- Batak -

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 neighboring islands.

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 sloping hindquarters.

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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