Anyways in this story it seems after the Christmas parade was over the owner of the horse was switching out the bridle when the horse spooked and ran through town. The horse and carriage (yes, still attached) hit two light poles, two cars and ran over the owner, who it seems is okay after the event.
There is really no excuse for this to happen. Ever. Unhitching is a routine, and good drivers stick to it no matter how well you know the horse, driver or fairy godmother involved.
Special Feature! >>>>
Unhitching for Idiots:
Step 1: Head up the horse while the driver is still holding the lines (translated: a qualified person, i.e. not the guy wearing flip-flops, holds the thing [bridle] on the horse’s head)
Step 2: Make sure Joe Bob is still holding the horse’s head (really, double check that he hasn’t wandered off to get a beer) while you unhook the brakes and the traces, and hook them up properly to the harness.
Step 3: Make sure Joe Bob is still holding the head (this is key!) while you hold the shafts of the carriage.
Step 4: (Joe Bob gets to move in this one!) While holding the horse’s bridle Joe Bob needs to step the horse up clear of the shafts.
Step 5: Put the halter around the horses neck (this is so Joe Bob still has control over the horse) while you remove the bridle.
Step 6: Now, now, Joe Bob don’t wander off to hang up that bridle yet. Make sure that the horse’s halter is completely and correctly on and the horse is securely fastened before you go tidy up the tack room.
Yes, yes, I know I just described unhitching a single horse as a TWO person job. Have I seen it done by one person? Yes. Is it a good idea? Never.
I know shit happens, but really get a grip. Something has to BREAK for this sort of thing to be acceptable (and even then it’s really not still, check your equipment and then re-check it).