The Coppersmith HMA lies 30 miles southwest of Cedarville, CA in Lassen County, CA and Washoe County, NV. This area is comprised of approximately 70,500 acres. This HMA has an AML of 75 wild horses with a range of 50-75 animals. This area contains horses thought to originate from Spanish stock diluted with ranch stock and US Cavalry remounts prior to and during World War I. Many of the horses in this area have characteristics common to Morgans and Quarter Horses. Predominant colors are bay, black and brown.
Like all Re-Mount areas, these horses tend to have more size than others, although there are certainly exceptions.
Penny, owned by Dave & Ginny Freeman, from Coppersmith HMA
1992 Bay Gelding
Adopted June 1996 in Ridgecrest
This is my Coppersmith HMA mustang, Brutus. We live in Portola Valley, CA which is south of San Francisco. He's is 16.2 hands and usually between 1350 and 1450 lbs depending on how much grass is in that pasture. He definitely looks draft cross.
I had heard the Coppersmith herd is rumored to have Clydesdales blood in it and he looks like he is a Clydesdale cross. Ever heard this rumor about that herd?
He will be 10 in June and is a gentle giant.
By the way, when I got Brutus, he showed up at Save the Horses at 3.5 years and had passed hands a # of times. His name was Uncle Sam when he came there and I changed it to Brutus as he's such a big brute. When shown, he is The Brute of Uncle Sam.
|CHINOOK, aka "BAY COLT"|
This Coppersmith colt was adopted and returned to BLM. BLM Volunteers Mike & Nancy Kerson gentled and halter trained him, in hopes of finding him a good "forever" home.
Just three weeks into the project, Wendee Walker brought Julie Steel to meet the Bay Colt and the rest, as they say, is history! Here is "Chinook" with new adopter, Julie, and Annie the Horseshoer, getting his first trim of all four hooves - he couldn't have done better!
"Diamond" is from Devil’s Garden. He is now part of our family and lives happily in Marion, WI.
"All Hallow's Eve" - yearling filly halter-trained by Nency Kerson and adopted by Sydney Blankenship
MOUNTAIN WILD HORSE TERRITORY
Map of Devil's Garden from
(purple line defines the wild horse territory)
The left (West) side is known for light draft-type horses. The right (East)
side is known for saddle-type horses.
Kokomo, adopted by Carrie Wren
Gulliver, adopted by Stacey Coleman
2 year old red roan filly #8385 from Devil's Garden CA adopted off the May internet auction. We picked her up at Ewing Ill on June 23 2007. She was taken to the Smethport Fair on Aug 17 2007. She and Clover from Clover Mountain NV a yearling filly bought off the internet adoption, were a big hit. So many people stopped and wanted to know how to adopt. They were so impressed with how gentle and loving they both were. They were informed of the upcoming internet adoption and the Harrisburg on site adoption. - Courtney Ahlberg Kane PA
Devils Garden Internet Adoption horse
The Devil's Garden Wild Horse Territory is located five miles north of Alturas, CA in northern Modoc County, CA. This area contains some 236,000 acres and
was managed for many years by the Modoc National Forest in cooperation with the BLM's Alturas Field Office.
As of 2016, it is being managed solely by the US Forest Service. This HMA has an AML of 325 wild horses.
This herd used to be known for large draft-cross
horses, but recent gathers have produced more light saddle-type horses.
THE SHIRE CONNECTION: My neighbor, R.F. Brown, who is from a pioneering family with long-time ties to both the Napa area as well as to Siskiyou and Modoc Counties in the far Northern part of California and Southern Oregon, tells this story of the origin of the draft influence in the Devils Garden horses: There was a man here in Napa, last name of Wheatley, who raised and bred Shire draft horses. A man from the X-S (I think that was the name) ranching company in Alturas bought a bunch of these, driving them all the way up to Alturas. They released the stallions into the range in the area now known as Devils Garden, to mate with the local wild stock, and they used the offspring as needed in their ranching operation.
POINT OF REFERENCE: This is a Shire draft horse. This is "Hank" a purebred registered Shire owned by Martha Conlin.
