Finding Kiger Horses for Sale
The SMKR can provide you with names and contact information of Kiger owners, breeders, and trainers in your area who may have Kigers for sale.
The Internet is an excellent source for leads on Kigers for sale. Several sites are on the Internet that are strictly for marketing horses. The majority of Kiger breeders have websites of their own, and can be located through most search engines.
Depending on your vicinity, local publications may list Kigers for sale. However, Kigers are still a phenomenon in most parts of the U.S. and purchasing may well involve shopping outside of your locality. A few Kiger breeders are listed in national publications.
A production sale is held by a farm, ranch, or group selling stock that they have produced themselves. They are not selling this stock because it is sub-standard, nor or is it dispersal stock. Their sales are a way to promote and market the stock they have bred for quality.
Planning to Purchase a Kiger Mustang?
If you are planning on purchasing or adopting a Kiger Mustang, the information on this page will serve as a guide to help you through the process of selecting the Kiger that is right for you.
There are two ways to obtain a Kiger Mustang
The Bureau of Land Management still adopts Kiger Mustangs to the general public. Kiger adoptions occur, on the average, once every three years, when there are enough excess wild horses on the Kiger and Riddle Herd Management Areas to warrant holding a roundup. These adoptions have varied in procedure over the years, from a flat $125 rate to a lottery system to an open bidding process, where some bids have run into five figures. If you are interested in adopting a Kiger Mustang through the government's Adopt-A-Horse Program, go to: http://www.or.blm.gov/Burns
The majority of Kigers readily available are the ranch-bred offspring of the Federal Government's Kiger management program. While their pedigrees may be short, a few Kigers have already made names for themselves as sires and producers, and by contacting people familiar with the Kiger breed, you can gain help in determining which bloodlines are the most desirable.
Communicating with the Seller
Don't hesitate to ask questions about the horse you are considering. A reputable seller will eagerly answer your questions. If the seller is evasive, or if you are unsatisfied with the answers, proceed with caution.
You must also be honest in communicating your requirements and your abilities to the seller. Only then will he or she be able to recommend the correct horse.
Many Kiger breeders offer guarantees, and will provide references. Ask for them.
In today's high-tech society, it is common for sellers to provide photos or videos of the horses they have for sale, especially to long-distance buyers. A video is far more helpful that a photograph when determining way of going, but be careful not to place too much importance on the video. Ask the seller for more information if the video footage or photographs raise more questions. While a professionally made video can relay a good impression, most video footage of the actual horse in question will be of "home movie" quality. When viewing videos, remember that many televisions are in need of horizontal and vertical adjustments, and these circumstances can create an inaccurate picture of the horses. Use videos and photos only as a guide. Do not necessarily pass on a horse if the seller does not have videos or photos readily available, as good photos can be hard to come by, and not everyone has the equipment required to make a sales video.
Determine before you visit the sellers property whether or not the horse in question has the level of training that you require. Is the level of training comiserate with the horse's age or time in captivity? Know in advance what will be required of yourself to bring this horse up to the level you require. Even if you intend to train a young or unsaddled Kiger yourself, it will be helpful to know just how much handling has preceeded the sale. And a horse that is trained to load into a trailer will be much easier to get home.
Ask the seller what the horse's routines are. The answers will have a bearing on the disposition of the horse, as well as on its physical appearance. A horse that has been pastured all winter will not have the same appearance in early springtime that a horse who has been stabled year round will have. Also, a pastured animal may have to make some emotional adjustments if you plan on keeping it in a stabled environment. On the other hand, a horse that has been kept stabled most of its life may have to make some adjustments if you plan to keep it outside.
Ask how the horse gets along with other horses. Is it the herd boss, is it somewhere in the middle of the pecking order, or is it at the bottom? Knowing the answer may help you to have more insight into the personality of the horse. Ask how this horse behaves when being handled for feeding, grooming, vetting, and hoof care.
Also ask about stable vices. Some vices are harmless, but others can be real nuasances or detrimental to the horse's health.
Kigers generally are very robust horses, but you should ask for a veterinary record which would list its vaccinations and its deworming program, and any events of injury or illness. Ask about those incidents if they have occurred. You should ask about the horse's routine hoof care, and if possible, speak with the farrier who maintains the horse's feet.
Ask the seller if he will permit a veterinarian of your choice to perform a pre-purchase exam. Sellers who refuse to allow a veterinarian to give an evaluation should be avoided.
Once you have spoken with the seller and had your initial questions answered, make an appointment to visit. If the Kiger was adopted from the BLM, ask the seller to show you the Certificate of Title. The first year following an adoption, BLM horses are still considered to be the property of the U.S. Government. Adopters are NOT permitted to sell a freeze-branded horse until the period of one year has elapsed and they have received the Certificate of Title.
