Jarbidge Field Office

Wild Horses and Burros

Idaho's wild horses are descendants of domestic horses that escaped to or were turned out on the public lands prior to passage of the Horse and Burro Act in 1971.  For example, in the 1930s during the Great Depression, many farmers and ranchers released their animals onto public lands because they couldn't afford to feed them.

The BLM periodically gathers and removes wild horses to maintain each herd at its Appropriate Management Level (AML).  Excess animals are made available to the public through the National Adopt-A-Horse and Burro Program. BLM Idaho regularly holds horse adoptions across the state to find good homes for animals gathered from Idaho's rangelands.  The BLM also conducts satellite adoptions each year in Idaho to help place wild horses gathered from herd areas in other Western states. 

For more information on the Wild Horse and Burro Program and requirements for adoption, call 1-866-MUSTANGS, click on a link in the box at-right, or visit the BLM National Wild Horse and Burro website.

Saylor Creek Wild Horse Herd 

One of the Saylor Creek Horses














                       Photo courtesy of Debra Trean

Location: The Saylor Creek Herd Management Area (HMA) is located approximately 15 miles south of Glenns Ferry, ID in Owyhee County, ID and Elmore County, ID within the Jarbidge Field Office.
Acreage:    94,992 acres are managed for wild horses
Elevation:   3,000 feet to 4,000 feet
Topography and Vegetation: Topography varies from relatively flat to gently rolling top prominent buttes and ridgelines which dominate the landscape. Native vegetation for the HMA includes three major ecological range sites: Wyoming big sagebrush and Needle and threadgrass, Basin big sagebrush and Indian ricegrass, Wyoming big sagebrush and Thurber needlegrass. However these sites have been significantly altered by repeated wildfires; few of the native range sites remain intact. The majority of the HMA has been seeded to crested wheatgrass.
Wildlife:   Wildlife living in the area includes pronghorn, mule deer, and upland bird species.
Herd Size:   160-180 horses
Horse Colors:    Pintos, Sorrels, Roans, Palominos, Bays, Browns, Blacks, and Grays          

Horse Size:   14-16 hands and 900-1000 pounds 

History:   It is believed that the Herd’s foundation originated from mares captured near Challis, ID by a group of horse runners from the Wendell, ID area. According to local history, several mares were transported into the Saylor Creek Area in the early 1960s. A registered stud was then purchased and turned out with the mares. Until the passage of the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burro Act of 1971 (P.L. 92-195), the group of horse runners would capture as many colts as possible in annual roundups.

Visitor Information: The Omnibus Public Lands Act of 2009 (P.L. 111-11) states that “all recreational motorized and mechanized off-highway vehicle use shall be limited to roads and trails.” All travel is limited to established and designated roads within Owyhee County, ID. Please contact the Saylor Creek Wild Horse and Burro Specialist for additional information at the Jarbidge Field Office 208-736-2350.

Saylor Creek Wild Horses
The Saylor Creek Herd observing the camera


Gray Horse from Saylor Creek Herd









A beautiful gray horse from the herd. Photo courtesy of Debra Trean

The Saylor Creek wild horse herd
The Saylor Creek Herd in motion.