HERD SIZE:  30 to 50. 
SIZE OF HORSES:  The horses are good sized, saddle type, ranging from 15 to 16 hands and weigh from 950 to 1300 pounds. 
Hog Creek, 22,265 acres, AML Range 30-50

This HMA was gathered in 1997 and again in 2009.  Shortly after the 1997 gather, 3 new stallions were introduced to Hog Creek HMA to help ensure genetic viability.  One bay stallion from the Jackies Butte HMA, and two red roans from the South Steens HMA, were selected since they were representative of the herd characteristics for size and saddle horse type conformation.  The bay stallion disappeared the first year after being transplanted, but the two red roan horses continue to contribute greatly to the overall quality of the herd. 

A 1991 cremello mare from the Hog Creek Management area was the first ever inspected, recorded and approved mustang with the Rheinland Pfalz-Saar Warmblood Registry.


  Cremello Hog Creek horse owned by Meadowview Farm           Hog Creek horse adopted by Lillian Nagy


Jackies Butte

JACKIE'S BUTTE

65,211 acres, AML Range 75-150

Dr. Gus Cothran performed genetic analysis on this herd in 2000 - 2001. The domestic breed most closely resembling this herd is the Moroccan Barb, as well as the light racing and saddle breeds. Historically, it is known that a local rancher released three Arabian stallions into the herd, before the 1971 Act. These stallions stamped their "look" strongly onto the herd. Unfortunately, herd size and genetic variability were both low in this herd at the time of this test (2001), and he recommended close monitoring for physical defects in foals, which would indicate that genetic diversity has fallen below healthy levels. This herd is not gathered often, but was again in 2009, and a severe wildfire devasted most of the Jackie's Butte range in 2012, forcing an emergency gather.

 
Lindy Minden's horse from Jackie's Butte


Sand Springs

SAND SPRINGS HMA

Sand Springs, 196,774 acres, AML Range 100-200

  
Sweetheart, adopted by Andi Harmon

 
Silver bay horse adopted by Barb Montgomery

Sheepshead
(shared with Burns District with Heath Creek)

HEATH CREEK - SHEEPSHEAD Herd Management Areas

Heath Creek and Sheepshead are next to each other, and are managed together. Sheepshead (also listed separate from Heath Creek), Combined total: 136,050 acres, AML Range 100-200
 

          
Beck Seibel's Sheepshead horse, being trained by Kitty Lauman


Three Fingers

THREE FINGERS Herd Management Area

HERD SIZE: Appropriate Management Level range, 75 to 150 head.
Three Fingers, 62,508 acres, AML Range 75-150
HORSE COLORS: Pinto, buckskin, dun, bay, black, sorrel, roan, grey.
SIZE OF HORSES: 950 to 1250#, 14 to 16 hands
GENERAL INFORMATION/HISTORY: Horses in the herd trace their ancestry primarily to horses abandoned by homesteaders and horses escaped from ranches. There are probably some descendants of Army remount horses represented.

 



USFS:
Big Summit

BIG SUMMIT - OCHOCO NATIONAL FOREST

Big Summit (USFS), 26,097 acres, AML range : 55-65

The Central Oregon Wild Horse Coalition inventories the HMA annually. Go to their website to learn more about this herd and the group's work with the herd.
According to COWHC, " The first wild horses were thought to have originated on the Ochocos in the early part of the 20th century, according to local residents. Horses either escaped from, or were let loose by various ranchers in the vicinity.  However, recent genetic testing has linked the Ochoco Mustangs to Iberian and Andalusian stock, leaving much to be discovered about their true heritage."

 

Murderer's Creek

MURDERER'S CREEK Wild Horse Territory, U.S. Forest Service

According to Sandee Force, the Murderers Creek horses came originally from two distinct backgrounds. One was the well known about remount horses, the other line you seldom see today but we saw a lot in the beginning and that was horses that were from the mares that the Basque sheep herders turned loose when they went back to Spain at the end of the big rangeland sheep days. Would have been around the beginning of WW1.


