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Publication numberUS3543725 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 1, 1970
Filing dateMar 11, 1968
Priority dateMar 11, 1968
Publication numberUS 3543725 A, US 3543725A, US-A-3543725, US3543725 A, US3543725A
InventorsHarvey Andrew G, Kirkpatrick Max B, Sparks John M
Original AssigneeHarvey Andrew G, Kirkpatrick Max B, Sparks John M
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Exercising apparatus
US 3543725 A
Abstract  available in
Images(9)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

O United States Patent [1113,543,725

[72] Inventors Max B. Kirkpatrick 606,946 7/1898 Steen... 1l9/158 Anchorage, Alaska; 2,338,285 l/1944 Harry 214/1 Andrew G. Harv y; John M- Sparks, III, 2,611,341 9/1952 Paris. 119/158 all of Box 1509. Wlckenburg. Ariz. 85358 2,848,977 8/1958 Prestrud et al.. 119/ 158 [211 Appl. No 712,183 3,253,577 5/1966 Lund 119/82 [22] Filed March 11, 1968 Prim y Examiner-Aldrich F. Medbery commuamn'm'pafl of 683319 AttorneyStrauch, Nolan, Neale, Nies and Kurz Nov. 16, 1967. now Patent No. 3,543,725. [45] Patented Dec. 1. 1970 ABSTRACT: Apparatus for exercising an animal such as a [54] EXERCISING APPARATUS race horse wherein the animal is caused to cyclically undergo 12 Claims, 15 Drawing Figs. swimming periods of vigorous exercise spaced by partial recovery intervals, all the while monitoring the animal's heart [52] [1.5. CI. 119/29, rate to determine the timing of the exercise periods and recovery intervals to thereby prevent the heart rate from rising [5|] f A01 15/00 above safe values during the exercise periods and insure that [50] Field ofSearch I l each exercise period of a cycle is started before full recovery 4/128 31/49 128/66 54/ to normal heart rate, wherein an elevator assembly is provided above a body of water mounted to be lowered and raised with [56] References Cited respect to the water by a special hydraulically operated UNITED STATES PATENTS manually controlled system for determining the successive ex- 533,l5l H1895 Welshrmer ll9/l58 excise and recovery periods.

PRESElEClOR 6|R0llll 1d FIRST-6R0"? SELECTOR 1 1f suascmm in L I2 2f lllcdl l wall Patented Dec. 1, 1970 3,543,725

INVENTORS MAX B. KIRKPATRICK ANDREW G. HARVEY JOHN M. SPAR/(5,111

A TTORNEYS Patented Dec. 1, 1970 Sheet 2 of9 w m 0 mx M wmn gm Nm r R r M 4 K M was ,0 mat MWM MAW W2 B Sheet Patented Dec. 1, 1970 MAX B. KIRKPATRICK ANDREW a. HARVEY JOHN M. SPAR/(5,122

B M W m WQQ ATTORNEYS Patented Dec. 1, 1970 3,543,725

Sheet 4 019 FIG. 6

//V VE N TORS MAX B. KIRKPATRICK ANDREW G. HARVEY JOHN M. SPAR/(5,121

02660 QQM ATTORNEYS Patented Dec. 1, 1970 Sheet MAX B.'K/R/(PA TRICK ANDREW a. HARVEY JOHN M SPAR/(S, ZZZ BY W M M MMJ ATTORNEYS Patented Dec. 1, 1970 3,543,725

I/VVENTORS MAX 8. K/RKPA TR/CK ANDREW 6. HARVEY JOHN M. SPARKS, 1Z1

1 B MMQZOM MA @ZoeJ/Q M ATTORNEYS Patented Dec. 1, 1970 Sheet INVENTORS MAX 5. K/RKPATR/CK ANDREW G. HARVEY JOHN M. SPARKS, ET By W M M4 02M @M, ATTORNEYS Patented Dec. 1, 1970 I Sheet //vv/vr0/?$ MAX 5. K/RKPA TRICK ANDREW a. HARVEY JOHN M. SPARKS, ZZZ

By 26% /2041, Wzwadd,

ATTORNEYS axancr-snve APPARATUS BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY or INVENTION This is a continuation inpart of our copending US. Pat. ap-

plication Ser. No. 683,7l9 filed Nov. 16, 1967 for Monitored and Controlled Feeding and Exercise Method.