The Forest Service provides management lead on this territory, with the Bureau of Land Management conducting the gathering operations and placement of animals into the adoption program.
From the US Forest Service Website
(click here to read the whole thing)
"Wild horses have been present on the Devil’s Garden Plateau for more than 130 years. Many of the early horses escaped from settlers during the Indian Wars or were released when their usefulness as domestic animals ended. In later years, local ranchers turned horses out to graze and then gathered them as needed. It is believed that three different ranches, which had permitted horses on the National Forest, greatly influenced the current herd composition. Draft breeds influenced the horses in the west portion of the territory. Lighter riding breeds influenced the horses in the east portion of the territory."
Dr. Katie Blunk's Devil's Garden "Ole' Blue Eyes"
Michelle DeCamp's "Modoc" from Devil's Garden
Devils Garden Blue Velvet, adopted by Karen Floyd
Joan Baeskens' Devils Garden mare, Shawnay
Mona Maize from Devils Garden, owned by Jessica
Loretta Jones and her Devils Garden horse, Mikki. Loretta bought this horse as a trained 12-year-old, back in 1990. He was captured before the current system of neck brands came into place. His brand is "C-2." Mikki is now retired and living in Northern California. Loretta describes him as very smart, calm, and the best trail horse ever.
Devils Garden Leroy at work
Melissa Mattis and Aidan from Devils Garden
Satin from Devils Garden, adopted by Richard Oxios
Janice Owens and her two Devils Garden HMA mares, adopted in 2007
Janet Titus working with Al Owens' "Ellie" at the 2009 Napa Mustang Days
Cathy Ruprecht's Devil's Garden mare
Extreme Mustang Makeover horse assigned to trainer Angela Faulkner
Joanie, adopted by Tabitha Mitchell
Whispering Pines Mustang Sally,
adopted & trained by Dwight Bennett
|From the USFS Website
www.fs.fed.us/r5/modoc/ resources/wildhorses.shtml (this is just a hint of all the interesting info on this website - check it out to learn more about the history of the Devils Garden horses):|
Historically, wild horses have been found on the Devils Garden Plateau for more than 130 years. Many of these horses escaped from settlers during the Indian wars or were released when their usefulness as domestic animals ended.
In later years, like many areas throughout the west, local area ranchers turned horses out to graze and then gathered them, as they were needed.
Record high numbers of horses were bred for the military during World War I.
Today the Devil’s Garden Horses are one of the most popular horses in the BLM’s adoption program. Most the horses (Devil’s Garden RD) are classified as light draft and are a favorite with packers and wagon users as well as those wanting a sturdy, calm-tempered saddle horse.
The finer boned horses (Doublehead RD) are popular for both Endurance riders and those wanting good working stock.
Devil's Garden Research Natural Area (RNA)
Located west of Goose Lake in the Devil's Garden Ranger District, this RNA was established in February 1933. At 5,000 feet elevation, the Devil's Garden RNA consists of 800 acres of open stands of Western Juniper -with sagebrush, bitterbrush, rabbitbrush, bunchgrasses, and annuals on an expansive plateau littered with volcanic rock. The RNA is not fenced, but signs are posted along the perimeter. Basalt flows occurring in north to northwest block-faults are traceable by the more dense growth of juniper in that area. Frost mounds 40 to l00 feet in diameter are common in the RNA; this is unusual since frost mounds normally occur at higher elevations or farther north. (from
The Modoc NF's Devils Garden Plateau Wild Horse Territory is comprised of roughly 236,000 acres. Included are portions of 10 grazing allotments on the Doublehead and Devils Garden Ranger Districts. A population objective of 305 horses was established in the 1980 Herd Management Plan and the 1991 Modoc Forest Plan.
Devils Garden is aptly named. While the terrain is relatively flat, horses range through a rough and rocky lava plateau. Stock water is often limited. Juniper encroachment has steadily decreased the amount of forage available for use, and soils are typically characterized with a hardpan sub straight restricting water percolation, resulting in low forage production potential. During the early winter before ground freezes up and during spring thaw there is high potential for soil compaction.
