Having been in a couple "situations" and the LAST thing you want done is to cut harness!! Horse feels a little give, tries even HARDER to get loose, jump up.
The cases I have been involved in, have only taken a moment or two to UNBUCKLE the straps, while still having a hold on equine so he can't get loose after standing up. There have been some nasty LOOKING situations, but by pausing a moment for evaluation, you can almost always manage to avoid cutting anything to get the mess straightened up. Two were wrecks with a 4-in-hand, horses down, cutting them loose from the other horses would have been a disaster. One had the downed horse stand when asked, they kept on going to finish the course!! No tangles, harness fell into place when horse stood, but no problems needing any parts cut loose!! Lots of bystanders screaming, but not the driver and crew, not the horses.
Singles down, again just some unbuckling got them out of the mess fast, didn't NEED to cut anything.
Look at your harness, there are key spots that can be unbuckled, get a horse out of the shafts fast. There are quick-release shaft loops that will open with a pull of the strap, quick release snaps, that can be purchased to put on your harness.
Better training, better drivers, reduce the incidence of accidents. Most well trained Driving horses will give you a couple moments to help them before going ballistic. Driving animals have had LOTS done with them during training steps, long time teaching the basics, so seem to be a bit more accepting of weirdness, so you can help them.
Sharp knives flying about could cut you, horse under the harness, can be quite dangerous!! Know what you will be cutting as you lean on the blade to slice things. Contrarily, if you DO want to carry the knife for safety, make it a SHARP one. Dull blades are no help at all. I have not found the serrated blades to be very good for cutting heavy things, plus they don't resharpen well. I only carry a straight edged blade, and you could shave with it easily. Anything less sharp in a blade is a time waster.
Last edited by goodhors; 04-23-2011 at 10:27 PM.