Indonesian Manipur and Burma Pony Breeds | Detailed Comparison and Characteristics

This article will comprise some of the core characteristics and differences between the Indonesian equines, Manipur horses, and Burma pony breeds.

Below you’ll find tables summarizing some core features of each breed for an easier understanding of these marvelous ponies.

We prepared the info on the origin of the pony, the average height of the pony, the color, and their character.

It is important to note how well your pony interacts with humans and other animals, what is their physique like, physical looks, and strengths.

On top of that, we have focused on the features like muscle and bone structure to give you a better understanding of how much weight these pony breeds can carry.

Table of Contents (Horspedia)

Indonesian pony breeds | Characteristics

A variety of native pony breeds are to be found in the islands of Indonesia. All of them are small, and many are of primitive type, though there are a few who have been improved with Arab blood.

They share the distinction of being able to work in the tropical heat. They are important to the economy of the country and are widely used in agriculture as well as being one of the principal means of transport.

Timor | an Indonesian pony breed | Origin Characteristics and Use

These, the smallest of the Indonesian ponies, come from the island of Timor, the most southerly of the Indonesian islands and the nearest to the Australian mainland.

Timor Pony Origins

They have been exported to Australia and New Zealand, where they are much admired for their abundant common sense (several horse authorities have been impressed enough to call it wisdom). for their willingness and their endurance.

Characteristics and Use of Timor Ponies

They stand about 11hh, and are usually dark in color (though one famous expert, R. S. Summerhays, refers to “chocolate body, cream spots, and cream mane and tail suggesting the Appaloosa type”), are finely-built, and in good specimens display a decent depth of girth and a strong back and hindquarters.

Timor Pony Breed
Timor Pony Breed

They are sure-footed, exceptionally agile, and despite their smallness are strong enough to work on cattle round-ups, carrying full-grown men. Apart from stock work, they are widely used in harnesses and are popular as children’s riding ponies.

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Java Pony Breed | Characteristics and Use

A slightly-built little animal, ugly enough to make a horseman wince, it works all day in the tropic sun pulling saddos, the two-wheeled traps commonly in use as a taxi service.

Java Pony Breed
Java Pony Breed

Often it pulls a full load, always willingly, and it is remarkable for its strength and apparent timelessness. It stands around 12.2hh, comes in most colors, and originates from Java.

Bali pony breed | Characteristics and Uses

A primitive breed, commonly showing the dun, dark points, and dorsal stripe, and occasionally the upright mane of the primeval pony.

Bali pony breed stands 12-13.1 hh and is a strong, economical worker often used as a pack pony.

Gayoe Pony Breed | Heavy Built Pony

The Gayoe pony, from the north end of Sumatra, is heavier-built than the Batak and lacks its fire and speed.

Batak (Deli) Pony Breed | Origin and Characteristics

Batak Pony Origin

These Sumatran ponies have been bred selectively in proper studs, and as a result, have a touch of elegance above the other island breeds.

They are still common in type; but imported Arab stallions crossed with chosen local mares, some of them imported from other islands. have helped enormously to improve the Batak pony.

Batak Pony Characteristics

It is now a relatively handsome, spirited breed, sweet to handle and cheap to keep. There are no special colors for it-it seems to breed in most shades – and it stands 12-13hh.

Batak Pony Breed
Batak Pony Breed

The Indonesian government, appreciating the importance of good ponies to the national economy, has encouraged selective breeding on Sumatra and is now exporting Bataks to other Indonesian islands to improve the native types.

Sumba Pony Breed | Characteristics and Common Uses


A primitive breed from the island of Sumba, very closely related to the Sumbawa. It is usually dun, with the dark points and dorsal stripe common in ancient breeds.

It stands at about 12.2hh and is tough, willing, and intelligent.

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Common Uses for Sumba Pony Breed

Sumba ponies are used in dancing competitions. Ridden bareback and reinless by young boys, controlled by the father’s lunge rein on a halter, they dance to tom-tom rhythms.

Sumba pony breed
Sumba Pony Breed

Bells are attached to their knees. In the intensity of the dance, their eyes are said to get bigger and glow.

Dancing ponies are judged on elegance and lightness; barebacked ponies with heavy heads and stringy tails respond with laid-back ears to the sound of a drum. They are generally ridden in bitless bridles.

Sumbawa Pony Breed

The agile pony of Sumbawa much resembles the Sumba.

Sandalwood Pony Breed | Characteristics and Origin 

Origin of Sandalwood Pony Breed

This pony, also from the islands of Sumba and Sumbawa, is of a finer type than most of the national breeds. It is named for Sumba’s joint-biggest export (the other one is ponied).

Common uses for Sandalwood Pony Breed

It is used in bareback racing. It is a fast, fine-coated pony that rarely sweats. It has a small, fine head, good eye, good, deep chest, hard legs, and is noted for its burnished coat. It stands 12.1-13.1 hh, and its coloring is various.

Manipur Pony Breed Characteristics

Below you’ll find a table of some of the most common characteristics ad traits of the Manipur pony breed.

OriginAssam – Manipur.
PhysiqueSturdy, sure-footed pony, thought from its appearance to have both Asiatic Wild Horse and Arab ancestors. Alert head, gaily carried; deep chest and well-sprung ribs; clean, hard legs; high-set tail.
Manipur Pony Characteristics

More about the Manipur.

History of Manipur Breed

Polo is a game that has been popular in Asia for almost 2,000 years, though with the decline of the Moghul empire it lost its vogue in India and would have died out had it not been for continued enthusiasm in the hill states of the Himalayas and Assam.

Common Use of Manipur Ponies

The Western fondness for the game came about through its discovery by English planters who worked in Assam in the 1850s and who took to the local game with relish.

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The ponies they rode were Manipuris; and thus Manipur ponies, in Western eyes, are the original polo ponies. They are still used for the game in their homeland, though in Europe and America they have been succeeded by much bigger, faster animals.

Manipur Pony Breed
Manipur Pony Breed

There are records of polo having been locally introduced by the King of Manipur in the 7th century when the game was played on ponies bred in his state.

Manipur ponies are claimed as the mounts of the all-conquering State cavalry which once terrorized northern Burma, though it is open to doubt whether these ponies actually were Manipuris or were simply ponies that came from Manipur.

Writing in 1896 about the successes of the Manipuri cavalry, Major-General Sir James Johnstone says, “Manipur in olden days possessed a famous breed of ponies, larger and better bred than the so-called Burmese ponies that came from the Shan States.

On these ponies were mounted the formidable cavalry that in the last century made Manipur feared throughout Upper Burma…” which places a big question mark above the historical identities of both these breeds since today’s Manipuri is smaller than the modern Burma pony.

Breeding Manipur Ponies

Ponies have been bred in Manipur since time out of mind, though the breed must have undergone the gradual changes and refinements (or degeneracies) common to native breeds all over the world.

Burma (Shan) Pony Breed

Below you’ll find a table of some of the most common characteristics ad traits of the Burma (Shan) Pony Breed.

HeightAbout 13hh.
PhysiqueA strong, active, unimpressive-looking pony is similar to the smaller Manipuri.
Burman (Shan) Characteristics.

More about The Burma (Shan) Pony

The Burma pony, also known as the Shan, is bred mainly by the hill tribes in the Shan States of East Burma.

Burma Pony Breed
Burma Pony Breed

Although neither fast nor quickly-responsive it was used by British officers stationed in Burma as a polo pony, surely a case of making desperate use of available material.