Author Topic: The Tsar's horses  (Read 8945 times)

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Constantinople

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The Tsar's horses
« on: April 03, 2010, 10:09:47 AM »
I haven't seen a thread on this and thought this would be a good thread.
If you know anything about Tsar Nicholas' horses please contribute
It wold be good to know how many horses he had, where they were stabled, which breeds he preferred, when he was given his first horse and anything else including the saddles he prefered and his boots.

Offline Alyosha_Love

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Re: The Tsar's horses
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2010, 10:31:57 AM »
I don't know much about specific horses but one of my Russian major friends mentioned that in her class they talked about how he liked having his picture taken on horseback because it better disguised that he was only about 5' 7" tall.

Constantinople

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Re: The Tsar's horses
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2010, 10:59:07 AM »
A lot of monarchs were actually not that tall and being a good horseman was an integral part of being a monarch.

Constantinople

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Re: The Tsar's horses
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2010, 01:29:28 PM »
I just figured out what you mean
I thought you had a friend who was a major in the Russian army

Offline Greenowl

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Re: The Tsar's horses
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2010, 05:14:15 AM »
Have you seen the thread "Horse tomb of the Tsars" under the heading of "Alexander Palace"? That should provide some information about various horses. Many years ago I asked if somebody could translate the inscriptions on the tombstones, but I don't think that anyone ever obliged and I cannot read Russian.

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Offline Kalafrana

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Re: The Tsar's horses
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2010, 05:25:06 AM »
I think it's in Massie that one of Nicholas's uncles advised him that he should only review troops on horseback because he was so insignificant-looking on foot.

Yes, being an accomplished rider was an integral part of being a monarch. Ferdinand of Bulgaria became practically a laughing stock among European royalty when he appeared at a major event (I think Edward VII's coronation or funeral - it was certainly in England) with his horse on the leading rein!

Ann

Constantinople

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Re: The Tsar's horses
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2010, 05:38:21 AM »
Greenowl
I was just checking that but apart from the number of horses buried there and some of their names, there is nothing too substantial.  I did find something on another part of Alexander palace though that I will copy and paste here.

Constantinople

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Re: The Tsar's horses
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2010, 05:39:35 AM »
From Alexander Palace:


The finest stables in town were the Imperial Stables on the Moika Canal. They were originally built in 1720-3 by the German architect, Gobel, but they were rebuilt by Vasilii Stasov in 1817-23. At the center of the main facade of the building seen here, is a large church with an Ionic loggia facing the street. The building was huge and complex, it had four long facades bend to conform to its' location and it enclosed a large courtyard.
The Imperial Court required hundreds of fine animals every day to conduct its' normal business and many more on special occasions. The Tsar had his own personal horses, which were kept mostly at Tsarskoe Selo and Gatchina. Deep relationships often developed between the sovereign and his mounts. Many of these horses served their masters for years, accompanying their masters on a daily basis and also riding in parades and taking part in battles. It was hard work, but these horses were well cared for. Their stablemen came from across Russia and all over the world. They had Russian groomsmen, English trainers and German doctors to look after them. They lived in equine luxury near the Tsar's palaces and often accompanied him on his foreign travels. Their equipment and tack was the finest to be had, and it was kept in tip-top shape at all times. When the working days of these pampered animals were over they were sent to the Imperial stud farm at Tsarskoe Selo. Even in retirement they were remembered. The Tsar and his family would often visit their mounts in retirement. At the end of their days they were given funerals and buried in the horse cemetery, there graves honoring them by name, date of birth and death, and the Tsar they served.


Constantinople

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Re: The Tsar's horses
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2010, 07:33:08 AM »
One fact that İ remember is that Nicholas had his riding boots bespoke for about 100 roubles pair (50 dolllars in US currency).

Offline Sarushka

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Re: The Tsar's horses
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2010, 08:07:14 AM »
Olga's diary mentions by name the horses that she and Tatiana rode during their regimental exercises on 5 August 1913:

At 10:30 the two of us in uniforms went to the training grounds. We rode on horses: I rode on Regent, T[atiana] on Robino.
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Constantinople

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Re: The Tsar's horses
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2010, 12:58:42 PM »
Does she also mention the breeds and their physical characteritics? or how many horses she had?

Offline Sarushka

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Re: The Tsar's horses
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2010, 04:02:28 PM »
Nope. But there are a number of photos from that day showing the girls on horseback.
THE LOST CROWN: A Novel of Romanov Russia -- now in paperback!
"A dramatic, powerful narrative and a masterful grasp of life in this vanished world." ~Greg King

Constantinople

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Re: The Tsar's horses
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2010, 07:21:38 PM »
there are a lot of breeds and cross breeds