Murderer's Creek Mare-Foal Pairs on a recent Internet Adoption

Murderer's Creek, 108,568 acres, AML Range 50-140

The lineage of the Murderer's Creek horses is diverse and quite debatable. Although it is likely that horses found in the area by early explorers (probably escaped from Indian herds) left their mark in the area, there can be no dispute that many of the Murderer's Creek horses are descendants of animals lost or turned loose by settlers and ranchers. Murderer's Creek horses fit genetically most closely with the Light Racing and Saddle Breeds, followed by the New World Iberian breeds.

History
The lineage of the Murderers Creek horses is diverse and quite debatable. Although it is likely that horses found in the area by early explorers (probably escaped from Native American herds) left their mark in the area, there can be no dispute that many of the Murderers Creek horses are descendants of animals lost or turned loose by settlers and ranchers. Prior to 1971 (when the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act was enacted) ranchers managed the wild herds by turning out their own stallions to bring certain characteristics into the bands, then gathered the young horses in the spring.
The Murderers Creek horses are generally small animals, 13 to 14 hands in size. More than 50% of the horses of Murderers Creek are “timber horses”. They live in
heavily timbered areas of ponderosa pine and mixed conifer. These horses tend to be bay or brown in color while the horses that inhabit the western, more open part of the territory have more color variety with grays, duns and sorrels added to the bays, browns and blacks. In 1997 five stallions from two different BLM Herd Management Areas were introduced to the BLM portion of the territory to increase the size and color variation of the herds. This met with limited success as the introduced horses failed to assimilate into the existing herds and therefore did not contribute as they were intended.

- from "MURDERER'S CREEK HERD MANAGEMENT AREA/WILD HORSE TERRITORY MANAGEMENT PLAN - 2009"

Prior to the passage of the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act in 1971, ranchers managed the wild herds by turning out their own stallions to bring certain characteristics into the bands, then gathered the young horses in the spring.

The Murderer's Creek horses are generally around 14 hands in size.

More than 50 percent of the horses of the Murderer's Creek are "timber horses." They live in heavily timbered areas of ponderosa pine and mixed conifer. These horses tend to be bay or brown in color, whereas the horses in the western, more open part of the territory are grays, duns, and sorrels.

The "timber horses" tend to stay at the high elevations year-round, living in bands of three to eight animals.

Gathering the "timber horses" of Murderer's Creek is very challenging, as the horses have learned to use the trees and mountain terrain to their advantage.  Despite this reputation, the "timber horses" tend to settle down shortly after capture, and they are generally quieter when worked with than their open country cousins of the west end of the territory.

Dr. Gus Cothran performed genetic analysis of this herd in 2000 - 2001, checking on genetic health as well as possible ancestry. He found that this herd - which is physically isolated from other herd areas - is the most unique, bearing the least similarity to the other Oregon herds studied. He also found that it was NOT inbred, as I have heard people say they believe it to be. Genetic health was good, and he predicted no inbreeding issues in the near future "if population levels are maintained." He found that this herd bears closest genetic resemblance to the American light racing and saddle breeds as well as to the New World Iberian breeds.

 

 


Three Sisters - managed by California

BURNS DISTRICT:
Alvord-Tule Springs

ALVORD-TULE SPRINGS Herd Management Area

photo: Dustin Gasser

 349,957 acres
AML Range 73-140
The horses are believed to be descendants of thoroughbreds from U.S. Army remount stallions. Others are descendants of escaped or released horses from local ranches.
Size range:  950 to 1,050 pounds, 14.2 and 15.2 hands.
Colors: The dominant colors are bay, sorrel, and black.
The Coyote Lakes HMA and the Alvord-Tule Springs HMA are currently being managed as the Coyote Lakes/Alvord-Tule Springs complex because of known migration between to the two HMAs through Sand Gap.

This herd, along with several other Southeast Oregon herds, was tested by Dr. Gus Cothran in 2001 and again in 2006. The herd showed a close similarity to the Gaited North American breeds. Alvord-Tule horses carried one unusual variant that is found mostly in Morgans and Pony breeds. The data indicated some genetic concerns, possibly related to inbreeding. The 2006 analysis indicated a higher level of health and genetic variation.

 

KIGER & RIDDLE HERD MANAGEMENT AREAS 

Riddle Mountain, 28,346 acres, AML Range 33-56
Kiger, 33,249 acres, AML Range 51-82

Kiger Mustangs are known for their strong dun factors, for which they are selectively managed. Other Kiger-Riddle colors include bay, buckskin, and gray - even an occasional palomino. (Read the DUN color page to learn how that works)

Kiger horses are typically 13 to 15 hands and weigh 750 to 1000 pounds.  They have light to medium bone and small feet.  Ear tips are often hooked and females have very fine muzzles. 

