Russian Horse Drawn Troika
The Origin and Description of a Troika
1835-45 Russian Troika Threesome, Troika, deriv. of Troe Three (collective) akin to Tri Three ~
The Troika was developed centuries ago by the Russian Empire to cover the wide area and rough roads at great speed.
A Russian carriage or sleigh pulled by three horses abreast, has become a revered symbol of Russia itself.
A Troika carriage is used in the summer and a sleigh in the winter, the sleigh is generally more popular even in the summer. The three horses used are typically Orlov Trotters, which are said to be the best troika breed, and are arranged with the center horse between the sleigh shafts and wears the duga, which is the semi-circular wooden bar that connects the main shafts over the centre horse. There are jingling bells suspended from the peak of the central horse's collar,and the outside horses guided by splinter bars attached to the sides of the sleigh. The center horse moves in an extended trot, the side horses gallop with their heads bent outward, driven with four reins...two for the center horse and one for each outer horse. Their way of going is very synchronized.
Troika's are elaborately decorated with leather tassels, chains, brushes, rosettes, and stars, among other things. The duga, (the semi-circular wooden bar) is often decorated in a light blue flower motif and tends to be very colorful, while bells traditionally hang from it and can be heard from a great distance.
The center horse of a Troika is to trot, the other two canter... the near horse leading with his off fore, and the off horse with his near fore. To make the respectively lead in this manner, the head is pulled in an outwardly inclined position by a side-line. This was best for horses, to guard themselves against the attack of wolves...
If you watch the YouTube videos you can see how very fast they travel, twelve miles per hour...and then the side horses heads pulled to the side has to be hard, especially on a turn...The Middle horse trotting while the outside horses are galloping is an amazing task, just keeping them in same rhythm and speed...You have to admire them!
My painting "Morning Attack" received 1st place
My interest in the Troika
started 1951 in San Francisco
I'm writing about this subject because I have a great interest in it, especially through my Art and love of Horses...I hope someday I will be able to experience riding in one of these Troika's. My grt.grt. grandfather Johann Meyer lived in St.Petersberg Russia, maybe it's ingrained in me...my desire for this subject.
It all started when we moved to San Francisco in 1951, we lived in a section of town that was called the "Russian District." We lived in the attic of a Victorian style house, the people that owned the house where from Russia...we were new immigrants from Germany, so they took us under their wing.
While I was playing outside and roller skating to the end of the street I fell, as I was making an attempt to get up with my bleeding knee (still have the scar) pulling out the glass embedded, an old man approached me from the house. He talked in very broken English, of course I didn't understand a single word he said, however I knew his kindness in trying to help me. As I looked up, the garage door of his house was open and what caught my eye had a living impact on me. It was a mural at the end of the garage, the mural was of a "Troika" three white magnificent horses coming at you in the snow.
Of course being horse crazy I kept this in my memory bank and as soon as I healed up and could walk without too much pain, I went back to that garage. It turned out this old man painted the mural. To this day I still wonder if it's still there... I doubt it, but none the less, I still think of it often.
Because of this experience, I've had an interest in painting images of Troika's. Right after all this happened I came across a cartoon on TV and it had Troika's in it, this very cartoon I saw once again as an adult (I think the cartoon was foreign) Years later I searched the internet without success...I would love to find it again.
The book is the complete account of the history, production, varieties, and creators of the nesting doll that has become a symbol of Russian folk culture, if not Russia itself. Contributing to the history are commissioned studies from three of Russia's leading authorities on toys and folk art. The book includes 330 color plates, 200 of which are carefully selected examples of dolls. The examples include: historical dolls from museums in Russia; factory products made throughout the Soviet period in the villages of Sergiev Posad, Polkhovsky Maidan, Semyonov, Kirov, and Nolinsk; and artwork of independent artists, photographed in several of the artists' home-studios, in private collections, and in the inventory of importer-author Rett Ertl.
Russian winter in a Troika
"Russian Winter in a Troika" was one of my very first miniature paintings of this subject, that's about twenty years ago. It was displayed with my art at our local Library. Two years after that show, I got a call from a gentleman inquiring about that miniature painting, requesting to buy it. He said, it reminded him of his great-grandfather, especially the bear fur blanket on the driver of the sleigh...interesting sale!
Spring driving Troika, white horses
"Troika Wintertime" ACEO miniature
"Troika Fall Time" ACEO miniature 2.5" x 3.5"
Painted for myself...
The three small paintings below were painted for myself...I wanted the feel of the seasons and the different colors of horses.
Fall driving Troika, black horses
YouTube video of a Troika - from Russia...
The video is real nice...this one is of an Opera being sung while driving the team, very old movie....I like Opera, but some of you won't, just mute it then.
"Did I mention this is on my bucket-list to ride in one of these?"
Xmas card designs
I love painting these scenes, especially for Xmas cards. This design is available on CafePress.
Russian Christmas card
LINK List about Troikas
- Driving (horse) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
description of driving horses and a troika
- The Three Horse Sleigh - Russian Traditions online store - Nesting Dolls, Lacquer Boxes, Icons
Russian Traditions online store - The Three Horse Sleigh - great description of the Troika.
painting by Kustodiyev
Great Russian items
These items are so beautiful...check them out! Wonderful keepsakes.
Scraper Protection: Please Help STOP webpage theft...If you see this personal story page anywhere else on the Internet as a webpage besides here...Contact me...Thank You ~ Delia Pacheco
Created on 10/30/2008
What you are is God's gift to you, what you do with yourself is your gift to God: Danish Proverb