So I watched the video and now I have a few dumb questions ( I know NOTHING about driving) so sorry if this is really stupid?
1. In almost all tack that I use or have seen used there is a "quick release" or "breakaway" function to the tack. For example leather reins break if a horse steps through them so that way they can get free and not hurt.
Do carts (sorry if that is the wrong term) not have a quick release if a horse gets in trouble? This might be dumb because obviously if the cart is being pulled you would not want it to break free but something that has can break away if the cart tips over etc?
2. When the first horse became upset would it have been too difficult to get the other horses to leave the arena to get them out of harms way? Most of the horses looked like they were handling the commotion well and looked like they could have exited safely. What about un-tacking them quickly and just getting a halter on so that why if the did spook it was without the cart?
3. Wouldn't it have been better to let the horse run itself out or just stop on its own, the first horse was obviously using its panicked brain but with so many of those men (not trying to criticize but I thought that made it worse) chasing it and yelling it is no wonder why it kept panicking. Could they have tried to keep it on the out side and set up an inner perimeter to keep it from wrecking into the other horses instead of jumping in front of it?
4. At the end did the man with the rope do something to break the cart free from the horse? Does any one know if the second horse ever got up, it looks like it tripped on its tack? :(
5. What kind of horses were they - they were stunningly beautiful.
6. What about a pickup man or an out rider. If there was a saddle horse in the arena could it have joined up with the runaway and brought it down to a trot, walk and then stand still? I'm thinking like a pickup horse in rodeo or an out rider in TB racing but then again with all the rigging of the carts it would be horrible if another horse and rider were to get caught up in it. I have seen that work with panicked horses before but obviously not one dragging a cart and everything.
I have seen wrecks in rodeo, jumping etc... it seems like here it was a green horse that was nervous and then became a domino effect of one bad thing after another. Could have happened in any equestrian sport.
As far as dangerousness goes I agree with Enduku horses all ways have the potential of being dangerous, english, western, driving etc.
It's a risk we take but do everything to try to minimize.
Sorry another question:
One of the horses looks like its tail is pinned to the cart? Is that to keep it from dragging or getting caught up?
I don't know the answers to all of these, but I have been driving carriages in downtown Dallas for about four years now, so I might be able to help you a bit.
First of all, there is no "quick release" equipment unless you modify your harness. We use a lot of snaps and things that would break if a horse got hung up since most of our harnesses are made with biothane as opposed to leather.
In my experience, granted my driving is all done in the city as opposed to in arenas and on trails, but typically the horses act more like "what's wrong with him" as opposed to "Bob's freaking out omg end of the world everybody spook!" I didn't watch that particular video, but I have seen others that I'm certain are similar, and I would think to file everyone in the class out and deal with the runaway. He's toting a cart that could very well get hung up on another participant's vehicle if he got too close. One out of harms way, it would be easy to unhitch and halter to be safe.
In regards to chasing the horse, I understand they were trying to get the horse to slow down, but when your horse dumps you and takes off, if you yell and tell him to woah, is he going to? No. My OTTB gelding loves me so much he grooms me and comes when I call him in the pasture, but if he gets loose and I say "Sammy woah!" all he thinks is "crap mom's really pissed I'm not going near that!" Not to mention the horse, is already in a panicked state. An outrider sounds like a great idea for these situations. I'm not well versed in the competitive driving wields, so I don't have much insight for the rest of your questions, but hopefully I helped some!