The Basuto Pony is a breed from South Africa improved from the bloodline of Arabian and Persian horses.
In 1653, four horses were imported to South Africa from the Dutch East India Trading Company. The exact breed of them is unknown, but may have been either Arabian or Persian. The original horse became the Cape Horse which could possibly also be the Basuto, but with the cross breeding of Arabian and other breeds the Basuto Pony remained small and the Cape grew larger.
Because of the terrain and being constantly ridden, the Basuto became a tough, surefooted breed. They became popular and many thousands were exported, only to be killed during the Boer War at the end of the nineteenth century. There is now a concentrated effort to re-establish the breed.
The Basuto is a small horse with a heavy head, long neck, straight back and shoulders. It is very muscular and has a long stride. The legs of this breed are tough with very hard hooves. They can grow up to 56.8 inches high, rarely some grow taller. The coat can be chestnut, brown, bay, gray or black with white markings.
Popular uses for the Basuto are riding, hacking, racing and polo.
Image Caption: Basuto Pony. Credit: C. G. Wrangel/Wikipedia (public domain)