By PetMD Editorial on Dec. 15, 2009

The Java is an Indonesian horse breed that developed from the crossbreeding of several horses, including the Arab. Sometimes referred to as the Kumingan pony, the Java is a strong animal that has proven its usefulness in rural areas as well as cities.


Physical Characteristics


The Java horse is relatively small, though still larger and stronger than other Indonesian horse breeds. It has long ears, a thick mane, lively eyes, distinct withers, a well-muscled but rather short neck, and a deep chest.


The Java horse stands between 11 and 12 hands high (44-48 inches, 112-122 centimeters), and comes in a wide array of colors. It has a long, straight back, sloping shoulders, and a high-set tail that is probably a mark of Arabian influence.

Java horses also have strong, muscular legs, despite their rather light frame, and poorly-develop joints and bones. In fact, it is widely used in Indonesia to pull sados, a form of horse-drawn taxi.


Personality and Temperament


The Java horse is a calm and good-natured animal known for its obedience.



Although Java horses belong to a hardy horse type that can withstand the challenges of the tropical climate of Indonesia, it needs to be treated properly. It requires management of its food and water intake, as well as regulation for the ratio between the distance traveled and the amount of load to be carried. Proper use of the horse's strength and abilities will help prevent the major vulnerabilities of the Java horse: soreness, wounds, sickness, and exhaustion which can even lead to death.

History and Background

The Java horse originated in the Isle of Java in Indonesia over 300 years ago. Much of its development is a result of the Dutch East India Company’s importation of horses into Indonesia; the company founded its first factory during the latter part of the 16th century in Java. Arabian and Barb horses were among those brought to the island during this time. They were crossed with the local horses and the result is the Java horse breed. Today it is mainly used for draft work, riding, and pack duty.

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