Equestrian age Live Horse and Equestrianism Museum in Irkutsk
Irkutsk region, Irkutsk district, Ust-Kuda village, estate “Equestrian age”
Tel.: +7 (902) 175-00-91, +7 (3952) 72-00-91
Weekdays by appointment
Sat – Sun: from 10:00 to 16:00
Tours are by appointment
Entrance ticket – 200 rubles
Ticket + mini costume photo shoot on horseback – 1000 rubles
Ticket + horse riding (10 minutes) – 500 rubles
The museum founders and owners
Irina Viktorovna Minnikes and Ilya Anisimovich Minnikes
The museum director
Alexandra Ilinichna Minnikes
The members of our family are “experienced” horse owners. The idea of a “live” museum, where ordinary exhibits are next to the horses, was born when people walking along the street began to peer into our yard to see our horses and treat them with apples. Sincere interest and numerous questions from children and adults made us think about how little the contemporaries knew about horses. After all, once upon a time the horse was highly valued by the family; agriculture, the armed forces, production, transport, and mail were also dependent on its strength. Our museum tells about this and much more.
The museum building was built in 2017 on the territory of the Equestrian age horse farm-estate. It has two halls. The exhibits related to the 20th century are displayed in one of them, while pieces from the earlier eras are displayed in the other.
In the first hall, museum visitors can see how different the cowboy’s saddle is from the Mongolian one, and what the gas mask for a horse and the artillery collar of the Great Patriotic War look like. The guides will tell you why the Transbaikal Cossacks were called the “devils on dogs” and how the squadron of the cavalry regiment captured the fascist airfield. The attention of children will be attracted by the exhibition of toy horses brought from Mongolia, the Czech Republic, China, Austria and from all over Russia.
A significant part of the second hall is occupied by a collection of stirrups. There are Scythian and Merkit stirrups, as well as stirrups belonging to the Viking and Tatar horse riders, Chilean gaucho, Spanish conquistadors, and American planters. Visitors will be shown the real samurai stirrups and told about a fantastic beast born from the stirrups of a dead warrior. Accompanied by the cheerful chiming of the bells and the sound of little bells, they will tell about the famous Russian troika.
The educational work of the museum is not limited to the stories of the guides. Visitors are invited to read excerpts from the ancient laws regulating carriage movements, stud farms and much more, as well as the pedigree books of horses that once performed at the Irkutsk hippodrome.
Live exhibits are found in the courtyard of the museum, including the good-natured
Soviet heavy draught horse and fast-moving Orlov trotter. You can pet, feed, ride, hear the history of these breeds, and take pictures in costumes provided by the museum.
The tour duration is from 40 minutes. Tours are conducted in Russian and in English.