The Stables Treasury is a very interesting part of the ancient treasury of Russian Tsars and a unique museum collection of historical horse harness. Its special point is the unity of the historical complex, high artistic and material value.
By the XVI century, the Stables Office headed by a Stables boyar (in the XVII century - jaselnitchiy (the Russian for equerry)) was set up in the Kremlin.
It was in charge of stables industry in the country, making and preserving horse harness. In the reign of Ivan IV the Stables Office numbered more than 400 attendants, in the reign of Alexei Mikhailovich - over 700. The attendants of the Stables Office always accompanied Russian rulers in all trips. While passing troops in review, receptions and send-off of foreign ambassadors there was shining luxurious horse harness with gold and precious stones that was given to the participants from the Stables Treasury. The Stables Treasury was preserved in the building of the Stables Office at the Kremlin’s Borovitskiy Gate, on the place where the Armoury Chamber is situated now. On this very place, in the Stables Office’s workshops there were made the majority of Russian horse harness, survived till nowadays in the museum collection. The Treasury also used to be filled by saddles, harnessry and horse-clothes purchased from foreign traders or received as gifts to Russian Tsars from rulers of neighbour countries. In the Armoury collection masterpieces of ceremonial harness by Eastern (Turkish, Persian) and West-European masters are being preserved.
In the epoch of Peter the Great’s reforms the traditional horse harness was replaced by combatant European harness. The Stables Department was reformed and transferred to the new capital -- Saint-Petersburg. The Stables Treasury was still preserved carefully in Moscow as an important part of the Kremlin's Treasury. However, its active use for performing ceremonial processions was finished. In 1806, when a museum was officially set up in the Armoury Chamber, the new period in the collection's life started, this time, as a museum's one.
Nowadays, the collection numbers over than 1.500 items including silver- and gold-bound saddles, stapedes, various details of harness, adorned with precious stones (head-stalls, chest bands, tail belts), horse-clothes with gold and pearl embroidery, whips, horse trappings - neck tassels, silver chains, linking a bar bit to a saddle and jingling on the horses move, frontlets and knee-guards. The most part of the monuments belong to the XVII century and are registered in the Inventory of the Tsar’s Stables Treasury of 1687-1706.
Among later accessions we should mention the monuments which commemorate the victories in the XVIII century's Russo-Turkish Wars- the presents to Catherine II from Sultan Abdul Hamid and Selim III on the occasion of the peace treaty of Kuchuk Kainarji (1774) and Jassy (1791).