Devils Garden horses in the wild (USFS photos)
HERD MANAGEMENT AREA
The Fox Hog HMA
(CA-263) is located approximately 45 miles southeast of Cedarville, CA in Washoe County, NV. It borders two very colorful Nevada herds - Granite Range and Calico Mountains, on its eastern side. Like those HMA's, Fox Hog produces a great deal of color beyond the usual bays, browns, reds, and blacks. "Metallic" looking golden buckskins are somewhat unique to this area, for reasons not currently known.
The area is comprised of 119,000 acres. An AML 220 wild horses (with a range of 120 to 220) horses has been established for this area through the evaluation of monitoring data. This area contains horses from a variety of breeds with some displaying draft horse characteristics.
Fox Hog Sammy, owned by Tania Bennett
15.3 hh and very gentle
Fox Hog Windy, adopted by Andi Brinson
This is "Liberty Roo" my Mustang. She is a 1998 Mare out of Fox Hog HMA. - Sheryl Brandmeyer
Randy Stark & Fox Hog Jake
Reka, adopted by Ginny Freeman
Buster, adopted by Tania Bennett
Fox Hog Tule adopted by Erica Williamson
Fox Hog stud horse
Hobo from Fox Hog
Fox Hog Internet Adoption horse
BLM wrangler, Grant Locke's large 16.1 hand Mustang is from Fox Hog HMA.
-photo by Jeff Fontana
Fox Hog mare
Fox Hog Redrock, at 2 years over 15 hands tall. Redrock is being trained by BLM volunteer Becky, for re-adoption
Dixie LaFountaine's mare for the 2008 Western States Mustang Challenge
Zapata from Fox Hog adopted by Judi Moore
Zapata at 2 years old
Zapata in saddle training
Fox Hog (and perhaps others) at Litchfield Corrals in October 2012
November, 2011 Fox Hog Gather - Photos by Amy Dumas:
|Mares at 2011 Fox Hog gather, November, 2011|
|Studs at 2011 Fox Hog gather:|| |
Rocky from Ft. Sage
adopted by Terry Garcia
FORT SAGE HERD MANAGEMENT AREA (CA-241)
The Fort Sage HMA is located approximately 40 miles southeast of Susanville, CA just east of the town of Doyle, CA. This herd area covers approximately 15,000 acres and is managed in cooperation with the BLM's Carson City, Nevada District. The appropriate management level (AML) is estimated to be approximately 65 head.
HIGH ROCK HERD MANAGEMENT AREA (CA-264)
Photo: Rhonda Zinkel
Click here for Nevada BLM'S "MUSTANG COUNTRY" booklet - chock full of info for mustang buffs, including wild horse history, visitor tips and camping info for the Northwestern HMA's, including this one and several others that are located in Nevada but administered by California. It takes a while to download but is well worth the wait!
Ruger adopted by Brittany McConnell
The High Rock HMA (CA-264) consists of approximately 115,000 acres and is located about 45 miles north of Gerlach, NV and 45 miles southeast of Cedarville, CA. This area is located entirely within Washoe County, NV, and it adjoins Calico Mountains HMA, which is administered by the Winnemucca, NV district..
High Rock borders Fox Hog HMA and Calico Mountains HMA, on the South. On the North and East, it shares borders with Nut Mountain HMA, Wall Canyon HMA, and Black Rock West HMA. High Rock HMA is managed as 2 separate home ranges, with an AML of 40 (range of 30-40) animals established for the East of Canyon Home Range and an AML of 80 (range of 48-80) head established for the Little High Rock Home Range.
Some of the horses in this area exhibit Spanish mustang characteristics.
Brittany McConnell had her High Rock horse
DNA-tested and his top three breed resemblances are:
1. Non-Arabian Oriental
2. Heavy Draft - Belgian
3. North American - Morgan/Saddlebred
Tika, adopted by Tori Seavey
Tika, adopted by Tori Seavey
"Penny" adopted by RF Brown, Napa, CA,
Gentled by Michael & Nancy Kerson
Sold to Midori Morgan, who became a Mustang convert and a TIP Trainer!
Blue (above), and Shasta (below) both High Rock youngsters halter-trained by BLM volunteer Becky Delaney for adoptions in 2007. Blue is re-named "Lumos" and is owned by Tara Flewelling, who competes in trail trials with him.
