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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Northern California
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    179

    Default Ever design / build Wheelchair ramp for horse mounting?

    My daughter got involved with a local group that does therapy for disabled and emotionally challenged children. (She was actually one of the first group of kids in the category for the pilot program and is moving up to Jr. Student Helper!)

    The group has only been going a year and a half and they are moving along into the next phase of their growth and now need a special outdoor ramp constructed for allowing people in wheel chairs to ascend up to the level of the therapy horses and mount them to ride.

    We have been looking at the A.D.A requirements and trying to figure out how to calculate a gentle slope angle so we can design and create a materials list that we will be using to gather donations for. The ramp will have to be in two levels with a short landing in between. I don't have any of the dimensions of height yet but have seen other examples. The examples typically have a rise from ground level to a small pad to turn 180* and rise to the next level where they can be assisted to mount onto a horse.

    My thoughts are to build the entire ramps in aluminum, (since it will be outdoors and need to be semi-portable), and coat the decking with Herculiner truck bed coating, so that it will provide non-skid grip even in damp conditions. There will also be an accompanying hand rail system but that will be tubular and easy to construct as part of the ramps.

    My question is: Has anyone ever done something like this and could provide me some dimensions and / or ideas and images?

    Thank you in advance for you replies!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Deltaville, VA
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    2,239

    Default

    Have you considered a lift vs a ramp.

    Lift would have certain advantages. More portable. Adjustable mounting height. Less space required.

    Might want to look at what it would take to "modify" something like a jet ski lift to accomplish the objective. Also may want to take a look at the hydraulic lift tables sold by some of the major retailers for ideas.

    A ramp up to "horse height" is not going to be very portable and it's going to take a lot of space.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles
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    Default

    The ADA requirements have the Slope/Rise per ft already there for you.

    Really it is just a matter of trying to construct the ramp system so it is Modular.

    Here is one site to look at for ideas.

    http://www.discountramps.com/modular_ramps.htm
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Lodi, CA
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    1,273

    Default

    SDIII, I was thinking the same thing myself, when I first read this. Building a ramp, even two ramps with a landing in between, would take quite a bit of aluminum. Unless you designed wheels into them, they wouldn't exactly be portable, either.

    I did think that perhaps the noise of an electric/hydraulic lift would spook the horse, but any horses working with people like this should be able to take anything and everything. And then I think of the horse farm next door, those horses listen to me run heavy equipment, engine drive welders, air-carbon arcs, hammering, picking up and dropping stuff, etc. etc. All the clanging and banging doesn't even phase them anymore. They go to shows and exhibitions across the country, they tell me everybody else's horses jump and are startled by sudden loud noises, their horses don't even roll their eyes.

    Personally, I would research a lift, it may actually be cheaper and easier to work with in the long run.
    Obviously, I'm just a hack-artist, you shouldn't be listening to anything I say .....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Central Iowa
    Posts
    72

    Default

    Here is a calculator for slope.....Note that an occupied w/c takes a different slope than an unoccupied one.

    http://www.discountramps.com/ramp-calculator-wc.htm

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Hampton, Va.
    Posts
    386

    Thumbs up

    I can relate to this thread as I use a power wheelchair. Sundown is right on target. The use of a lift or modified lift would be your best route to take. A ramp would be bulky and not as portable as you might think and by using a lift of some sort you will not have to worry about the slope or rise.

    Good luck,
    Wheelchair

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Lodi, CA
    Posts
    1,273

    Default

    Another advantage of a lift, you can vary the height, to fit the person's capabilities and the size of the horse.
    Obviously, I'm just a hack-artist, you shouldn't be listening to anything I say .....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Lodi, CA
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    Default

    Cheap and fast, find a straight up and down scissorlift manlift, remove the 4' slide-out portion on one end. Build down to ground level, something easy to get a wheelchair onto and enough room for helpers. Normally battery powered, use where ever, as long as you can recharge the batteries. Plenty of weight carrying capability, and stability, these were designed for 2 to 4 men, plus tools. And they are cheap now.

    Just follow the ADA rules, as far as handrails and safety equipment. No doubt in my mind, there's a way to limit the total rise, obviously we don't want to end up 30' in the air.
    Obviously, I'm just a hack-artist, you shouldn't be listening to anything I say .....

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
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    Default

    Found this info also just googling around

    http://www.narha.org/PDFfiles/RampPlans.pdf
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    N.E. IL
    Posts
    22

    Default

    i don't have any ideas.
    but do you have any info where material or monetary donations could be made?
    i may be able to help that way, as well as others.

    dave.
    IBEW electrican 26 yrs

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