Were they raised in a barn?

A New York Times article on the stalled bailout plan has Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts dipping into his Russian vocabulary book:

Mr. Frank blamed a “troika” of conservative House Republicans — Jeb Hensarling of Texas, Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, and Eric Cantor of Virginia — for pushing the alternative proposal.

I knew a troika was Russian word meaning a trio of people wielding power. The OED, in the second definition for the word, defines it as "a group or set of three persons (rarely things) or categories of people associated in power; a three-person commission or administrative council."

What I didn't know is what the word's original meaning in Russian. The first definition in the OED: "A Russian vehicle drawn by three horses abreast." The American Heritage Dictionary's definitions are similar: "1a. A Russian carriage drawn by a team of three horses abreast. b. A team of three horses abreast. 2. See triumvirate."

Frank surely meant the second definition, but it sounds like he'd be happy associate the trio with a particular end of a team of horses too.