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Yasnaya Polyana

The city of Yasnaya Polyana in the Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia, (formerly Trakehnen in Prussia) was home to the world famous warmblood Trakehner horse breed stables. Trakehnen is derived from a West Baltic language, Old Prussian word 'trakis' meaning field or wilderness.

When the people of Prussia were forced to leave by Soviet military occuppation during World War II, some owners were able to walk and ride their Trakehner horses for thousands of kilometers on the Big Trek (of refugees- expellees) to the west. A small number of Trakehner horses survived. East Prussians waited for years to go back to the homeland. When that became impossible during the communist regime and the Iron Curtain and the basic stock rapidly dwindled, they started new breeding farms in Westphalia in Germany beginning in 1957.

This land had been taboo, off limits to all people outside the Soviet Union for 50 years and information was almost non-existent. Under the Soviet Union the town of Trakehnen was named: Yasnaya Polyana or Yasnaja Poliana. Yasnaya Polyana is currently still the name as part of a Russian exclave named Kaliningrad Oblast. The Russians retained the original name meaning "Field", because they used the Slavic equivalent, which is "Polje".

After the fall of the Iron Curtain new beginnings for this devastated land have been started by East Prussians now after 50 years being allowed to go back to the homeland. There they are setting up horse breeding stables for the Trakehner horses in the original location again, together with the Russians now living there.

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