Historically, these two herds were created by BLM, led by Ron Harding, to develop a wild breed of Old Iberian type. The area was chosen due to its isolation, being rimmed by high mountains, which made it nearly impossible for neighboring horses to intermingle. Existing horses were captured and moved from the Kiger Valley to Palomino Buttes. A group of very Iberian-looking, spectacularly marked duns from Beaty's Butte were moved to the Kiger Valley to form the foundation for the herd. Two separate home ranges - Kiger and Riddle - were established in order to maintain genetic health.

Dr. Gus Cothran performed genetic analysis of these two closely related herds in 2000 - 2001, checking on genetic health as well as possible ancestry. He found that these two herds have one Spanish marker, and a high degree of genetic variability, indicating health, and "likely, although not necessarily" mixed origin and recent introductions of unrelated animals. He states that it is not possible at this stage of our understanding of horse genetics to say with certainty which breeds were specifically involved in the ancestry of the Kiger. The breeds most closely resembling the Kiger are various breeds of known Spanish origin as well as the Appaloosa.

The Kiger herd tested to be quite similar genetically to other nearby Oregon herds, as well as Northwestern California herds. They fit within the light racing and saddle breeds cluster of breeds.

There are four genetic markers that occur only in horses of Spanish ancestry, and the Kiger herd has one, called "D-dek." The Kiger has a strongly Spanish "phenotype" (physical appearance) which is quite attractive, and many are gaited.
Click for Very early (19980's-'90's) Dr. Cothran Blood typing report 

 

 

Report of the first Kiger gather in 1974: Interesting to see how the horses have changed in appearance - mainly how the dominance of the dun pattern has increased in the herd since then:


Palomino Buttes

PALOMINO BUTTES

Palomino Buttes, 71,668 acres, AML Range 32-64
Palomino Buttes HMA lies next to a major highway near Burns, Oregon. According to locals, horses are of Arabian and Quarter Horse ancestry, or are Mustangs brought in by BLM from nearby HMA's, including Kiger/Riddle, Jackie's Butte, and Alvord. Genetic testing by Dr. Cothran suggests this herd is a mix of Old Irish breed types, Rocky Mtn and related gaited saddle breeds, and Belgian Draft. BLM says: "Prior to 1977, the herd was largely influenced by local area ranches and their horses so that the major type of horse in the area is of the domestic saddle horse variety. In 1977, due to a severe drought, the herd area was gathered and all horses were removed. Horses returned to the herd area have been managed for palomino and red dun color and saddle horse conformation."

Sandee Force recalls, "A thing many people don't realize is that the core herd on Palomino Butte was originally on Riddle Mountain and were removed to place the second herd of Kigers. The horses off Riddle were so distinctive and we all liked working with them so much, that Ron Harding built the Palomino Butte HMA out of those lines. They were primarily sorrels, red duns and palominos with a few bays and buckskins added in."

"The original Palomino Butte herd was extremely small and was considered for zeroing until they decided to move the original Riddle horses. And the little beggars got themselves into a lot of trouble in the early days. Palomino Butte is right off the edge of the rest area on the HWY, In the winter in the early 1980s the horses would slip into the rest area and eat off the alfalfa trucks that were laying over there. First they tried fencing the horses out of the rest area, in the end they fenced them onto the HMA."

Sandee continues, "The Palomino Buttes herd was originally made up of horses from four other HMAs. The horses that started out on Riddle were moved there to make room for the second Kiger herd. Most were palominos and duns but very Quarter Horse in type. Then a number of Jackies Butte horses were added, mostly blacks and bays with a lot of Arab showing. (One of the ranchers in the Jackies Butte area turned loose 3 Arab stallions back long before the horse program and the look stuck.) Red, cremello, and palomino horses removed from Kiger and Riddle were added later. A group of mostly sorrels with lots of chrome was added from a group in the Southeastern area of the state, possibly Alvord."

