Thornton Osgood and his wife, while coming the other day into Richmond Indiana, had a lively ride. On reaching a long and very steep hill,

from which the snow has drifted and exposed an icy coating, their horse which is not been roughed could not make his footing sure and, in attempting to hold back, struck his hind legs against the crossbar in the shafts.

Surprised, the animal tried to kick but the instant his heels were high enough to admit of it, the sleigh shot forward and scooped him up, the shafts snapping off and the sleigh knocking his front feet from under him at the same instant and, ere they knew hardly what was happening, Osgood and his wife found the horse in the sleigh with them and the whole went shooting down the declivity a full half a mile while the horse struggled to regain his feet and the terrified wife held fast by the horse, first screamed and then laughed at her frantic husband who, with the wildest ejaculations, commanded the horse to stop as though he were in the shafts and doing his level best to run away.

They reached the bottom of the hill without sustaining any bodily injury, however, and the most serious damage was the breaking of the shafts and harness and the loss of the chickens and eggs they were taking to market, the latter being mashed and the former liberated during the thrilling descent. 

--from Carriage Monthly, April 1884, Page 22
(as reprinted in "Horse Drawn Sleighs," 2nd Edition, 2003 by C.A.A.)