If the Kiger is ranch-raised, ask to see a copy of its registration certificate. Most serious breeders have incorporated the use of DNA for parentage testing, so ask if a DNA laboratory report is available to view as well. If the horse is ranch-raised and not yet registered or DNA tested, ask the seller for an explanation and do not proceed without contacting the SMKR.
Trying the Horse
Be observant when you make your actual visit. When you first see the horse, is it the same horse that was described to you? If you were told in advance that the horse is a 15 hand dun, it should certainly not be 14 hands and a different color upon inspection.
Hopefully, when you visit, the horse will not already be caught and saddled. This robs you of an opportunity to see how easy or difficult the horse is to catch, or whether or not he might be "cinchy". When trying the horse, always ask the owner or handler to ride it before you try it yourself.
Spend some time to assess the disposition of the horse, and see if you agree with the description the seller gave you.
Pricing depends on several factors including age, color, pedigree, experience, and quality. Prices also vary slightly depending on geographic location.
If you are purchasing from a distance, see if the seller can offer free or reduced-rate delivery. In some instances this may save you 30% of your expenses in purchasing a Kiger.
Sometimes the asking price can be negotiated and often a seller is willing to extend terms. However, do not waste your time or the seller's time trying out a horse that you know is out of your price range. Sellers usually know the value of their horses, and asking them to drop their price considerably is unrealistic.
After you and the seller have agreed to the price and terms of the sale, a deposit is expected to hold the horse. This deposit can be conditional which will be refunded only under certain conditions. For instance, it may be refundable subject to negative findings from a pre-purchase exam by your veterinarian. The deposit may also be applied to the purchase price at the time the purchase and sale contract is signed. If you pay a deposit in advance of the sale, make sure you fully understand the terms and conditions that apply to it.
Sometimes sellers will permit time payments for their horses. In some cases, a horse is released after a respectable deposit is made, in other cases the seller may not release the horse until it is paid for in full. Boarding charges, in the meantime, may be applied at the discretion of the seller.
Installment sales do have risks to both buyer and seller, and it is recommended that the seller's right to repossess be clearly documented. Also, a "Risk of Loss" should be included in the installment contract to specify who carries the burden should the horse become injured or die during the course of the transaction.
A reputable seller should be willing to offer a six month guarantee on temperament and soundness. Clauses that address guarantees should be included in the purchase and sales agreement. Do not sign one until you are satisfied they are present in the contract and that they will hold up in the event of problems after the sale. Sometimes conditions or stipulations will apply to the guarantee. These might take the form of describing or restricting the use for which the horse is being sold, such as for breeding purposes only. Also, remember that a bred mare is not necessarily a pregnant mare. Ask for a live foal guarantee when purchasing a bred mare, especially if you feel the asking price of the mare encompasses the value of a breeding fee.
On rare occasions a seller will offer a trial period during which the horse can live with the perspective buyer so that the buyer can assess its suitability. The structure of trial period agreements will vary greatly from seller to seller. The terms of a trial period arrangement should be precisely spelled out in writing to avoid any misunderstandings.
The Steens Mountain Kiger Registry registers only those horses that come from, or whose ancestors come from the Kiger or Riddle Herd Management Areas of Southeastern Oregon. These are the only two Herd Management Areas set aside by the government for the perpetuation of the Kiger Mustang.
Some horses (and their offspring) that are listed in other Kiger registries are not eligible for SMKR due to their origin. These horses are commonly referred to as "found", see list.
Freeze brands can be difficult to read or interpret. Therefore, when purchasing a freeze branded Kiger, ask the seller to provide BLM documentation of the horse's HMA origin. When purchasing a domestic-raised Kiger, ask to see registration papers and/or a DNA record that proves parentage. If you have any questions about a prospect, please contact the Steens Mountain Kiger Registry.
Specific bloodlines are inclined to have certain physical and behavioral characteristics. While the Kiger Mustang's history of management is rather recent, it may be difficult for the first time buyer to determine which bloodlines are the most influential. With freeze-branded Kigers you do not have the advantage of researching the pedigree. But with ranch-raised Kigers, there will be knowledge of at least one generation of Kigers who produced the horse you are considering. If available, the seller should provide you with a copy of the Kiger's registration papers and pedigree. Review any performance histories of parent horses. Ask for the opinions of experienced breeders and trainers who are familiar with the ancestors. Keep in mind that each will express their own personal preferences, but consider the opinions of the majority, and then make your own assessment.
The Ideal Kiger
There is a description of the ideal type and conformation for the Kiger horse on the SMKR's The Kiger Breed page. Breeders strive for this ideal, against which all Kigers are compared. If you are planning on raising Kigers you should buy the best quality and the closest to ideal type that you can afford.