The invention relates to the controlled conditioning of animals, particularly race horses, although most basic aspects may be applied to humans, and is concerned with a special apparatus and controls therefor adapted for carrying out part of the novel method. a

The invention includes the discovery that the optimum manner of controllably exercising an animal such as a horse for racing is swimming. This is mainly because swimming utilizes essentially all of the major muscles used in running, and swimming takes place in an environment wherein the horse is least subject to injury.

Prior to the invention it had always been common practice to condition and train horses for racing using traditional methods whichvary widely between individual trainers but in all of which the horse are exercised by actual running and their condition ascertained only by visual observation and/or by feeling chest and lug muscles. Experience has shown that horses undergoing such training are likely to accidentally physically injure their legs in one way or another during running because of early fatigue due to poor conditioning. Furthermore, there is no way to accurately discover during such training Whether the horse is being exercised excessively or in such manner as to cause internal damage. For example, it was never known to measure the animals heart rate during actual exercise. i

As a result of these haphazard training methods, many capable horses suffer premature injury and never reach the track, and many of those who do reach the track are so inadequately conditioned or overtrained as not to be in optimum condition at the time. 3

Swimming is an exercise which causes a relatively great increase in cardiac output to supply needed oxygen to the muscles. Several factors other than the exercise itself, namely, increased heat loss, respiratory stimulation, and pressure of the water, on'lung surface area are responsible for the greater cardiac response in this type of exercise. A large heart will be capable of handling most increased venous return caused by vigorous exercise without appreciable increase in heart rate, and therefore by increasing the rate of beat of such a heart during violent exercise such as strong swimming it' maintains a constant high output adequate to handle the corresponding increased venous return, and so increase the total circulation with more blood being delivered to the capillaries to supply oxygen to the muscles for sustained effort.

Once the horse's physiological values are known and understood, and nutrition is balanced, the horse begins active conditioning with a swimming exercise cycle program in accord with the method of our copending application.

The horse is preferably exercised in the following manner, illustrated diagrammatically in FlG. 1'. He is placed on the platform of an elevator. assembly above a body of water and restrained from appreciable movement front, rear and laterally, care being taken not to physically restrain in any way the legs or any muscles used in swimming. A heart condition meter in the form of an electrocardiograph and/or heart rate meter is connected to his body by means of suction devices as shown in FlG. 2. His heart rate is continually monitored during the entire program. He is lowered into the water until he is forced to swim and so remains until-his heart is observed attaining a steady rate of approximately 200-225 beats per minute depending on the horse's normal. Instantly, at that point, the horse is raised out of the water far enough so that he may breathe as freely as possible and stop swimming. This is preferably done by raising the platform until he can stand on it. He is raised to such height that the lung cavity is completely out'of the water so that there is no hydrostaticpressure against the lungs when he is in a state of oxygen debit. The recovery interval now starts. The heart rate meter or electrocardiogram is watched undl his reducing heart rate reaches a' point on the electrocardiograph where the T-P base line becomes discernible. The heart rate at this point may be anywhere from to beats per minute depending on the individual. Either meter or both may be used to determine this period. When the individuals heart rate reaches this point the recovery interval is over and he immediately is returned to the water by lowering the platform so that he is again forced to swim until his heart rate arrives-at approximately 200-225 again. in practice, the length of this recovery interval is carefully noted, as recovery rate is a barometer of the horse's condition. The wholesequence is repeated cyclically to the end of the exercise.

During conditioning, the horse is given this swimming exercise cycle on the average of about once a day and he is weighed each day about the same time. The swimming exercise is varied if the change in weight indicates the animal may be drawing on reserves while exercising. As training progresses and the horse becomes conditioned it will be noted that the exercise period in cycle time gradually increases and the recovery interval decreases which is an indication that en'- durance is increasing. Each exercise period lasts a reasonable time, usually about 10 minutes depending on the horse and his current condition. The conditioning period lasts about 3 to 6 weeks normally, but this may vary for individuals.

