The Java Pony, also called the Kumingan Pony, was developed on the
Indonesian island of Java (hence their name) sometime in the 17th century. The Dutch East
India Company played a part in the development of many different Indonesian breeds through their
introduction of oriental horses. Their first factory was established on the island of Java during
the 1500s and from that time on they have imported harness and pack horses. A large part of the
Java's heritage is due to the crossing of local stock with Arabian and Barb horses that were imported.
Today's Java pony is not startlingly similar to the Arabian in conformation
but does seem to have inherited the Arabian's desert nature and remains highly resistant to heat.
It also has inherited the incredible endurance and stamina from the Arab, and in spite of its
small, weak-looking frame, can wok relentlessly all day in broiling heat. One of these ponies'
main jobs is pulling sados, which are a type of horse-drawn Indonesian taxi. They are often
piled high with both goods and people but the Java ponies pull them with little apparent effort.
They are also quite useful as pack ponies and for riding, and are used for both professions on
the island. Unlike other Indonesian breeds, the Java pony is often ridden with a wooden saddle
that has quite extraordinary stirrups. The stirrups have a piece of rope with a loop in the end
through which the rider puts his toe. The Java ponies are very willing, quiet, and they have very
They are tough, wiry, and light of frame, which may have been due
to nutrition deficient diets. The Java is not unremarkable, with a slightly attractive head with
long ears and lively, expressive eyes. Their necks are usually quite short and very muscular,
and the withers are pronounced, the shoulders reasonably sloping, and their chests deep and wide.
They tend to have long backs and a slightly sloping croup with a high tail-set, probably reminiscient
of their Arabian ancestry. The legs of this breed are poorly formed but surprisingly strong. They
have fine bones with poorly developed joints and long cannon bones, and their feet are hard and
tough. The Java can be any color and stands between 11.2 and 12.2 hands high.
Check out the following links for more info about the Java Pony!
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