1) They are advertised as marathon tugs, but can they be used on gig shafts and 2-wheeled vehicles and with the use of a sliding backband?
2) what sort of safety does it buy you - in a bad sitiuation you may quickly release the shaft at at the saddle with BUT what about the other parts that may be connected to the shafts - (kicking strap, shaft loops). And what about the traces on the breastcollar and singletree?
I know some folks get everything as quick release. Is this a remotely affordable option? Any fear of the connections releasing when you don't want them to?
Has anyone ever heard of an accident being averted becuase all connections were quick-release? Likewise, has anyone ever heard of a wreck being thwarted soley by having quick release tugs?
I use the quick release tug loops on all my harness because I do have french loop shafts on my marathon carriage. So every other cart I use is also used with these tug loops. I just like them better.
I don;t think quick release averts an accident, it is just a good thing to have if your horse falls and you need to get them out of those shafts.
Have seen situations and been in same when quick relase tugs loops helped, plus having the buckle in traces/tugs sure were a life saver, plus buckle in back strap. I am not a fan of quick release snaps on hold backs personally. Snaps can and will fail sometimes with no fore warning.
Was out in the woods miles from home with 3 carts when the lead pony became unruly for some unknown reason. Driver got out of cart as pony reared and hooked something in shaft, flipping on to her side. This was an older leather harness with those gosh awful shaft wraps. We got the pony out but it sure took some doing--had tons of help thank goodness show up on horseback. Owner sat on pony's head while the rest of us got her out of the cart.
So you can use equipment that can help should the situation arise. Hopefully the situation won;t arise.
The quick release tugs were designed when the close-loop shafts for marathon became popular
They will not PREVENT an accident, but they can make getting out of the results of an accident quite a bit faster.
If you are thinking of how to get out of a tangled up harness/cart mess quickly . . .
quick release tugs will release the saddle from the shafts - but you have to do BOTH sides OR get the girth undone
you can release everything BEHIND the saddle but undoing the backstrap
This usually does not have a lot of tension on it so should be relatively easy to get undone
You can get a quick release attachment to connect the backstrap to the saddle, if it really concerns you
If you are able to undo the girth then all the harness from saddle to tail will stay with the cart as it is not connected to the horse anywhere else but the crupper, which WILL slide off the tail
having buckle in traces is one of the safe ways to release the horse from the cart - you only need to do one side and the neck strap buckle(s) on that side (this is assuming you do not have the extra neck strap connecting to the front of the collar - like pairs do
Disconnecting the above list will allow the horse to go free AND allow you to work in a much smaller area (just around the shoulder on the horse) AND you can work from over the back - staying clear of the legs
I've never seen any quick release buckles for around the breast (or full) collar but you can get quick release shackles for the trace to cart attachment. Its just that relesing those makes you move to the back of the horse (away from his head where you could talk to him, and closer to the legs where you could get kicked)
Hopefully you will never have to use any of these plans
There is no reason you cannot use the quick release tugs on 2-wheeled or gig-like vehicles or with the sliding backband (which you would really only need on a 2-wheel). Their design was for the closed end shafts but they could make releasing ANY shaft just a bit quicker in an emergency
They would likely NOT be desirable in a fancy pleasure class where appointments matter. They do not replace gig tugs