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Motor Help for Horse Walker

Hi ppl,
Somewhat just agreed to help a friend and his family build a 'horse walker'!
I know sounds weird but they want to have a go at building one rather than buying one. Basically as none of them know about electronics they asked for my help.....
And now i ask for yours......

Now i assume that the motor will run from mains, will have to be pretty beefy, if anyone has ideas on this please link me!
Next, speed control, i can probably acquire a relay module from my dad (electronic engineer) and program a micro processor to turn the motor on and off for set periods of time to exercise the horses. Whats the best way of getting speed control?

Thanks

drummerian

http://www.show-jumps.co.uk/horse-walker.jpg

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funchy9 years ago
I have horses. You do not want to build one of these with just a motor and some pipe. Most of the horse people have abandoned the old spinning arm type. If a horse falls, freaks out, or fights his tie it's a huge wreck. Wreck can mean big vet bills or a horse who can never be ridden again. Google it to look at the the newer ones to get ideas. One newer design is a double-walled roundpen and the horses are kept seperate by chain "walls". The "walls" are what move, motivating the horse forward. If something goes catastrophically wrong, the horse can go through the "wall" into the next section without injury. Some also have sensors that shut down the machine if something goes wrong. Maybe a cool thing to add would be a switch for each horse (like the "keys" on treadmills), so a horse broke his halter tie, the machine shuts down. Also keep in mind the strength of a horse who doesn't want to go. 1100 lbs of muscle is alot for a motor to fight with. You need to think about how the exerciser will handle a horse who is fighting it. A lower torque motor that shuts down for safety if too much force fights against it? Or ??? I'd also be careful about over automating it. This isn't something you can put horses in and forget about for 30 minutes, and if you make it too automatic someone might try just that. Unless this is a medical layup farm, honestly most farms have done away with the old mechanized exercisers. Running in a tight circle isn't good for them. Even the racehorses are usually just taken out on an exercise track with a training jockey instead of being put in any machine. The only one I know of still in operation in my area is the fancy one I mentioned with the chain dividers, and it's a pro racehorse layup farm. Just my 2 cents worth. Best of luck to you on your project!
drummer ian (author) 9 years ago
?
drummer ian (author) 9 years ago
bump! still need help plz guys
drummer ian (author) 9 years ago
Yeah this all sounds good ppl, however, i think the reason that speed control (with computer) is necessary is so that the horses can get different exercise programs, like fast for 8 mins then slow down for 8min.
LasVegas9 years ago
To use direct drive, you would need a pretty hefty and slow motor. It would make a lot more sense to use a smaller but fast motor and gear it down, thereby increasing the torque. A good dual phase AC motor could be speed controlled by adjusting the voltage supplied to the motor through a rheostat. Really, very little electronics is necessary and no computer control at all. This is something they've been doing long before computers.
drummer ian (author) 9 years ago
anything household i could salvage a motor from at all?
. Not sure. A washing machine motor _might_ work, but I'm not sure how it would hold up to variable-speed use, especially if you go with direct drive and run the motor at low RPM. . If you can find out the HP rating for a store-bought system, that will give you a better idea of what you're looking for. I got a feeling you're gonna need a bigger motor than what you're liable to find around the house.
A car engine might do the trick =P
. PS: If you can post some links to commercial units, I may be able to tell you how the Big Boys do it. Eg, motor, HP, type controller used.
Treadmill.
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