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Horse Breeds
First Posted: July 30, 2009
Sep 28, 2010

Sumba and Sumbawa Ponies

Sumba and Sumbawa Ponies

3-D Flags
Country of Origin: Indonesia

The Sumba Pony and Sumbawa Pony are named after the island on which they are bred--the Sumba Island and Sumbawa Island respectively. However, the two breeds are similar enough that they may be considered one. The Sumba and Sumbawa Ponies come from the Mongolian Horses and ancient Chinese stock. A closely related breed also developed in these islands is the Sandalwood Pony which has Arabian bloodlines.

Physical Description

The ponies are quick, agile, athletic, and fast, with great endurance, and a willing temperament. They usually have primitive coloring, being dun with a dorsal stripe and black points, although they may be any color. The Sumba and Sumbawa have a heavy head, short, muscular neck, and low withers. The back is usually long, although it is still strong, and the legs are fine but tough with good hooves. Most ponies do not exceed 12.2 hh. The average height is around 12 hh.


Sumba and Sumbawa ponies are today used for pack, riding, and light draft work. They are incredibly strong, and many are ridden by men in games of lance throwing despite never reaching 13 hands high. Young boys also ride the ponies bareback in traditional dance competitions, maneuvering them in patterns as instructed. The knee of the ponies are decorated with bells, that chime in rhythm to the drumming.

There are eight pony breeds native to Indonesia, the others are the Batak Pony, Gayoe, Bali Pony, Java Pony, and Timor Pony.

For More Information:

Sumba or Sumbawa Pony
International Encyclopedia of Horse Breeds

Horse Breeds