The Batak Pony is one of 8 different species of ponies or horses from Indonesia. All of these ponies are descended from the Mongolian Horse, and the Batak Pony also has infusions of Arabian horse lines. Various Arabian stallions are still used to improve and increase and improve the conformation and ability of the Batak Pony.
The Batak Pony is used as a foundation stock and an improvement stock in many of the other Indonesian breeds. They are very selectively bred, unlike some of the other breeds where less emphasis is placed on conformation and performance.
The Batak Pony once played a central part as a sacrificial animal in ancient times. This was a very important type of sacrifice since the horses were very valued in the community.
The Toba tribe in Indonesia used to practice a form of sacrifice where three Batak Ponies were allowed to wander about the village area, each representing one of a trinity of gods. At different times one or more of the horses would be sacrificed and eaten by the villagers, with another younger horse being selected to take the sacrificed horse's place. Typically these horses lived many years and sacrifices were relatively uncommon.
Although called a pony, the Batak is more than capable of carrying adult riders. The Batak is used in several different types of racing in Indonesia and is very fast due to the infusions of Arabian blood. Racing Batak Ponies has long been a favorite pastime and way to promote various stallions in the Batak line.
The Batak Pony is now commonly used as a children's pony and its gentle temperament can make it an ideal all round pony. In addition they do have a notable spirit that is ideal for competition. They can be used in pleasure riding, basic jumping, driving and even in basic dressage.
The Batak Pony is bred from several Studs and is not bred outside of these controlled breeding programs. This strict breeding control ensures that only ideally conformed stallions and mares and those that exhibit the ideal breed standards for the Batak will be used as the studs.
The coat of the Batak Pony can be almost any color, and different colors are more or less prized by various owners and breeding centers. Unlike some horse breeds there are few if any superstitions about colorations and marking with the breed.
The Batak Pony was originally found and bred on the Island of Sumatra, but they are now found throughout Indonesia. The breeds popularity was largely due to their speed and temperament, as well as their slightly larger size than the other Indonesian horse and ponies.
The Batak has a rather slender and narrow frame, much different in shape than an Oriental or European type of breed. The Batak also has a much longer back and more pronounced withers than most breeds of horses and ponies, giving it a very distinctive shape.