Horse of the ancient Slavs.
Slavs used horses dervneyshih times. This is evidenced by archaeological finds and written sources as ancient and foreign origin. Came to us and painted miniatures adorning ancient chronicles, and wall murals in numerous churches built after the adoption of Christianity in Russia.
Among these figures there were also images of horses and riding business. Horses in the territory occupied by ancient Slavic tribes met even in the wild. They were undersized, forest type, and Russian princes often teshilis hunting them.
Particularly proud of luck in the hunt for the wild horses Vladimir Monomakh (1053 — 1125), then the feudal prince of Chernigov, "And that's what did in Chernigov — wrote the prince, thinking young — wild horses with their hands, I was tying in the forests — ten and twenty live horses, and also rode across the plain, catching the hands of the same wild horses … "
In the era preceding the formation of a single ancient state, horse meat was used as food. Being pagan Slavs themselves gladly ate horse meat and offered her his many gods. And it is not surprising that one of the most militant of the Russian princes, the son of Igor and Olga Sviatoslav (945 -972), going camping, not carrying with him a burdensome baggage. About it with reverence and awe reported its Byzantine basileus scouts.
Confusing stern pagan prince halts with his warriors to make a fire … "narezhut horse — said one of the documents of the time — slices bake it on the coals. After eating, sleeping rolls onto horse Saddle seat — under his head. Not lead to a stud, not drag boilers for cooking, you can not take away the saddle — that they unnecessarily. Who loves bliss — to Svyatoslav do not ask, do not take it. "
Svyatoslav feared enemies, his famous cry: "I'm going to you!" After the death of Prince Svyatoslav-knight, with his son Vladimir, Russia adopted Christianity. Since Knin stopped eating.
As draft animals used for plowing, the horse of the ancient Slavs known to the VI. BC., and it was just working horses, which were taken on luggage and plowed land farmers. These horses belonged to the prince and is a good bet during the many wars fought among themselves princes. This fact is known from the biography of Monomakh, when he tried to unite with each other princes against the eternal enemy of Russia — Polovtzy proposed to increase the number of voychka by farmers planted on working horses. But his proposal was rejected, because the rest of the princes, dislikes energetic and intelligent Monomakh, dissuaded by the fact that the spring tear worthless peasants from the field. Nevertheless, one can assume that the saying, established the Slavic horses fit "in the cart, and under the governor," it appeared at that time.
Ancient chronicles record the number of horses from different princes. For example, in the Ipatiev Chronicle for 1146 there is a record of the herd, owned by the family of Svyatoslav, there were "3000 and 1000 mares herd of horses." And I think that was not the whole horse stock princes of this family.
From the oldest of the Laws of the Eastern Slavs "Russian Truth" historians have gathered information and that contained in the princely estates and saddle horses, which went princes and their retinues, and the horses, which plowed the peasants. For the princely horse meet the head. Were of great importance and the people who care for horses — stables and grooms. But they fell great! When Dmitry Donskoy (1350 — 1389) has been led by a proyadok "… when the groom the horse is watching, Prince is not a horse groom, — punish that groom in order to continue holil when the horse is not nurtured — not to move him cart, entangled in the ruts, and not flog a horse and groom, so that the horse nurtured. "
In addition to working on horses as draft animals, they were used for riding. Byzantine sources repeatedly mention Slavic mounted warrior who not once prtivostoyali "invincible" katkfraktariyam Byzantium. Numerous finds bits, clay models of saddles and other items of harness say that horse ancient Slavs gradually gaining ground. And it does not improve in the horse breeding in the manufacture of the harness, and the art of riding in the young state, if it potstoyanno and brutally exposed to debilitating attacks of nomads — the Khazars, Pechenegs, Kipchaks, who were born, lived and died on a horse. Be replenished Slavic riders and nomads. All the Russian princes were put on the horses back in the age of three, from that moment began their training PATH case and horsemanship. It can be argued that all of the Russian princes were excellent horsemen. Again we call upon witnesses to Vladimir Monomakh, who left his sons "Testament" — an invaluable gift to us from the past. Monomakh remembers that he had more than 100 times in one fell swoop to make super-fast horse transitions from Chernigov to Kiev with underwater (spare) horses "from matins to vespers" — in one day. He tells his sons, how difficult was given to him the art of riding, "And the horse often fell, his head twice and broke his arms and legs crippled in her youth, does not value his own life, not sparing of her head." Therefore, the princes and their retinues gave much time to exercise Dzhigits, competed in the ability to easily jump into the saddle, a horse, etc. "The prince's retainers also rode a horse's mane, a galloping horse Imali and smaller — bows bent." And not only bent, but fired them at full gallop into the moving and stationary target (for this pit planted unogo lad and he put out there the shield tied to a stick.)
Since XI century the feudal nobility of great popularity began to use flat race. Archaeologists suggest that in Kiev on Starokyivska Hill (where were Knyazhev Palaces), was a stable yard with a sand circle, that is, something like a small race track, which, apparently, had the horses.
