how steep a ramp can a horse walk up comfortably?
   

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how steep a ramp can a horse walk up comfortably?

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    12-24-2012, 10:57 AM
  #1
Foal
how steep a ramp can a horse walk up comfortably?

I am a landscape architect working on a NYC Parks project for horse stables in Staten Island. The stables that was designed must now be raised 3' above ground, due to hurricane sandy. I am trying to design a ramp for the elderly horses to walk into and out of the stables with comfort. Does anyone know what a reasonable slope (Percent of pitch) might be for such a ramp? Also what material would be best? Wood or steel? Thanks alot.
     
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    12-24-2012, 12:40 PM
  #2
Super Moderator
.

I went out and found an 10' long board and placed it at 3' high to check the angle.

I would say 10' would be the very minimum ramp length for older Horses

Wood would be the preferred material and because of the snow, I would suggest some some strips (maybe 1"x2") across the ramp every foot for added traction.

Because of the height near the end maybe some sort of railing and also because of the height and the size of Horses maybe the ramp should be about 6' wide.

Just an opinion as I am not a Ramp Builder


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    12-24-2012, 01:27 PM
  #3
Green Broke
Why not make a dirt ramp?
     
    12-24-2012, 01:29 PM
  #4
Green Broke
The biggest problem is not the slope itself, but the lack of traction and slipping. I personally would want wood and the standard ADA slope, 1:12, perhaps with a platform halfway.
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    12-24-2012, 01:44 PM
  #5
Green Broke
At bthe horse park in Kentucky they have a steep slope and it has some kind of carpet on it for traction. In winter climates I think wood would also be slippery. You need something that you can clean the ice and snow off of easily and also have traction. You might just have to sand it in the winter.
     
    12-26-2012, 03:07 PM
  #6
Yearling
Do a quick google image search of horse trailer ramps. It seems they're usually rubber with ridges of various sorts to get traction. Plus, it probably won't freeze as quickly since it's rubber, but being in the New York area, you're going to have to constantly put salt down to keep it from becoming icy.

That'll also give you a good idea for steepness, though I'd also go with the ADA recommendations.

I think you should definitely put up railings the entire way - the last thing you want is a spooking horse (and/or it's person) to suddenly fall off because it wasn't watching where it put its feet.

Take that into consideration when designing width, too. I, personally, would hesitate to take my horse up an long alleyway (which is essentially what you're making) if I couldn't turn him around inside. I'd hate to back my horse down something that long if something happened, and no matter how narrow, a horse may decide he's turning around if it's the last thing he does. I know a few that'd take out the sides/rear/go over backwards if they decided they wanted off that ramp. And of course, something will ALWAYS happen sooner or later. Imagine if the invisible boogyman in that specific corner of the arena suddenly joined you on that ramp?
     
    12-26-2012, 03:10 PM
  #7
Yearling
Oh, and unless you want the spookies to come out, I would not do anything steel under a horse's feet as it tends to echo and do strange things, not to mention it's shiny and scary under a horse's feet! I heard of someone at a trail class talking about a bridge wrapped in tin foil, and every horse refused to step on/over it. I'd construct the ramp out of wood, then put rubber footing on top.
     
    12-26-2012, 04:16 PM
  #8
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by jillybean19    
Do a quick google image search of horse trailer ramps. It seems they're usually rubber with ridges of various sorts to get traction. Plus, it probably won't freeze as quickly since it's rubber, but being in the New York area, you're going to have to constantly put salt down to keep it from becoming icy.

That'll also give you a good idea for steepness, though I'd also go with the ADA recommendations.

I think you should definitely put up railings the entire way - the last thing you want is a spooking horse (and/or it's person) to suddenly fall off because it wasn't watching where it put its feet.

Take that into consideration when designing width, too. I, personally, would hesitate to take my horse up an long alleyway (which is essentially what you're making) if I couldn't turn him around inside. I'd hate to back my horse down something that long if something happened, and no matter how narrow, a horse may decide he's turning around if it's the last thing he does. I know a few that'd take out the sides/rear/go over backwards if they decided they wanted off that ramp. And of course, something will ALWAYS happen sooner or later. Imagine if the invisible boogyman in that specific corner of the arena suddenly joined you on that ramp?
If you try and load your horse with a wet ramp on a trailer it can be dangerous and slippery. So unless weather conditions are dry it isn't practical.
     
    12-26-2012, 06:05 PM
  #9
Weanling
If you cannot go with a dirt ramp I would say wood with rubber strips for traction or scoured concrete. As for angles for senior horses would depend on the length of the ramp a ideal ramp level is no higher then 18 degree angle and if you cannot go long with ramp a two level ramp might work. Contact a barn builder such as Morton Buildings or Olde Town Barns they might help you more as so would a vet or one who specializes in rehabilitation of horses.
The loger and less steep the better and think of the traction for year round rubber strips on wood or concrete is ideal.
Good luck

TRR
     
    12-26-2012, 06:19 PM
  #10
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by churumbeque    
If you try and load your horse with a wet ramp on a trailer it can be dangerous and slippery. So unless weather conditions are dry it isn't practical.
Living in the UK I can tell you that I have loaded horses on to many many many wet ramps (rain is the normal state of play at shows in the last few years) and never ever had one slip on a rubber ramp. The correct type of rubber is not smooth, it is quite rough and hay loves getting trapped in it but it doesnt slip.
     

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