The foregoing described conditioning method is safe and humane, and it unexpectedly improves a horse's endurance capabilities. Constant monitoring of the heart rate insures that the horse never reaches the fatigue point between recovery intervals. Continual monitoring of recovery is equally important. The quicker the horse's heart rate drops from 200-225 tto 140-175 during a recovery interval between swimming periods the better the horses condition. The quicker the horse's heart rate recovers to the equilibrium normal following the exercise of a conditioning cycle, whether the exercise be swimming or running, the better the horses condition.

I Once the horse enters upon the platform, he is automatically weighed. The horse is weighed every day or every time he swims a cycle. The reason that the horse is weighed every day or at the beginning of each swim cycle is to determine whether or not the amount of food intake or caloric intake in his diet is equaling the amount of energy calories required in training. This monitoring of the horse's weight provides a gross means of correlating the total amount of energy supplied by the food compared to the total amount of energy utilized by the exercise. The horse always loses some weight during a swim cycle due to perspiration and like fluid loss but this is usually compensated by drinking water during or after the exercise. The foregoing monitoring observes any real change in weight due to actual loss of body mass.

In accord with the weight monitoring the swim cycle is altered if the real loss of weight exceeds the food intake which is a signal that he is drawing reserve protein and other substances out of storage in his body. Therefore, the number of times a horse goes in and out of the water is determined by maintenance of a desired weight. After a swim exercise cycle the rate of recovery of the horses heart heat back to normal is measuredand noted.

The horse is trained in this manner for 3 to 6 weeks, depending upon the observed condition of the animal on a daily basis. Usually there is a swimming exercise cycle each day during conditioning. At the end of this time, the horse graduates from the training facility and is moved to a maintenance facility at a track. The maintenance facility'is equipped with a portable device wherein he may be lowered into a body of water for monitored swimming exercise as before. The horse can be worked, raced, trained to be rated, trained to break properly from the gate, as well as become accustomed 6 the natural surroundings of a racetrack. When the horse graduates to the maintenance facility, his swimming exercise is inter spersed with various running workouts. The horse may not be swimming every day, but the blood chemistry analysis and his weight will be continually monitoredat periodic intervals to determine if the horse is being maintained in proper condition. If he is not, his schedule will be altered or he will be returned to the conditioning facility.

With this particular method of conditioning horses, a horse may always be maintained in condition from the time he is 6 months of age until he is through with his racing career, for all practical purposes. It does not damage the horse to be kept in constant condition as long as it needs to be kept in condition and can run. It is actually easier for a horse to be kept in condition rather than to let it down at the end of each racing schedule but the main advantage is heavy exercise can be maintained without damage to the horses legs. One advantage for swimming the horse in a pool at the track is that should he become lame, or should become injured, his condition can be maintained during recovery from the injury while at the track, if it is necessary, rather than return him to the training facility.

An essential object of the present invention is to provide a novel apparatus for controlled cyclic conditioning exercise of the animal, this comprising apparatus for vigorously exercising the animal during periods of high heart beat near but under safe values determined by test on the particular animal, such periods being spaced by nonexercising recovery intervals during which the heart beat is allowed to drop to a safe value for resuming the exercise, while continually monitoring the animals heart rate -.0 determine the length of these periods and intervals.

