Herd Management Areas
Take along a pair of binoculars for viewing. Be patient! You could get the opportunity of a lifetime to see bands of wild horses in their natural environment.
A few suggestions before you venture out – Enjoy viewing the horse, but do not attempt to chase them. Motorized travel is restricted to open roads. Access roads are recommended for high clearance vehicles and during dry weather only. Remember, “pack it in, pack it out” is the standard rule to follow. Camp at least 200 feet from a water source. Drinking water, waste or disposal facilities will not be available.
Click on the links below for specific information about each herd and management area. Have a great time exploring and discovering America’s Living Legends!
This HMA is located fifteen miles southwest of Burns on the south side of Highway 20/395. The herd area runs south and southeast from the highway towards Harney Lake along the Double O Road. Horses in this area generally show colors including palomino, buckskin, red dun, sorrel, and bay, and grow to an average size of 15-16 hands, 1,000-1,200 pounds. The Palomino herd, which ranges in size from approximately 32 to 64 horses, enjoys native grasses in sagebrush and juniper vegetation zones as well as bluebunch wheat grass and Idaho Fescue.
The Palomino Buttes HMA encompasses over 71,000 acres of flat to gently rolling hills and canyons covered with Big sagebrush, low sagebrush and juniper. There are a number of large playas, some with water holes.
This HMA is located eleven miles east and south of Diamond, Oregon and contains Kiger horses of various colors including dun, buckskin, grulla, bay, brown, and red dun. The herd size ranges from 51 to 82 horses, with animal sizes ranging from 14-15 hands high and 900-1,000 pounds. The Kiger horses rely on native bunchgrasses within sagebrush and juniper cover. Their herd area covers 27,000 acres of rugged, high desert country with extremely rocky surfaces divided by deep canyons, rim rocks and plateaus. Water sources include perennial streams, natural ponds and springs. more>>
The northern boundary of this HMA is twenty miles southwest of Burns, west of Highway 205, and extends to south and east to encompass 474,000 acres of gently rolling sage covered hills and rim rocks with small valleys in between. This area is home to 111 to 202 horses, ranging in size from 14.2-15.2 hands high and 1,000-1,200 pounds, and approximately 20 burros. This is the only HMA in the Burns District where burros are present and has the widest variety of horse colors including appaloosa, blue and red roan, palomino, buckskin, sorrel, brown, bay and pinto. The burros may be seen in gray or brown.
Animals in the Warm Springs area survive on a diet of bluebunch wheat grass and Idaho Fescue within the sagebrush vegetation zone.
This HMA is located seventy miles south of Burns along Highway 205 and the southern portion of the Steens Mountain Loop Road (on the west side of Steens Mountain). South Steens horses are typically the most visible, even though their "area" includes over 127,000 acres of rugged, high desert country. Pinto, sorrel, bay, palomino, brown, black, red roan, and dun colors may be seen on the 159-304 horses who occupy this territory. They range in size from 14.2-16 hands high, 900-1,000 pounds and rely on a diet of native bunchgrasses within sagebrush and juniper cover. Perennial streams, natural ponds and springs are common water sources.
This HMA is located ninety miles southeast of Burns along Highway 78 and East Steens Road near the Sheepshead Mountains. The herd area covers 62,000 acres of rugged, high desert country and is home to 61-102 horses. Sizes range from 14-16 hands high and 950-1,150 pounds and colors vary from black and brown to dun, bay and sorrel. Native bunchgrasses within big sagebrush cover provide food for the herd while perennial streams, natural ponds, springs and large playa lakes provide water.
This HMA is located eight miles southeast of Burns and encompasses over 350,000 acres northeast of Fields, Oregon, all west of the East Steens Road. Bay, black, sorrel, brown, palomino, and buckskin horses range here and feed on bluebunch wheatgrass, Sandberg blue grass and other native grasses. Between 73 and 140 animals make this area home, each ranging in size from 14.2-15.2 hands high and 950-1,150 pounds. Much of the area terrain is flat to gently rolling hills covered by salt desert vegetation, playas, or dunes. The southernmost portion of the HMA contains steep hills and rim rock with small valleys in between.
This HMA is located eleven miles east and south of Diamond, Oregon on the north side of Steens Mountain. The herd size ranges from 33 to 56 horses of varying colors such as dun, buckskin, grulla, bay and brown. Horses range from 14-15 hands high and 900-1,000 pounds and rely on native bunchgrasses within sagebrush and juniper cover for their diet. The herd area covers 28,000 acres of rugged, high desert country with extremely rocky surfaces divided by deep canyons, rim rocks and plateaus. Water sources include perennial streams, natural ponds and springs.
This HMA is located thirty miles east of Burns. The area encompasses 78,000 acres east of the Crane-Buchanan road, north of Crane, Oregon, and almost entirely west of the Warm Springs Road (a portion of the Warm Springs Reservoir, which is east of the Warm Springs Road, is also in the HMA). Approximately 40-80 horses range in this area, ranging from 14-16 hands high and 1,000-1,200 pounds. Colors may vary from black or sorrel to bay or roan. Native bunchgrasses within sagebrush and juniper cover, as well as bluebunch wheatgrass, Idaho Fescue, Thurber’s needlegrass, basin wildrye and bottlebrush squirrel tail, provide a healthy diet for Warm Springs horses. The herd area terrain consists of moderate to steep rocky slopes and has several perennial streams and springs. Winters here are typically long and cold.