Kiger is a middle-row leaping horse, proudly representing the Kiger Mustangs native to Oregon. First discovered in eastern Oregon by the Bureau of Land Management in 1977, these mustangs are dun-colored with a mane and tail that have blonde and black hairs. DNA testing of the animals showed a close relationship to the Spanish horses brought to the Americas in the 17th century. These distinct animals were separated from the other horses and placed in groups in Steens Mountain to preserve the breed. They currently live in the Kiger Horse Management Area.
The Kiger mustangs are generally agile and intelligent. They are typically bold, but gentle and calm. There is a high demand for the adoption of Kiger Mustangs for pleasure riding and breeding stock. They have been used as models for plastic animals and films including Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, an animated children’s story about a brave wild mustang in the 19th-century American West.
Since Linda grew up in eastern Oregon and is familiar with this type of horse, they decided it would be a great addition to Albany’s Carousel. As it should be, Kiger is a wild animal and has no saddle or bridle. A pair of eagle feathers are tied to his mane. The saddle area is draped with fawnskin with flowers along the edge. The names of Jim and Linda’s grandchildren are written along the edge of the fawnskin – the girls on the outside and the boys’ names on the inside.