Pursuant to this main object of the invention provides an elevator assembly including a platform suspended above a tank or like body of water and a hydraulic" or like control system for regulating lowering and raising the platform at certain intervals. These and other specific features to be described are included in further objects of the invention as will be apparent in the claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic view showing an animal exercise method wherein the apparatus of the invention is preferably used;

FIG. 2 is a diagrammatic view showing the heart rate measuring instrument as attached to the animal during exercise;

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of a preferred embodiment of elevator assembly for positioning and guiding the animal during the exercise cycle;

FIG. 4 is a side elevation partly broken away and in section showing details of the assembly and the elevator platform raising and lowering arrangements of the assembly of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a front elevation showing the platform assembly of FIG. 3 as mounted in association with a swimming exercise tank;

FIG. 6 is a section on line 6-6 of FIG. 4 showing further platform assembly details;

FIG. 7 is a partially sectioned schematic view showing a circuit for controlling raising and lowering of the platform; FIG. 8 a side elevation of a tank mounting trailer along line 8-8 of FIG. 9 to which principles of the invention may be applied;

FIG. 9 is an end elevation showing an extended lowered platfonn assembly for the trailer of FIG. 8;

FIG. 10 is an end elevation like FIG. 9 but showing the platform raised and ready to be moved sidewise to position it over the trailer tank;

FIG. 1 1 is top plan view of the trailer;

FIG. 12 is a top plan view of the trailer of FIG. 8 with the platform extended;

FIGS. 13 and 14 are fragmentary detailed sections substantially on lines 13-13 and 14-14 of FIG. 12; and

FIG. 15 is a side view in longitudinal section showing the platform lowered into carrying position within the trailer.

PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS I veniently disposed at a at water level 12 of a suitable tank or like container. During the exercise cycle the animal is forced to swim by lowering the platform below the water level, as to the position b. During swimming the animals heart rate is continually monitored and, when that rate exceeds a certain high range, the exercise is terminated and the animal allowed to rest by raising the platform assembly as indicated at 0' until the animal may find footing and stand on the platform assembly. In some instances it may be desirable to raise the platform assembly all the way to position a but that is not necessa- On termination of the rest period, which is determined by noting that the monitored heart rate has dropped to within a safe range, the platform assembly is again lowered and the animal forced to resume swimming. This cycle of swim and rest periods, determined by monitored heart rate conditions, is repeated for the duration of the exercise.

FIG. 2 shows diagrammatically the animal, here a horse,

I having spaced suction-type electrodes 13 and 14 attached at selected body points, these electrodes being connected by conduits 16, 17 to a source of vacuum 18. An electrocardiograph or other heart rate measuring meter 15 is connected to electrodes 13 and 14 by wires extending through conduits l6 and 17 and acable 19.

The foregoing method of exercise for conditioning the animal, and the above-identified instrumentation for measuring heart rate during the cycle, are all described fully in our copending U.S. Pat. application Ser. No. 683,719 filed Nov. 16, 1967 for Monitored and Controlled Feeding and Exercise Method.

The present application is essentially directed to apparatus for raising and lowering the animal between the rest and exercise periods, and includes other details of animal control and guidance as will appear.

Referring to FIGS. 3-7, the elevator assembly 11 comprises a generally horizontal wooden platform 21, usually hardwood boards 22 slightly spaced for free passage of water as will appear and-secured to cross member 23. FIG. 6 shows the animal to be exercised standing on the platform.

Platform 21 is supported by a surrounding sturdy rectangular metal frame 24 comprising end members 25 and 26 and side members 27 and 28. Frame 24 is supported by a series of idler wheels 29 to roll along a track composed of coplanar parallel horizontal surfaces 3l and 32 on the upper ends of sidewalls 33 and 34 of a tank 35 adapted to contain water to the level 12 as indicated. There are four idler wheels 29, one at each frame corner and suspended from the extensions 36.

The purpose of so mounting frame 24 on the tracks is to enable the elevator assembly 11 which is carried by frame 24 to be moved longitudinally away from an end wall of the tank or to a deep portion of a tank or to facilitate entry of the animal onto the platform 21. For the essential platform raising and lowering actions to be described, support frame 24 could just as well be fixed across the top of the tank 35.

Platform cross members 23 are secured to parallel side members 41 and 42 whose ends are secured to parallel end members 43 and 44. Members 41-44 form a rigid metal rectangular platform frame of smaller dimensions than the inner periphery of support frame 24.

