Russian Santas with Troika (three horses pulling a sled) are traditionall and very popular. In Russia, Unkraine and some other slavic cultures Russian Ded Moroz is traveling in a three-horse sled called "Troika". The name derives from three horses (in Russian). In Russia troika appeared in the middle of 17th century under the orders of Russian Tsar Alexei Romanov to improve the mail delivery across the country - roads were bad, distances were long and mail was delayed for months if not for years.
Since all three horses were pulling a sled (or a carriage) and were harnessed abreast, one horse in the center was trotting and two (on the sides) cantor, it allowed to develop much higher speed ( up to 40 miles an hour on the snow), than regular carriage with a horse. As a result the mail delivery considerably improved. Later troika became very popular and the most beloved means of transportation during festivities - weddings, celebrations, religious holidays. It became a warm and kind tradition to paint troika along with winter scenes on Russian Santas as a symbol of Russia and its rich history.