Horse Progress Days, Topeka, IN July 2010.
“Your horse is less likely to succumb to heat stroke and less likely to come up lame if it is in good physical condition”, says Dr Jerry Sellon DVM, www.DrWeldys.com while addressing the crowd coming to see the Athens Horse Treadmill.
The Athens Treadmill was designed and built by Amish as a means of energy to run washing machines, grain mills, hydraulic motors, pump water, split firewood, compress air, recharge batteries and even turn a refrigeration compressor to make ice. The machines have been field tested for 12 years without incident or injury to a horse. But, Dr Jerry Sellon was at the Horse Progress Days to endorse the Athens Horse Treadmill as a physical benefit to the horse.
“On a lunge line,” stated Dr Sellon, “the horse puts 60% of it’s weight on the inside legs. On a treadmill, the horse weight is balanced.” He continued, “By adjusting the incline on the treadmill to 8-10%, the horse muscles are working at 60% push and 40% pull which is ideal for training. This is a nearly perfect ratio to exercise muscles complimenting normal muscle use. In addition, the straight line horse movement offers a low impact, cardio workout”
Ammon Weaver Jr., a machine tool builder from Liberty, KY, was present as an authority on the Athens horse treadmill because he builds them. But, more than that, Mr Weaver is an authority on using real live horsepower because an eight-horse rotary and two-horse treadmill supply energy to his shop. Not being totally reliant on horsepower, Mr Weaver rides a bicycle to work.
“To find data relevant to using a horse for applied energy,” Mr Weaver stated that, “you have to go back to when horse where used for energy". Using a 1937 Civil Engineering Handbook, Mr. Weaver found that one horse can pull 1/10 to 1/8 of its weight at the drawbar for 20 miles per day and maintain good health and body weight. The test was completed over 219 days straight.” In modern energy terms, this equates to about 4 calories per pound of horse per day.
Horse testing was done, back in the day, to find their optimal energy output capacity. It was found, to a point, that a horse could do a certain amount of applied energy each day without much regard to speed. In other words, a horse can pull 1/10 to 1/8 its weight over 20 miles at 2 miles per hour (mph) for 10 hours or the same weight over 20 miles at 4 mph for 5 hours. Of course the time limiting factor is how fast the horse can run.
But, running is not necessary on the Athens Horse Treadmill. In fact, 1¼ to 3 mph is best. By increasing the slope at which the horse climbs and adjusting the clutch resistance, the level of energy output within a given amount of time can be determined to fit the horse needs. Gradually increasing exercise intensity makes sense until the horse can reach the desired fitness (energy) plateau.
“I see lots of horse heat strokes as the weather warms up.” As Dr Sellon summarizes, “And, an inactive horse suddenly put to work is more prone to lameness issues. Many occasional riders would do well to condition their horse before it’s time to ride and the treadmill is an excellent way to prepare the horse for physical energy exertion.”
Alpha Ag, Inc is happy to announce it’s marketing agreement with Athens Enterprises to promote their horse treadmill and related products. Exercising your horse has never been easier. Harnessing renewable energy as never been simpler.
VETERINARY APPROVED: Your horse gains the exercise it needs while supplying energy to stationary equipment. Run mills, elevators, water pumps, vacuum pumps, air compressors, refrigeration equipment, hydraulic motors or charge batteries. Whether you are operating air tools or your dairy parlor, your horse(s) can supply the needed energy.
Keeping your horse fit can save on veterinary bills. Set at a 10-degree incline and walking in a straight line, your horse exercises his muscles in the proper proportion - preparing him for that long trail ride or cross-country race. A fit horse is less likely to suffer heat stroke and muscle aliments.
Unlike wind and solar energy, a horse treadmill provides energy on demand – without relying on the sun shinning or the wind blowing. Energy can be stored as compressed air without environmental impact or as electricity by charging batteries. Process firewood by powering a saw and log splitter with the horse treadmill. Cool your drinks by making ice for your ice box, or make 5 gallons of ice cream for your next party. The Horse Treadmill will astonish your quests with its simple design while showing your energy independence and environmental consciousness AND ITS GOOD FOR THE HORSE