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Patent appraised by patentsbase$
GLOBAL PATENTRANK# 56.000
Apparatus for measuring the head of a horse incorporates various components, such as cheek straps , each of which is movable (slidable) relative to another component in order to produce an overall desired fit of the apparatus , which is generally in the form of a bridle, to the head . Once the desired fit has been achieved, windows and numerals allow measurements to be taken, indicating the relative positions of the slidable components. These measurements may give direct measurements of the lengths required of various components of the bridle to be made, or may be other measurements from which strap lengths can be deduced. The apparatus generally resembles the bridle which will be constructed, and thus allows the user to ensure a good fit to a particular head (which is partly an aesthetic judgement, and partly based on measurement and experience), so that a bridle can then be made with reasonable confidence that it will be a good fit.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
One example of apparatus according to the present invention will now be described in more detail, by way of example only, and with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIGS. 1 and 2 are schematic views of the near-side and off-side of a horse's head to which apparatus according to the present invention has been fitted;
FIG. 3 shows a measuring device for use in the apparatus of FIGS. 1 and 2;
FIG. 4 is a schematic diagram showing a head strap with other components omitted for clarity; and
FIG. 5 shows a measuring device for use with the head strap of FIG. .
FIGS. 1 and 2 show horse head measuring apparatus fitted to a horse head . The apparatus incorporates various pairs of components, such as cheek straps each of which is movable (slidable) relative to another component to produce a desired fit of the apparatus to the head . Measuring means in the form of a window and numbers provide a measurement of the relative positions of the slidable components.
In more detail, the apparatus shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 forms a complete bridle for the horse's head, but could not be used for riding for reasons which will become apparent below. On the side shown in FIG. 1, two cheek straps , extend up from the bit at to the head band . A nose band and brow band are provided over the front of the head. A throat lash passes under the throat from the head band. On the other side (FIG. 2) another two cheek straps , extend from the other end of the bit at to the head band . A head strap extends over the head of the horse, but underneath the cheek straps and head band ; the head strap is best seen in FIG. 4, from which all except the head strap , nose band and the associated measuring device have been omitted for clarity.
FIG. 3 shows an example of a measurement arrangement provided at various positions around the bridle , as follows. The nose band passes each way round the nose to join up again at a measurement device . The cheek straps ,,, are each attached to the head band by measurement devices The throat lash is permanently attached to the off-side of the head band (FIG. 2) and is connected on the near-side of the bridle (FIG. 1) to the head band by a measurement device . Similarly, the brow band is permanently attached at to the off-side of the head band (FIG. 2) and is attached to the near-side of the head band (FIG. 1) by means of a measuring device .
Each of the measuring devices operates in the same manner and has the same form, apart from minor variations of size or shape arising from the location of the device in the bridle . Accordingly, it is convenient to describe one measurement device by reference to FIG. and without relating the device to any particular device from FIGS. 1 and 2. Having understood the construction and operation of the device of FIG. 3, it is a simple matter, well within the powers of a person skilled in the art, to understand how each of the measurement devices of the bridle will be constructed and will function.
Turning then to FIG. 3, the measurement device has two components, namely a strap and a window piece . The window piece has four slits , formed perpendicular to the length of the strap . The two slits are relatively close together. The strap is threaded through the slits ,, so as to pass through the slits in opposite directions and thus allow a short length of the strap to be visible between the slits , with the strap being obscured to either side of the slits by material of the window piece . In effect, the slits provide a window through which different parts of the strap may be seen as the strap slides relative to the window piece through the slits ,.
Numerical markings or other indicia are formed along the length of the strap . These indicia correspond to measurements of components of a finished bridle. As the strap is slid relative to the window piece to lengthen or shorten the overall length of the two parts, different indicia will become visible through the window. Accordingly, the strap and window piece can be adjusted until the bridle has achieved a desired fit on the horse's head, which will be comfortable, safe and aesthetically pleasing. Once that has been achieved, the number visible in the window of the window piece can then be read and recorded to provide a measurement for constructing a functional bridle.
Returning now to FIGS. 1 and 2, it can be seen that when the apparatus is first fitted to the head, the various measurement devices can be slid in either direction to lengthen or shorten various components of the apparatus , until a good fit is achieved. Adjustments can be made in any order, but it may be convenient first to adjust the brow band to ensure that the head band and brow band sit comfortably on the horse without pressing uncomfortably on the ears . The cheek straps ,,, can then be lengthened or shortened at to set the bit , at a height appropriate for the particular horse being measured. It may be desirable to provide releasable fittings at the bottom of the cheek straps, to allow fitting of the bit normally used with the horse being measured. This helps ensure that the particular bit will fit the particular horse correctly. The length of the nose band can then be adjusted at to be a comfortable fit over the nose. Finally, the throat lash can be adjusted at until fitting correctly.