Upstanding rigidly from side members 41 and 42 are a series of opposite side posts 45 and 46 which as shown in FIG. 6 extend angularly inwardly and terminate in vertical parallel upper ends 47 and 48 respectively. A series of longitudinally extending boards 49 are secured on the post upper ends to provide above platform 21 spaced parallel longitudinal vertical guide and restraint panels indicated at 51 and 52.

Comer posts 53 extend rigidly vertically from the platform frame, and braces 54 connect the upper ends of posts 47 and 48 to longitudinal rails 55 and S6 connecting the corner posts at each side. Posts 53 at each side are connected at their lower ends by longitudinal bottom rails 57 and 58. This post, brace and rail structure substantially firmly mounts panels 51 and 52 in the assembly.

On opposite sides of the assembly below the guide panels, rubber or like flexible sheets 60 and 61 which flare downwardly and outwardly from the lower edges of the panels to be attached to rails 57 and 58. Preferably sheets 60 and 61 are attached firmly. at the central portions of their upper ends to the panels as by rivets and to rails 55 and 56 as by flexible lashings 62; and at their lower ends they are flexibly attached to rails 57 and 58 as by lashings indicated at 62.

The essential purpose of panels 51 and 52 is to laterally confine the animal as it swims, as will appear, and the outwardly flaring flexible walls composed of sheets 60 and 61 confine and protect but yet provide adequate working clearance for violently flying hoofs of the swimming animal.

Rotatably mounted on the front end of support frame 24 is a transverse shaft 71, and rotatably mounted on rear end of frame 24 is parallel transverse shaft 72. Referring to FIG. 3, shaft 72 has fixed upon it spaced reels 73 and 74, one near each end corner of the platform frame, and cables 75 and 76 each secured at one end to its reel are coiled on the respective reels and extend downwardly for connection to the platform frame. Similar reels 73 and 74 carrying cables 75 and 76 respectively are secured on front shaft 71.

Referring to FIG. 5, it will be seen that each front cable 75 and 76 extends through apertured lugs 77' and 78 rigid with the platform frame to terminate in an eye bolt 79' having its shank extending through a further apertured lug 81' and carrying a nut 82' abutting lug 81'. This anchors the lower end of each cable to the front end of the platform frame, and nut 82' provides an adjustment for equalizing the cable pull. Similarly, the rear cables 75 and 76 are likewise anchored to the rear end of the platform frame.

It will be noted that the front cables 75 and 76 are oppositely wound from on the respective reels from the rear cables, so that when shafts 71 and 72 are turned in the same direction, clockwise in FIG. 4 as will appear, the platform will be raised, and the platform will lower on counterclockwise rotation of shafts 71 and 72.

Referring to FIG. 3, one end of shaft 72 carries a toothed ratchet disk 77 adapted for coacu'ng with a tooth 78 pivoted on the support frame to prevent undesired counterclockwise rotation of the shaft. This tooth is swung out of engagement with disk 77 during normal exercise cycle operation. A similar ratchet and tooth arrangement is provided between shaft 71 and the support frame. The purpose of this ratchet is to prevent accidental dropping of the platform, as when the animal is entering the platform.

Conduits 108 and 109 are connected downstream of the flow control valves by a cross conduit 113 containing a normally closed safety valve 114 a that is manually operable.

Internally spool 104 has spaced passage 115 and 116- which have opposite ends on opposite sides of respective annular passages 117 and 118 provided between lands 102, 103 and the spool body. A return line 119 is connected to a longitudinal valve body passage 121 having spaced openings 122 and 123 to chamber 10$ normally blocked by the valve body in the neutral position of FIG. 7.

Return line 119 has a portion 124 connected to conduit 108 downstream of valve 111 through a normally closed valve 125, and a portion 126 that leads into the reservoir where it discharges through filter 127 at substantially atmospheric pressure.