Archaeological analysis of harness horses, which galloped Slavic riders, leading to interesting conclusions. After all, for a good archaeologist horse harness, found during excavations, not only serves as a reference to the exact time, but he (like Pushkin's Don Giovanni, which cost "only see a narrow heel, and in an instant he Doris else") need only to look at the shape of a saddle, stirrups and Spurs — and he can paint a picture of life at the time to which they belonged.
Often found during excavations at the bit appeared in Russia in the Russian state through contact with Western European countries. These bits are designed to control the restive horses. And soon there bit, if I may say so, Slavic, so-called "segmented" — and it is said that the Eastern Slavs already grown horses are more or less similar in size and conformation, which produced only a few species fished. That is, there were horses of local production and training. Indeed, the process of specialization types of horses from this time is quite intensive: for man-at-arms, weighing with weapons and protective armor up to 120 kg, and needed a more powerful horse (remember the Ice and the victory of the Russian prince Alexander Nevsky over the Teutonic Knights heavily) but to deal with the nomads needed contrast, lightweight horse, fast and durable. Thus it can be argued that the Russian riders preconditions for the formation of the cavalry as the main type of troops. By this time, the influence of the Slavic East riders driving style weakens. This tells us the evolution of the stirrups, which in turn is linked to changes in saddling and landing riders. Archaeologist, an expert harness, explains that the support role of the stirrup at this time increases. While in the initial period of the establishment of the Ancient Cavalry rider sitting in a low saddle and stirrups used a round, then eventually became the saddle above and stirrups, due to frequent clashes with the troops, holding spears, took a big load. Their footrest to support greater sustainability expands and straightens. In addition, the stirrups are patterned.
Before the XI century Kiev horsemen did not use spurs, relying while mounted as their prairie neighbors to whip and shank. But when the horse was a mass kind of troops and the Russian state had to fight with the West European knights proihodit mass adoption spurs, or, as they were called, "jail." First mentioned in chronicles prishporivaniya horses are indicated in the "Tale of Bygone Years" by the year 1068 by "and udarisha a horse." This expression is consistent with use of spurs. The Spurs are an effective way of forcing the horse in the decisive moments of battles — the approach of the enemy, in various maneuvers. The use of spurs suggests that Russia, considered the Asian edge of Europe, was part of the developed countries of chivalry of his time. But Russian riders not copy blindly reach European knights. It is owned by Russian invention spurs with protivotravmiruyuschim horse limiter — stellate wheel. This kind of spurs lived up to, representing not only the large technical discovery, but also to some extent, indicating the moral underpinnings of this innovation.
Of steppe riders went to the Slavic way to use the whip. The presence of the whip in the archaeological excavations indicate that the Slavic mounted warriors were still under the influence of the steppe. Scourge demanded "drive in the Eastern," that is bent legs to support semi-circular stirrups, lightweight saddle almost back bows, no spurs. Especially popular was the so-called "sounding" whip, which was used not only to strike the horse, but for the psychological impact on her, at one stroke, in which there is a distinctive sound. Although time in the horse the Scourge gradually disappeared during vnevoennoy riding horseback riders for a long time it was used.
In the XII — XIII centuries, cavalry became commonplace shoeing horses, but not in all types of troops. Horseshoe certainly chargeable light cavalry horses, but were useful in heavy. Precursors of horseshoes in were ice-going spikes, they were used by horsemen, who had to dismount on the ice to ensure the safety of horses. And such spikes existed in Russia until recently.
Dervnerussky horseman all his views, equipment and landing like a neighbor-steppe peoples from which he constantly had to fight back. But "Riding in vostochnmu" gradually gives European landing. Horse spearmen and archers are diverse and advanced equipment. Were attached to the first massive spurs, stirrups with straight wide foot, saddle-type seat knight — all provide stability and ram pressure at collision. The latter are easy to use saddles, stirrups round, lightweight spurs.
Located between the West and the East, the Russian in the art of war ceased to be Europeans, but often fought like Asians. This explains the presence of the Russian army as a knight's sword straight and curve Asian swords, chain mail and a lot of different techniques of riding, and borrowed from the nomads, and the Western European knights. And because of this typed in a constant battle experience, passed through the purely Russian living conditions, has created his own style of riding.
In conclusion, we must say a few words about the masters serving the horse antiquity — tanners, saddlers, blacksmiths … I wonder what art vydelyvaniya leather remained unchanged until the XIX century. Nikita Kozhemyaka living so many centuries ago, created the technology of this complex case and handed over to us. The same can be said about the work of farriers, blacksmiths gvozdochnikov particular, for so-called "shoe" nail and nail, which is attached to the shoe the horse's hoof, have also reached this day since ancient times, is the same. This can be seen by looking at the archaeological collections of various nails.
The very class of blacksmiths was highly respected in Russia. Name one of these smiths brought us drenerusskaya Chronicle. In 1262, during the capture of the city of Novgorod in the annals of St. George made the words "James, a brave gvozdochnika, ubisha." Not everyone in those days was an honor to be mentioned in the annals.