In this video, you can witness a unique harness driving formation known as Troika, which is a rare sight due to its association with Russian tradition. It’s one of those peculiar moments that are often associated with Russia.
Surprisingly, Troika was a practical and swift means of delivering mail during the 17th and 18th centuries. Additionally, adorned troikas were frequently utilized in religious ceremonies and weddings.
When three horses pull together at maximum velocity, they can reach a speed of up to 31 miles or 50 kilometers per hour. The middle horse maintains a typical head posture while the horses on either side turn their heads outward.
Although this position isn’t comfortable for the horses, they only hold their heads in this manner temporarily, particularly for shorter distances. When traveling long distances, all three horses carry their heads normally like the one in the middle.
Furthermore, the same trio of horses wouldn’t be used for extended journeys; instead, they’d be rested, and a fresh set of three horses would be harnessed to continue the delivery.
The Troika, a three-horse harness driving formation, has emerged as a cultural symbol of Russia, primarily due to its depiction in Nikolay Gogol’s novel “Dead Souls.” In one of the novel’s scenes, a character expresses amazement as a troika races through the vast Russian expanse.
The troika in Gogol’s novel carries Chichikov, the protagonist, who is a swindler purchasing “dead souls,” i.e., the ownership of deceased serfs whose deaths hadn’t been recorded in population censuses, with the intention of securing a loan against them.
Regarding the current situation in Russia, I want to make it clear that this article does not endorse their military actions in any manner. Instead, it’s focused on appreciating equestrian traditions from all nations, provided they treat horses ethically and avoid any form of abuse.
The equestrian culture has no connection to present-day politics, and I hope that you’ll find this article intriguing and not disrespectful.