I always took the cart off first and moved it where my pony couldn’t possibly tangle with it. Then I would pull lines through the turrets and remove the bridle, loop the whole thing over my arm and put the halter that was around his neck onto his face where it belongs. I could pull off the breastcollar and traces after unbuckling one side of the neck strap (everything still attached because my traces were all one piece with the breastcollar) with the bridle over my arm, then march all that stuff into the tackroom. Come back and take the saddle and breeching (again, all attached, I would just undo the girth and crupper and leave everything else together, pull the breeching off backward, and march all that into the tackroom. Then come back and brush him, check feet, give him treats, etc.
I never, ever made the mistake of taking the bridle off before removing the cart. So wouldn’t you know it, the day we had our career-ending crash when my car rolled down the driveway into the cart when I was driving the pony up next to the driveway, my husband went and caught the pony for me. Said pony was quietly grazing up in the back yard, still hooked to the wrecked cart. DH brought him down, and before I realized what he was doing, he pulled the bridle off to put the halter on him, with the cart still attached. I was lying where I’d landed halfway down the driveway, yelling “no, no, no” at him. What did the pony do during all this? He stood there like a statue and waited for me to limp up to him and pull the cart off.
He was a great pony. I would have been very tempted to get him back to driving, but he had cataracts and had started to do small spooks when he saw stuff he was very used to. He’d previously been unflappable, so I figured it was time to hang it up.
He was quite a comedian. I had panic snaps on the posts I clipped him to when harnessing, and he would quietly play with them in his mouth until they opened. Then he’d just stand there, and I swear he was laughing.
I retired him after that crash, but kept him with me for the rest of his life. He especially liked the move from Colorado to South Carolina, as he loved hot weather.