In addition to the measuring devices just described, the head strap and nose band are connected by the device shown in FIG. . This has a window through which the head strap is visible and through which a measurement can be read in the manner described above. This measurement depends on the height of the nose band on the horse's nose, which will in turn be set for a variety of reasons of comfort and control. A device is provided on both sides of the head, so that the required length of the head strap can be determined by taking a measurement from each of those devices. In addition to the length of the head strap, its stitching position along the nose band can be determined by noting the position of the edges of the device , with reference to the numbers on the nose band . No windows are provided for this measurement but the edges of the device provide a cursor for taking readings.
Adjustments at each of the measuring positions can be made and re-made until the user is satisfied that the apparatus is correctly fitting the horse's head as required in a finished bridle. This judgement is partly aesthetic and partly judged by how tight or loose various parts of the straps are, where they sit in relation to the features of the head etc. Once the fit is approved, the measurements indicated by the windows of each of the measurement devices ,,, can then be read and recorded to provide a complete set of measurements from which a bridle can then be manufactured. These measurements may be actual measurements of strap lengths required, or other indications from which strap lengths can be deduced.
Once a bridle has been constructed from those measurements, the manufacturer and user can be confident that the bridle will be a good, comfortable fit on the horse. In the finished article, buckles and straps would nevertheless be provided, partly to assist in putting the bridle onto the horse, and also to provide some further fine adjustment of the fit. It is convenient if the measurement devices are located at the position of these buckles in the final bridle, to further assist in achieving a good fit.
The result is a bridle which is made-to-measure for a particular horse. Indeed, it is possible to make a made-to-measure bridle even if the manufacturer cannot have direct access to the horse. For instance, a mail order arrangement could involve the manufacturer sending out an apparatus to a prospective customer, who then fits it to their horse, reads off the measurements which result, and sends those back to the manufacturer, who can then make a made-to-measure bridle for that horse without having had direct access to the horse.
It may be desirable for the apparatus to be made of leather in order to more closely resemble a real bridle and thus further assist the correct fitting. Alternatively, particularly in the mail order operation envisaged above, the apparatus could be made of very cheap, preferably disposable material such as linen tape, to be used once and discarded once the measurements had been sent back to the manufacturer. One advantage of using leather is that a relatively tight friction fit can be achieved in each of the measurement devices, thus helping the apparatus stay in the correct position while measurements are being taken. However, it will of course be realised that it would not be safe to use the apparatus as a bridle while riding, because it would be not be secure or safe enough to withstand the forces encountered during riding.
Various modifications and variations can be made to the apparatus described above without departing from the scope of the present invention. In particular, the principles described, particularly the use of a measurement device as shown in FIG. 3, can readily be applied to alternative bridle styles, with the same results and advantages. Different materials could be used.
Whilst endeavouring in the foregoing specification to draw attention to those features of the invention believed to be of particular importance it should be understood that the Applicant claims protection in respect of any patentable feature or combination of features hereinbefore referred to and/or shown in the drawings whether or not particular emphasis has been placed thereon.
1. Horse head measuring apparatus comprising two movable components that are movable relative to one another to produce a desired fit of the apparatus relative to the head, and measuring means operable to provide a measurement of the relative positions of said components, said measuring means comprising indicia on one of said components and indicator means on the other of said components, said indicator means serving, in use, to indicate one of said indicia as said measurement, and said indicator means comprising two apertures in said other component, said one component being threaded through both said apertures and in opposite senses, said one component being thereby visible between said apertures and obscured by said other component to either side of said apertures, and wherein the apparatus is in the form of a bridle.
2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said measurement is numerical.
3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said measurement represents the length required of a strap of a finished harness article having the desired fit to the head being measured.
4. The apparatus of claim 3, wherein said finished harness article is a bridle.
5. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said measuring means is provided at each position at which an adjustable connection will be provided for a strap in a bridle to be made from the measurements, whereby a required length of each strap in said bridle is represented by respective indicia after said apparatus has been adjusted to provide a desired fit to a head.
6. A method of measuring a horses's head, comprising: providing measuring apparatus in the form of a bridle and including two movable components that are movable relative to one another to produce a desired fit of the apparatus relative to the head, and measuring means operable to provide a measurement of the relative positions of said components, said measuring means comprising indicia on one of said components and indicator means on the other of said components, said indicator means serving, in use, to indicate one of said indicia as said measurement, and said indicator means comprising two apertures in said other component, said one component being threaded through both said apertures and in opposite senses, said one component being thereby visible between said apertures and obscured by said other component to either side of said apertures, offering the apparatus to said head, adjusting said components relative to one other to achieve a desired fit to said head, and using the measuring means to provide a measure of the relative positions of the components.
7. The method of claim 6, comprising moving said relatively movable components until a desired overall fit is achieved by said apparatus, and reading measurements from said measurement means.
8. The method of claim 7, wherein a manufacturer dispatches said measuring apparatus to a prospective customer, said customer fits said apparatus to a head, records measurements provided by said measurement means, and provides said recorded measurements to said manufacturer, whereby said manufacturer is enabled to produce a made-to-measure harness article without access to said horse.
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