ANTELOPE VALLEY HERD MANAGEMENT AREA
The Antelope Valley Herd Management Area (HMA) is located approximately 75 miles south of Wells, Nevada. The area consists of 463,540 acres. It is 46 miles wide at its widest point and 26 miles long. The highest point is High Peak Mountain at 9,258 feet in elevation and the lowest points are found in the valley bottoms and ranges around 5,000 feet. Average precipitation is
approximately 7 inches on the valley bottoms and from 14 to 20 inches in the highest peaks. Most of the rainfall occurs during the winter months when the plants are dormant, which creates the cold-temperate desert of which Antelope Valley HMA is a part.
Temperatures can be extreme. They range from a high of about 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer months to a low of 15 degrees below zero in the winter. Wild horses must share their habitat with domestic livestock and wildlife species including elk, mule deer and pronghorn antelope.
The vegetation consists of mainly sagebrush with an understory of grasses on the valley bottoms. The upland vegetation contains a variety of shrubs such as snowberry, serviceberry, bitterbrush and mountain big sage. On the higher elevation mountain slopes coniferous trees, such as white fir and limber pine, can be found.
The predominate colors among the Antelope Valley horses are the solid colors such as bays, sorrels, dark brown and black. Other colors noted were chestnut, dun, palomino, roan, grulla and gray. All horses gathered from this HMA appear to be in good condition with no deformities or health problems detected. The Antelope Valley horses average in size from 14.5 to 15 hands (57-68 inches) in height.
The Antelope Valley HMA had several ranchers claiming domestic horses in the 1970s. Ranchers claimed and gathered horses using water traps and later employing helicopters. The horses that eluded capture joined the wild horses already occupying the area which added Quarter horse and Standard bred bloodlines.