As they matured, Adeer and Freedom developed a very special bond and became inseparable. As Freedom developed as a band stallion, loyal Adeer was his lead mare. Adeer, Freedom and their small band roam the hills at RTF’s headquarters sanctuary in Lompoc, Calif.
In 1998 & 1999, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed all wild horses and burros from the Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge in southeastern Oregon due to pressure from hunters to manage the refuge for pronghorn antelope and bighorn sheep. The roundup was conducted on horseback and 279 horses were removed from the refuge. Twenty-five horses were relocated to Return to Freedom’s American Wild Horse Sanctuary in small family and bachelor bands.
Hart Mountain is very close to Beatty’s Butte where the famous Kiger mustangs were discovered. Kigers have strong Old World Spanish Barb markings and conformation. The Hart Mountain horses are mixed with other ranch breeds including quarter horse, morgan and draft horses and are mainly shades of roan, bays and chestnuts. They are diverse and yet some possess strong Spanish phenotyping with kaleidoscope of roan colors, thick, long wavy manes and tails, curved black tipped ears and large wideset eyes. Their beauty compliments the strong bones developed after generations roaming the remote and rugged high desert.