The Timor ponies came to NZ mostly from Australia. The breed originated in the Netherlands (Holland) as a result of cross breeding Norwegian Fiord, English Moor and Dutch miniature horses/ponies. They were bred for size, temperament and ability to forage and obtain maximum energy from what could be sparse and varied food sources. So the Timor is not an original generic breed.
Because of this, often in the past where a pony has not been clearly identified as a common breed it was called a Timor for want of a name.
Size typically was around the 10 - 11 hands and was an important factor when considering bring working ponies by small sailing ships to the Dutch East Indies around 17 century. They established very quickly in the area in particular Timor. Hence the name.
They were far more popular than the other horse breeds to be found in the area at that time. Sure footed, fast willing learners and cheap to run. They ate and gained nourishment from plant life that other horses refused to touch. (not unlike our own Kaimanawa horses.
One can still find Timor ponies in Timor today although many have been cross bred again with a slightly larger horse breed from India. They are used for people transport, pack ponies, cart ponies and water pump (turnstile) ponies.
Several were taken to Australia and cross bred with the large Australian Whaler which was a cross bred pack horse. These Australian pack horse Timors were quite large at about 15 -17 hands but gained popularity for their gentle ride and ability to survive the hash Australian environment.
Several pockets of Timors (later to become known as the Northern Territory and Queensland Bumbies) ran wild and established large herds which today have become a threat to the native fauna.
In the late 1800s mid 1900s several smaller Timors (10 -12 hands) were bought to NZ for use in the gold fields. Another source of introduction was as trick ponies with visiting Australian Circus's. The travelling circus would tour NZ and then as a cost saving exercise, quietly release the unwanted ponies into the bush before returning to Australia.
Several herds became apparent in the King Country and Northland where as recent as 1998 small culling expeditions took place with many ending up at the knackers yard.
Since about 1947 there has been various people (including ourselves) who have had experience with the breed and recognised their lovely nature, willingness to please, cleverness and easy maintenance characteristics making them an ideal first pony for all ages weather for riding, placing in cart or just a pet.
Recorded breeding programmes in NZ have been traced back to early 1940s. One of the stallions used in those early days was based near Foxton and lived to 47 years old! (and still serving).
It would appear that there are two main types of Timor in NZ. One type is heavy set with solid chest, broad back, shoulder and legs and round shaped hooves.
The other type is a lighter weight streamlined body with smaller oval shaped hooves. Our own stud Paulownia Park Ponies (Waikato) predominately bred this latter type which with our mares and stallion combination consistantly conformation to the original Timor type as we understand it to be. Hence the PPP Timor Type label you will see attached to many ponies being used around NZ today.