The Batak, an Indonesian
breed of pony, originates from Central Sumatra and is probably descended
from ancient stock. The Batak is similar to other Indonesian breeds
such as the Sandalwood and
Bali, and probably has
Mongolian and Arabian blood in its ancestry.
It has, for many years, been regularly improved by infusions of
Arab blood. The Batak is highly regarded among the Indonesian people
and is selectively bred and used to upgrade stock from some of the
The Batak, for a long time
now, has been a central part of life for the local people and at
one time was commonly used for sacrificial ceremonies to the gods.
Today's Batak pony is popular for riding, having some class and
spirit. It clearly owes a debt to the Arab, and exhibits fewer
Mongolian features than a number of
the other Indonesian breeds. It has and excellent temperament and
is docile and quiet, thus making it quite suitable for children.
It can also be quite lively and energetic on request, and are strong
and sturdy, but often slender in frame.
They are quite attractive
ponies of reasonable conformation and their shortcoming and faults
are probably largely due to the difficult and poor environment in
which they have been raised. They are second only to the
Sandalwood among the Indonesian breeds
in terms of quality, conformation, and quality.
The Batak is an obliging
pony, economical to feed, and a very easy keeper. They are popular
among the local people because they are capable of an admirable
turn of speed and are commonly used for local races. The other pony
breed found in Central Sumatra is the Gayoe. This pony is probably
a strain of the Batak and although the two have similarities, the
Gayoe is a more stocky pony with less spirit and quality.
In appearance the Batak
has a fine head with either a straight or slightly convex profile.
Often their necks are short, thin, and weak, and run into fairly
prominent withers for a pony breed. They are lightly built, slender,
with a narrow chest and frame, and often exhibit a long back with
The tail is usually set
and carried high, which gives the Batak pony an attractive look.
Conformation of the legs is not often very good, and are often long
with poor muscle development and long, fine cannon bones. The hooves
are usually pretty hard, and the breed can be any color. The Batak
can stand up to 13 hands high.
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