Thus, when lever 107 is rocked clockwise in FIG. 7, the

valve spool slides to the right until passage 118 connects passage 99 with conduit 109, and at the same time passage 115 connects conduit 108 with return conduit 119. As a result, the pressure of the accumulator is applied to cylinder space 91 whereby cylinder 85 is displaced to the left in FIG. 7. Fluid in space 92 may be displaced through conduit 108, passage 115 and conduit 119 back to reservoir 93. When lever 107 is rocked counterclockwisein FIG. 7, passage 117 connects pressure admitting passage 99 to conduit 108 and therefore to cylinder space 92, to displace cylinder 85 to the right, and fluid from space 91 returns through conduit 109, passages 116 and 121 and the return line to the reservoir.

The other ends of shafts 71 and 72 carry sprockets 79 and 81 respectively. A single length of chain 82 extends around both sprockets and has its opposite ends secured at 83 and 84 to opposite ends of a hydraulic cylinder 85 which, see FIG. 7, is longitudinally slidable on a piston 86 rigid with a piston rod 87 axially fixed at opposite end pivots at 88 and 89 on the sup port frame 24.

Cylinder 85 is divided into fluid spaces 91 and 92 by the piston as shown in FIG. 7. A reservoir 93 contains hydraulic fluid from which oil is drawn through conduit 94 by a motor driven pump 95 and oil is pumped through conduit 96 to an accumulator 97 containing a compressed air space. Conduit 96 is also connected by a branch conduit 98 to a longitudinal passage 99 in a slide valve 101, the opposite ends of passage 99 being blocked by lands 102 and 103 when the valve spool 104 is in the neutral position of FIG. 7. Spool 104 is slidable in chamber 105 and connected by stem 106 to a pivoted control lever 107.

Diametrically opposite the ends of passage 99, conduits 108 and 109 are connected to open at spaced points into chamber 105, being normally blocked by the valve spool lands when in neutral as illustrated in FIG. 7. Conduit 109 is connected into cylinder space 91, and conduit 108 is connected into cylinder space 92, through flow control valves 112 and 111 respectively which may be check valves permitting passage of oil only toward the cylinder 85 as indicated by the arrows. Valves 111 and 112 are individually adjustable to throttle oil flow therethrough for a purpose to appear.

When cylinder 85 is displaced to the left in FIGS. 4 and 7, it acts through chain 82 to rotate both shafis 71 and 72 clockwise. This effects winding of the cables and 76 on the respective reels and raises platform 21 with respect to support frame 24 and tank 35. The rate of raising platform 21 may be regulated by adjustment of the flow control. When cylinder is displaced in the opposite direction, it acts through chain 82 to rotate both shafts 71 and 72 counterclockwise to lower the platform 21, this operation being aided and mainly effected by the weight of the platform assembly so that the controlled rotation of the shafts is a safety feature preventing too abrupt lowering of the platform may be regulated by adjustment of flow control valve 111, and is dependent on the rate of displacement of oil from chamber 92 back to the reservoir.

The hydraulic circuit contains a fluid pressure gage mounted in communication with a chamber 131 connected to conduit 109 by a meter conduit 132 and to conduit 124 by a return conduit 133. Chamber 131,contains a valve element 134 that is normally biased to the left in FIG. 7 by a compression spring 135. Element 134 comprises a land normally blocking transmission of fluid pressure to the gage and a spaced land 137 that blocks return line 133 when the valve element has been displaced by an operator pushing on button 138 to connect meter conduit 132 in fluid communication, through chamber 131 with the gage. Gage 130 is diagrammatically shown in FIG. 1.

It will be noted that, since the entire elevator assembly 11 is suspended by the four corner cables, the existing pressure in cylinder chamber 91 is a function of the weight of the assembly, and therefore, since the assembly weight remains constant, gage 130' can be calibrated directly in terms of the weight increment added by introduction of a horse or the like ments are attached, the lever 107 is manually operated to effect the exercise and rest periods. It will be noted that the vertical guide and restraint panels 51 and 52 are located at such levels as to prevent appreciable lateral movement or turning of the horse during the swimming periods, while the flexible sheets 60 and 61 cushion the shocks should the flying hoofs of the swimming horse strike them.

It is essential only that the platform carrying the animal be safely controllable to gradually start the swimming interval without an abrupt drop and to speedily end the swimming interval as soon as the heart rate meter shows that the animals heart rate has reached the predetermined maximum range.

