Tourist Report The Gili Island Horses Bali

One of the most abused animals in tourism is the horse, along with other ‘Beasts of Burden’, such as donkeys and camels. Common sense should tell you if an animal is up to the job of carrying you around. Many thanks for this report from Laura:


I’ve recently returned from Indonesia and was appalled at the lack of consideration of horses and ponies on the Gili Islands, just off of Bali.

Many tourists use horse and carriage to get around these small islands since motorised transport is illegal. It is estimated that over 800 hundred horses and ponies are suffering on a daily basis, because their owners do not look after them properly.

Basic requirements are not provided for horses. They are forced to work 7 days a week, running in 40 degree heat without any rest, water is never provided throughout the day and when it is provided in the evening they are given salty sea water which can have very damaging consequences on the horses’ kidneys.


Veterinary treatment is not provided and instead old traditional methods are used which cause more damage than good. It is purely down to selfishness that these horses are suffering, because a recent survey found that the horses owners make thousands of pounds during peak season and there is no excuse for them not to provide these requirements.

I was surprised how many tourists used horse and carriages as it was clearly evident from looking at the conditions of the horses that they were all in a bad way and were not fit to work. If tourists stopped using them then the demand would go down and fewer horses would be suffering. Jakarta Animal Aid are working with the Gili Carriage Horse Support Network to improve conditions, but tourists are the biggest driving force behind changing it for the better.

A petition has been set up to help the horses – click here.

Jakarta Animal Aid rescue the animals, offer information and have volunteering opportunities for tourists – see more here.

Read more about Beasts of Burden on the main RIGHT-tourism website.