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U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Jicarilla Wild Horse Territory

Picture of three horses on the Jicarilla Wild Horse Territory.

Curly's Story


In December 2004, 12 wild horses were removed from the Jicarilla Wild Horse Territory on the Carson National Forest in northern New Mexico. “Curly” and his band were among the 12 horses gathered and offered for local adoption on February 5, 2005. Renzo Fancellu adopted Curly, a 5 year old stud, and one of his band mares. Read more about Curly…

The Jicarilla Wild Horse Territory (WHT) is administered by the Jicarilla Ranger District, Carson National Forest.


The Jicarilla WHT is located in New Mexico approximately 40 miles east of Bloomfield. The territory consists of 76,000 acres of National Forest land on the north end of the Jicarilla Ranger District. Wild horses on the Jicarilla WHT use this territory year round.

The topography is mountainous with elevations ranging from 6000 to 8000 feet. The climate is represented by hot, dry summers and cold winters. Temperatures range from below zero in the winter to 90°+ F in the summer.

Vegetation consists of pinyon-juniper and sagebrush communities at the lower elevations. At the mid and lower elevations, sagebrush, rabbitbrush, serviceberry, snowberry, and winterfat are common along with grasses and forbs. Ponderosa Pine and mixed conifer are present in the higher elevations.

Wildlife commonly viewed on the territory include black bear, mule deer, elk, bald eagles, redtail hawks, ravens, and a host of smaller terrestrial wildlife.
Livestock grazing is permitted within the wild horse territory.

The Jicarilla Ranger District is well-roaded due to significant oil and gas development. Horses are accustom to vehicle traffic and can generally be viewed from major roads within the territory.


The history of the Jicarilla wild horses is vague, but appears to be based on cavalry stock and ranch horses from the area along with an influx of horses from the adjacent Jicarilla Apache Reservation. Genetic testing has indicated a mixed breeding background.

Herd Description

The appropriate management level for the Jicarilla herd is between 50 and 105 head of horses depending on range conditions. Colors vary from bay to paint.

For More Information

Contact Stan Dykes on the Jicarilla Ranger District at 505-632-2956.