Romeo from High Rock HMA - adopted and owned by Linda Thomas
The new adopter for Shasta (at right with trainer Becky Delaney)
McGavin Peak (USFS) near McDoel, CA
The McGavin Peak Wild Horse Territory (WHT)
J. Edelen writes: Here is one of my 3 mustangs. He was captured in the McGavin Peak HMA near Macdoel, CA back in 2003. He was foaled in 2002. He is a great horse that we ride in the mountains and I pony my other mustang little sioux behind him on pack trips. He is very stable and sure footed and always thinks things through before acting. He stands around 15 hands now but has room to grow a little still.
McGavin Peaks photos of the last McGavin Peaks gather, by Roxanne Talltree:
"Black Filly" halter-trained by Nancy Kerson originally as a TIP
project; Adopted by Nancy & Mike Kerson in 2014.
The McGavin Peak Wild Horse Territory was located in California about 7 miles east of Dorris. Both the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management lands are scattered tracts, which cannot support a sustainable herd, so the herd was zeroed out.
Large herds were found near McGavin Peak since at least the early 1900’s. The source of the original horses in this area is unknown. However, many horses escaped or were released by ranchers, miners, and soldiers, which mixed with the existing herds. Indications are that in the 1930’s some American Standardbreds mixed with the existing herd.
Periodic round-ups occurred in the early history of this herd. Large round-ups occurred in the 1930’s and 1940’s. The “good” horses were kept for domestic stock, and the “poor” horses were sold for pet food. This herd was also subject to much recreational horse chasing. The horses would be run through fences, and in the process a few horses would be killed or crippled. When the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act was passed in 1971, protecting the horses from harassment, estimated herd numbers in the McGavin Peak territory were around 30 horses. Bays and browns were the dominant colors.
(taken from USFS website)
At this point, the herd has been zeroed out, due to
too much intermixing with private land.
For More Information
Contact the Goosenest Ranger District at 530-398-4391.
www.fs.fed.us/r5/modoc/ resources/wildhorses.shtml )
MASSACRE LAKES HERD MANAGEMENT AREA (CA-268)
The Massacre Lakes HMA lies in northern Washoe County, Nevada. It is about 30 miles east of Cedarville, CA, and shares its eastern border with Bitner HMA. The area is 40,700 acres in size. An AML for this herd has not been established but is estimated to be 20 head. The horses in this area likely originated from historical ranching stock and are mostly sorrel or bays.
Massacre Lakes landscape, photo by Rhonda Zinkel
Large herds were found near Three Sisters since at least the early 1900’s. The source of the original horses in this area is unknown. However, many horses escaped or were released by ranchers, miners, and soldiers, which mixed with existing herds. Indications are that in about 1950 a thoroughbred stud was released into the herd.
Over the years this and other herds were used to replenish local ranch stock and to provide supplemental income for the local ranchers. During World War I, large numbers of horses from the Three Sisters area were rounded up and sold to the Army.
Though a small, isolated herd, the Three Sisters horses are valued by adopters for their sturdy bone structure and gentle temperaments.
The Three Sisters WHT is managed for an appropriate management level of 15 horses.
Sisters horses adopted by Ray Brown
Mike Kerson makes friends with a recently gathered wild mare from Sisters
WHT at Litchfield Corrals.
Learning about the specific
herd management area where one's own horse or burro is from can enrich your
appreciation for your adopted animal. It is in that spirit that these pages
Do understand, however, that HMAs (Herd Management Areas) are
not breeds. A horse or burro from one HMA has far more in common with all
others from all other HMAs than it has differences. Although some herds are
managed more intensively than others for certain traits, there is still variation in size, body type.
Example: Many people have a certain size in mind when they adopt. Certain
herds are known for having a high incidence of certain size parameters
(examples: Pine Nut Mtns and Swasey for smaller pony-type and Twin Peaks and
Owyhee for larger-than-average horses) but even within those herds there
will be exceptions. And large and small horses can occur in just about any
HMA. So when adopting, look at the individual, not just the "brand name" of
If you wish to know more about
your horse or burro's ancestry, please also read the