Pine Nut Mountains Herd Management Area (HMA)
Located in the Pine Nut Mountain Range of Lyon, Douglas and Carson Counties approximately 5 miles east of Carson City, Nevada, this Herd Management Area (HMA) encompasses approximately 90,000 acres.
The topography of the HMA ranges from rolling hills (approximately 5,000 feet) to close to 9,000 feet at the tops of the tallest peaks. Temperatures can exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit at lower elevations during July and August and can drop to as low as 10 degrees during December and January. Average annual precipitation is strongly influenced by elevation and varies from six to 16 inches.
Because of the diverse topography and various habitat types, many species of wildlife exist within the HMA, including lizards, rodents, raptors (including prairie falcons and golden eagles), pronghorn antelope and mule deer.
Dominant vegetation consists of pinyon-pine, juniper, sagebrush, cheatgrass, Indian ricegrass, pine bluegrass, Sandberg bluegrass, Thurber needlegrass, and bottlebrush squirreltail.
The appropriate management level for this HMA is between 119 to 179 horses. Most coat colors can be found among the Pine Nut horses. The horses generally stand 13 to 14 hands tall (52 to 56 inches measured from the ground to the top of their withers). It is generally accepted that these horses originated from escaped ranch stock and a Shetland pony stud horse which accounts for their generally small size and stubborn nature.
Viewing Wild Horses
Due to the close proximity to Carson City and Dayton Nevada, horses can sometimes be seen from paved roads, i.e. Deer Run in Carson City and the end of Dayton Valley Road, Dayton. Four wheel drive vehicles are recommended for travel within the HMA, wild horses are sometimes seen from the lower end of Old Como Road. The first couple of miles are usually accessible with a sedan, but four wheel drive vehicles are recommended past the first several miles.