The Sumbawa Pony or kuda-Sumbawa, as it is commonly called in Indonesia, is a breed of ponies native to the Indonesian island of Sumbawa. It is quite similar to the Sandalwood Pony, another equine breed originating in Indonesia. The only difference between the two is that Sandalwoods tend to be slightly taller than the Sumbawas.
|Other Names||Soembawa (Dutch)|
|Temperament/Personality||Obedient, docile, active, willing|
|Physical Characteristics||Heavy head, straight profile, almond-shaped eyes; short, broad, and muscular neck; long and slightly dipped back, straight shoulder; strong and slender legs with tough hooves|
|Colors||Dun with black points and a dorsal stripe is common; solid colors are possible|
|Height (size)||Up to 12.2 hands (127 cm, 50 in)|
|Weight||About 441 lbs (200 kg)|
|Common Uses||Riding, packing, light draft work|
|Health||Sturdy and healthy; no known health concerns related to the breed|
|Popular Traits||Swiftness, agility, highly active, high endurance|
|Feeding/Diet||Mould, dust-free quality forage; small amount of concentrates|
|Country of Origin||Indonesia|
|Ancestors||Chinese and Mongolian Horses|
Since very few research studies have been conducted on horse breeds originating in Southeast Asia, the history of Sumbawa ponies remains obscured. It is believed that these ponies were brought by the Javanese ethnic group of Majapahit Empire, who ruled the Sumbawa Island during the 14th century. Many of these ponies were possessed by the sultanates of West Sumbawa and Bima. Although they are thought to have been influenced by Arabian blood, no scientific evidence has supported this claim thus far.
Professor Peter Boomgaard, a Dutch researcher, carried out the first extensive study on these equines in 2004. It was found that trading of horses in the Sumbawa Island flourished for centuries, and there was stiff competition between the breeders from Sumbawa and Sumba.