FIGS. 8-l5 are directed to a portable embodiment of the invention whereby the tank for containing the body of water in which the animal is to be exercised is provided in a wheeled vehicle trailer or like assembly that incorporate mechanism for locating. a platform in animal receiving position near ground level outside the vehicle, raising the platform and then moving it laterally over the upper end of the tank, and providing the desired sequence of lowering and raising the animal between swim and rest periods just as is accomplished in the embodiment of FIGS. l-7'.

FIG. b shows in side elevation a trailer Ml supported by rear road engaging wheels M2; and having the usual tractor hitch M3 at the front end. A jack M4 supports the front end when detached from the tractor. Alternatively the wheels may be run into a ground depression to rest the trailer at ground level.

The interior of trailer 141 comprises a tank space M5 defined by end walls 146 and sidewalls MTand adapted to hold water in sufficient quantity and depth for the swimrnin exercise.

An elevator assembly 148 comprises a platform i 59 that may be lowered to ground or near ground level to allow the animal to walk in as shown in W6. 9. The floor and sidestructure of elevator assembly are preferably like that illustrated in FEGS. 3-6, with the vertical guide and restraint panels being indicated atll5l.

A rectangular hollow support frame 152 is mounted byopposite corner wheels 153 on parallel'horizontal rails 154 that project rigidly in lateral alinement with and forming effective continuations of parallel rails l55 extending above the tank end walls. At their outer ends rails 1% are secured to ground engaging vertical posts E56. Frame 1'52 extends the length of the trailer, and a spacer bar 157 extends parallel to the trailer sidewall M7 and is fixed at opposite ends to the tops of posts 156 as by fasteners H8. Rails 1154 and 155 are effective con tinuations of each other.

A suitable hydraulic arrangement H59 similar to that of FIG. 7 is carried by frame 152 and connected to suspend the elevator assembly 14% from four corner cables loll, as in FIGS. 3- 6. FIG. ill shows the elevator assembly raised up through frame E52 to a position where platform 1149 is located above I the level of the tank sidewalls.

Now, with the elevator assembly held immovable with respect to support frame 152, frame 3152 is rolled bodily along the rails to the right in HQ. .10 until it is disposed over the open top of the tank in the trailer body. At this point the hydraulic arrangement 1569 may be manipulated as described in the foregoing embodiment of H68. -7 to lower the animal to swimming position and raise him for recovery periods, under the described heart rate monitoring conditions.

In practice, see FlG. 12, each rail 1235 in rigid with the tank end wall i146 and extension 154 is connected thereto by an external vertical hinge 159, so that when the trailer is moving along the highway rail extension 154 maybe folded about 18 to the position shown in MG. ll where the free ends are secured to rails 135' and it is'disposed within the lateral dimension of the vehicle.

As shown in FlG. l4, whenthe rail 1% is folded parallel to rail 155 it abuts a spacer 17d rigid with rail .355, and the same fastener 138 used in H6. l3 may now be used to fasten rail H55 in folded position by entering the threaded bore in spacer 17b. a

FIG. 25 shows how the elevator assembly may be tran ported from place to place by lowering the platform to the bottom of the empty tank.

The invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics thereof. The present embodiments are therefore to be considered in all respect as illustrative and not restrictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the appended claims rather than the foregoing description, and all changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are therefore intended to'be embraced therein.

We claim:

11. Apparatus for the controlled swimming exercise of an animal comprising means for positioning the animal to be exe rcised above a body of water comprising a frame, a horizontal animal supporting platform mounted for vertical movement on said frameQopposite sidewalls upstanding from said platform comprising upper generally parallel portions laterally confining the swimming animal at about the level of the body of the animal during swimming and lower shield portions extending downwardly and outwardly at about the level of the moving legs of the swimming animal, said shield portions providing sufficient lateral space to. accommodate said moving legs and to prevent injury to the swimming animal, and means for controllably lowering and raising said platform to periodically place the animal thereon in swimming position above the platform and rest position on the platform whereby the animal may be subjected to a monitored exercise cycle incorporating successive periods of swimming and recovery.