 


Buttercup from Palomino Buttes, adopted by Jade Crossmeadow


Riddle Mountain (See Kiger)


Sheepshead (See Heath Creek)

SHEEPSHEAD Herd Management Area

62,792 acres, AML Range 61-102

Most are of saddle type conformation. Most mature horses are 14 to 15.2 hands and weigh 950 to 1,050 pounds. Major colors in the herd are sorrel, bay, black and a few paints and buckskins. The Sheepshead herd has a number of individuals with the relatively rare Silver Dapples dilution (aka Chocolate, Taffy) coloring.

The Sheepshead HMA was DNA tested in 2012 by Dr Cothran at Texas A&M. The highest mean genetic similarity of Sheepshead/Heathcreek HMA was with the North American Gaited breeds, Light Racing and Riding breeds and Old World Iberian breeds. They also cluster closest to a South American Iberian breed the Pantaniero. There is also some heavy draft influence.


Eisen from Sheepshead HMA, adopted by Amy Dumas

 

South Steens

SOUTH STEENS HMA

South Steens, 132,091 acres, AML Range 159-304


A band of wild horses (who have become accustomed to seeing people) follows a hiker. Photo by Maggie Rothauge

The South Steens HMA is a popular tourist attraction, and is monitored by several individuals and groups of devoted volunteers.
To see spectacular photos of these horses on their home range, check out these two Facebook Pages:

South Steens Wild Horses Facebook Group

Oregon's Wild Side

   


Maggie Rauthage, photo


Stinkingwater

STINKINGWATER HMA

Stinkingwater, 81,009 acres, AML Range 40-80

This herd has become very popular with adopters in recent time, due in part to their larger size (a desired trait by the taller, heavier adopter) and pleasing confomation and temperament.

Originally thought to be mostly Thoroughbred, The herd was DNA-tested in 2010 by Dr. Cothran, with this result:

"Genetic Similarity: Overall similarity of the Stinking Water HMA herd to domestic breeds was below the average for feral herds. Highest mean genetic similarity of the Stinking Water HMA herd was with Light Racing and Riding breeds, followed by the Heavy Draft breeds. This is a very unusual combination. The Stinking Water HMA herd clusters within a group that includes the draft horse Shire breed as well as some pony breeds, which is consistent with the similarity to the Draft breeds. These results probably indicate a herd with mixed origins that has some heavy draft horse ancestry."

Photo by Andi Harmon


Virginia Curtis Threadgill's Valentina from Stinkingwater HMA

Warm Springs

WARM SPRINGS HERD MANAGEMENT AREA

Warm Springs, 475,468 acres, AML Range is 111-202

The majority of horses in the area have physical characteristics of the domestic saddle horse variety. Generally, they are heavier muscled horses with good dispositions. They range in size from 14.2 to 15.2 hands and weigh 1,000-1,200 pounds. Color varies greatly within the horse herd and includes Appaloosa, blue and red roan, palomino, buckskin, sorrel, brown, bay, and a few pintos.

The 20 burros who currently occupy the Warm Springs herd area are all of the grey and dark brown color. It is not known how long burros have been in the area or how they originally got there.

Dr. Gus Cothran performed genetic analysis of this herd in 2000 - 2001, checking on genetic health as well as possible ancestry.  I have not been able to secure a copy of his complete analysis, but in his paper about the Alvord-Tule, Paisley Desert, Coyote Lakes, Jackies Butte and Murderers Creek herds, he makes reference to the Warm Springs herd. He says that "The Warm Springs herd clusters with some of the pony breeds for reasons that are not readily apparent." On the Breed Resemblance Dendogram, the Warm Springs horses are positioned next to the Pony and Heavy Draft breeds. They are best-known for their Appaloosa-marked individuals, although solid colors and roans also occur within the herd.

DOLLAR of WARM SPRINGS


Dollar from Warm Springs
photo: Andi Harmon

Dollar was about 22 years old in the photo at left and is a herd stallion for the Warm Springs herd. He will never be adopted out. When he came in as a 2 year old, now some 22 years ago (he will be about 25 next spring), Lloyd at the Burns corrals gentled and saddle broke him.

But it was decided that Dollar would be better suited as a
herd stallion than a saddle horse and was released back into the
wild. He was gathered again in 200, but kept at the corrals for close to a year, got wormed, vaccinated, fattened up, etc. then he, his son and some others were released later.

- Andi
Burns, Oregon
Last Chance Ranch