The island of Sumba, Indonesia, is a little-known paradise where horses run wild and free. The Sumbanese wild horses are an integral part of the local culture and traditions. They have lived on the island for centuries and are celebrated for their strength, grace and beauty. Unlike domestic horses, the Sumbanese horses thrive in the rugged wilderness of the island and are adept at navigating the trickiest terrains, whilst also running and swimming in the sea. The horses are small in stature, but their spirit is mighty. They sport sturdy physiques, thick manes and tails with a variety of coat colors, including black, white and brown. The horses’ unique colours stem from the distinct combinations of bloodlines bred over generations and environmental influences.
These wild Sumbanese horses hold a special place in the heart of the islanders. They are revered in the island’s ancient megalithic culture and their ability to thrive in harsh conditions is attributed to them being blessed by the supernatural powers of the island. Even today, local legends state that the horses serve as protectors of the people and are seen as symbols of bravery, freedom, and strength. While the Sumbanese horse population has dwindled in recent years, conservation efforts have helped stabilise their numbers and they are thriving once again with over 200 of these gentle beasts roaming freely on the island’s vast savannas, rolling hills, in the sea and on the secluded beaches. The horses can be spotted wandering close to the resort grounds or as part of organised horse treks through some of the island’s most picturesque landscapes. Visitors can explore the island on horseback for a unique and exciting way to experience Sumba’s wilderness or spend time swimming with them in the sea.
The wild horses of Nihi Sumba Island are incredible creatures and their beauty and resilience capture the hearts of anyone fortunate enough to witness their grace in the wild.