2. The apparatus defined in claim 1, wherein said lower shield portion of the sidewalls comprise shock absorbing means.

3. The apparatus defined in claim 11, wherein said lower shield portions comprise downwardly and outwardly flaring flexible cushioning members extending to the level of said platform.

4. The apparatus defined in claim 3, wherein upper sidewall portions are spaced parallel panels that extend upwardly from the upper ends of said flaring flexible sidewalls.

5. The apparatus defined in claim 1, wherein said upper sidewall portions are vertical panels that restrain lateral movement of a horse standing on the floor and said panels are disposed above said shield means at such a level as to be out of the path of the moving legs of the horse when the platform is beneath the water during a swimming period.

6. The apparatus defined in claim 5, wherein said lower sidewall portions are downwardly and outwardly flaring flexible members extending between the lower edges of said panels and the opposite sides of said platform.

7. The apparatus defined in claim 1, wherein said body of water is confined in a tank and said frame is mounted for horizontal movement above said tank.

8. The apparatus defined in claim l, wherein said platform raising and lowering means comprises a hydraulic cylinder assembly operatively connected to said platform, and a valved control circuit for said cylinder assembly.

9. The apparatus defined in claim 8, wherein said frame has rotatably mounted reels at opposite ends connected to cables attached to the platform for suspending said platform above the water body, and said cylinder assembly is connected to control rotation of said reels.

10. The apparatus defined in claim 9, wherein said reels are mounted on parallel front and rear shafts on theframe and a chain connects said cylinder assembly to sprockets on said shafts.

ll. The apparatus defined in claim 1, wherein a wheeled portable tankis provided to contain said body of water,- and said support means comprises a frame that is adapted to be mounted for horizontal displacement between a first position at the top of said tank and a second position alongside the tank, an animal supporting 1 platform vertically movably moves along a track structure between said positions, said track structure comprising at opposite upper ends of the tank a first track section rigid with the tank wall and an extendable second section hinged to the first section and foldable back within the tank dimensions when the tank is being transported between use locations,

UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,543,725 Dated December 1, 1970 In entofls) Max B. Kirkpatrick, Andrew G. Harvey, John M.

. Sparks, III

It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Cancel the Figure printed on the abstract page and repl it by that attached below:

Column 1, line 22, change "horse" to horses Column 2, line 34, change "tto" to to Column 2, line 71, change "6" to to Column 3, line 29, delete "of" after object Column 4, line 49, after "the" insert frame Signed and sealed this 13th day of April 1971.

(SEAL) Attest:

EDWARD M.PLETCHER, JR, W LL AM E. SCHUYLER, Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4112874 *Feb 11, 1977Sep 12, 1978Forrest William JLivestock transport apparatus
US4161925 *Dec 9, 1977Jul 24, 1979All Phase Electronics, Inc.Electronic controls for automatically operating a cattle dipping vat
US4165714 *Oct 31, 1977Aug 28, 1979Ely KassAnimal handling systems
US4574739 *Jul 24, 1981Mar 11, 1986Swim-Mill, Inc.Horse exercising device
US4918766 *Oct 16, 1984Apr 24, 1990Leonaggeo Jr AngeloHydrotherapy exercising device with scissor lift treadmill
US7062895 *Aug 16, 2002Jun 20, 2006Sperie Cheryl LMethod of training equine athletes and apparatus therefor
EP0024453A1 *Aug 20, 1979Mar 11, 1981Jerry WeissmanAnimal handling systems
EP2485812A1 *Oct 12, 2010Aug 15, 2012Trailblazers Aquatic LLCMulti-functional treadmill system
WO1984004869A1 *May 29, 1984Dec 20, 1984Autonom HbAnimal training course, especially for race-horses
Classifications
U.S. Classification119/702, 601/158, 119/676, 601/24, 601/35
International ClassificationA01K15/00, A01K15/02
Cooperative ClassificationA01K15/027
European ClassificationA01K15/02D