You will find some individuals that have good, but not ideal, conformation and/or color. These individuals may, however, be acceptable for your needs if you are not in the breeding business. Of course, you should evaluate any conformational deficiencies and consider the impact they may have on your intended use of the horse.
Attitude is Everything
Looks mean very little unless they are accompanied by a good disposition. Most Kigers have remarkably good temperaments. However, there are exceptions in every breed of horse. If you have a particular Kiger in mind to purchase, ask the seller to allow you to spend some time with the horse before committing to the purchase. Use caution if the seller shows any hesitation, especially if the horse you are considering is a freezebranded, older horse. When purchasing a foal, ask about the temperament of the parents.
Kigers are normally between 14 and 15 hands with some individuals slightly over or under those heights. Size should only be a factor when considering your own height in relationship to the individual horse. The Kiger is a very durable horse for its size.
Color is a consideration in the value of a Kiger. Although Kigers can and do exhibit several color variations, horses with dun factor are the hallmark of the breed, and horses with minimal or no white markings are preferred. The palest of dun horses (claybanks) are especially desirable.
The advantage to purchasing a young Kiger is that you have personal control over its development. The advantage to purchasing an older horse is that at least a percentage of its training has already occurred, and the horse may be ready to enjoy right away. When buying a mature horse, you should determine what kind of handling and training it has had in the past. The horse may have received the very best of training. It may, however, require some real effort to overcome a history of mishandling. This is especially true of some freeze branded horses that have been improperly trained. If your prospect has an unknown history, it will benefit you to have a professional evaluate the horse before you purchase it.
If you are planning on breeding, you should be selecting only the best mares and stallions, in terms of temperament, type, color, and conformation. If you are selecting a Kiger primarily for use as a riding horse, breeding quality and breeding ability are secondary. The reliability and consistent temperament of Kiger geldings often will make up for their inability to reproduce. Kiger geldings are currently at a premium as they are excellent choices for family mounts.
Because of the rarity of the breed, thoroughly schooled Kigers are often unavailable. Many new buyers will find themselves selecting a young Kiger that needs further training. Recognize that it may take some additional education for your horse to become ready for your pursuits.
Abilities at a Specific Discipline
Natural selection has made the Kiger especially hardy and agile, and Kigers are proving their abilities in new avenues every year. Kigers are used today for both western and English styles of riding, driving, dressage, endurance, ranch work, children's mounts, and many are making a name for themselves. A Kiger with good training and handling is capable of pursuing and becoming competent at many different disciplines. However, Kigers are a product of America's wild horse population, and therefore, they have not been developed by mankind for specific athletic skills. For this reason, you must assess the individual.
Do not purchase any horse based on a seller's promise alone that it can out-perform another breed that has been developed for a particular talent. Don't assume a horse is a dressage prospect if it has never been inside a show ring, let alone never had any dressage training. Ask to see the Kiger's competitive performance record if it has been shown in competition. The younger the horse, the shorter the record will be. Do not necessarily pass on a horse if it does not have a performance record. But do try to find out what proof the seller has to support his claims about the prospect's abilities.
The Purchase Process
The Pre-Purchase Exam
It is sometimes a good idea to have a veterinarian perform a pre-purchase examination. This is usually done at the buyer's expense, and, due to conflict of interest concerns, most veterinarians do not perform pre-purchase exams if the seller is their client. Pre-purchase exams can be relatively simple or they can be extensive. However, in most cases, a basic soundness evaluation is sufficient. Suspicious or obvious defects should be noted. If you decide to investigate further, the examination should then proceed with a more in-depth analysis, which might include X-rays of the feet and/or joints. Whether these are necessary will depend on the individual horse's age and condition, your intended use, and how much maintenance you are willing to commit to in order to keep your future horse healthy and sound. Your veterinarian can help you determine what may be involved, but only you can determine whether any defects are acceptable. If you plan to use your horse for breeding, it should be examined with that in mind as well.
Purchase and Sales Agreement
Not every contract will be the same and sellers usually have a form they prefer. There is, however, some information that should be in every contract, such as the name of the owner who is selling the horse; who the seller's agent is, if any; the date of the transaction; the name, description, and SMKR registration number of the horse; the price of the horse; and how payment is to be made. Clauses about warranties, guarantees, and other stipulations as applicable to this particular horse, who will pay for the registration transfer (or who will pay for the registration if it is not already registered) should also be included. If the Kiger is not already registered, make certain it is eligible. If you have questions about the horse's eligibility contact the SMKR. Both buyer and seller should retain signed copies of the Purchase and Sales Agreement.
You may wish to insure your new Kiger for your own peace of mind, and to help with the possible expenses should disaster strike. The best time to start any insurance is at the moment of purchase.
If at any time during your search for the perfect Kiger Mustang you have any questions not answered here, please contact the SMKR. They will make every effort to answer your questions or put you in touch with someone who can.