Title:
Riding spur with protective layer
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The riding spur has a U-shaped band member, a spur and a protective layer. The band member comprises two side parts, each comprising a side leg and an eye region. The side legs comprise one outer surface and one inner surface and are connected to the protective layer, the inner surface being lined with the protective layer. The protective layer does not cover the outer surface of the side legs completely but leaves it at least partially exposed so that the outer surface of the side legs forms at least partially the visible outer surface of the band member.



Inventors:
Sprenger, Peter (Iserlohn, DE)
Vollmecke, Valentin (Iserlohn, DE)
Baumann, Heinz (Iserlohn, DE)
Application Number:
11/502867
Publication Date:
02/15/2007
Filing Date:
08/12/2006
Assignee:
Herm. Sprenger GmbH & Co. KG
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A43C17/06
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NGUYEN, SON T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MCCARTER & ENGLISH, LLP (HARTFORD, CT, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A riding spur comprising a U-shaped band member, a spur and a protective layer, the band member comprising two side parts, each comprising a side leg and an eye region and the side legs comprising one outer surface and one inner surface each and being connected to the protective layer, the inner surface being lined with the protective layer, wherein the protective layer does not cover the outer surface of the side legs completely but leaves it at least partially exposed so that the outer surface of the side legs forms at least partially the visible outer surface of the band member.

2. The riding spur as set forth in claim 1, wherein less than 50% of the outer surface of the side legs is provided with a protective layer, more specifically that it is not provided with a protective layer at all.

3. The riding spur as set forth in claim 1, wherein more than 50% of the entire surface area of the inner surface of the side legs is provided with a protective layer.

4. The riding spur as set forth in claim 3, wherein about 80% of the entire surface area of the inner surface of the side legs is provided with a protective layer.

5. The riding spur as set forth in claim 1, wherein the side legs comprise at least one hole that commences at the inner surface and extends as far as the outer surface or not as far as the outer surface and that the protective layer engages the at least one hole.

6. The riding spur as set forth in claim 1, wherein the side legs comprise a recess or crimp that is formed on the inner surface and that the protective layer engages with the recess or crimp.

7. The riding spur as set forth in claim 1, wherein the side legs comprise at least one roughened region that is located inside the inner surface and that is obtained through sandblasting.

8. The riding spur as set forth in claim 1, wherein a protective layer is fastened on the inner surface.

9. The riding spur as set forth in claim 8, wherein the protective layer is fastened on the inner surface by gluing, spraying, vulcanizing or any combination thereof.

10. The riding spur as set forth in claim 1, wherein a carrier means is applied to the inner surface and that the carrier means is intimately connected to the protective layer and does not protrude beyond the surface of the protective layer.

11. The riding spur as set forth in claim 10, wherein the carrier means is a metallic mesh that is solidly connected to the inner surface.

12. The riding spur as set forth in claim 1, wherein the protective layer ensheathes the side legs in a hose-like fashion, leaving windows.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to German Application No. DE102005038564.8, filed Aug. 12, 2005, the contents of which are expressly incorporated by reference in their entirety as part of the present disclosure.

BACKGROUND

The invention relates to a riding spur comprising a U-shaped band member, a spur and a protective layer, the band member having two side parts, each comprising a side leg and an eye region and the side legs having one outer surface and one inner surface each and being connected to the protective layer, the inner surface being lined with the protective layer.

The band member and the spur usually are made from metal, the protective layer in most cases from a plastic material or from rubber. A riding spur of the type mentioned herein above is sold under the order number 404 01 000 by Horse & Moore, Christoph Augsten & Harald Schmidt GbR, Simmershauser Str. 15a, 34246 Veil mar (Germany). The protective layer thereby surrounds the side legs like a hose so that only the eye regions and the spur are not sheathed. The protective layer prevents the metallic side legs from fitting directly against a riding boot and from adversely affecting it.

A disadvantage thereof is the visual impression. The material of the band member, which is stainless steel, has a nice surface that is however substantially concealed except for the two eye regions. At the transition between the ends of the hose-shaped protective layer and the eye regions there is a step that actually makes no sense. The protective layer leaves the eye regions generously exposed, with the allowed construction offering no possibility to extend the protective layer, not even in parts, into the eye regions. Annoying is also the material mixture of a normally black colored protective layer and the noble surface of the stainless steel parts. The eye region is also referred to as the loop portion.

This is where the invention sets in. It is its object to further develop the riding spur of the type mentioned herein above in such a manner that the protective layer steps largely back and is substantially only present where it is really needed, with the riding spur being intended to be of lighter weight and also less thick.

SUMMARY

In view of the riding spur of the type mentioned herein above, this object is solved by providing a riding spur comprising a U-shaped band member, a spur and a protective layer. The band member comprises two side parts, each comprising a side leg and an eye region and the side legs comprising one outer surface and one inner surface each and being connected to the protective layer. The inner surface is lined with the protective layer, wherein the protective layer does not cover the outer surface of the side legs completely but leaves it at least partially exposed so that the outer surface of the side legs forms at least partially the visible outer surface of the band member.

On this riding spur, the protective layer is reduced over the previously known riding spur. A portion of the outer surface at least is freely visible so that the surface of the metallic side legs, which is more specifically a stainless steel surface, is visible. As a result thereof, the weight of the riding spur is reduced. It also is less thick than the side legs, which now project outward to a lesser degree.

A riding spur is known from U.S. Pat. No. 6,192,663 B1 the side legs of which have a perimetric lip on their inner surface. The perimetric lip is made from a rubber and releasably engages the gap between the sole and the side of the boot thus fixing the position of the riding spur. The lip does not prevent the metallic band member from directly contacting the riding boot.

It is preferred that the portion of the protective layer that surrounds the outer surface be eliminated altogether. As a result, the riding spur is even lighter and also has a reduced overall thickness. The outer surface is thus completely visible and is in no way adversely affected by the protective layer. The protective layer is only provided where it is really needed, that is to say between the metal of the band member and the riding boot. The protective layer is invisible from the outside.

Overall, the invention aims at making the riding spur lighter, also to configure it to be less thick, with the riding spur also having an aesthetically pleasing appearance. Dressage riders in particular prefer riding spurs that, while offering the advantage of having a protective layer, also have this protective layer concealed in such a manner that it is not visible from the exterior. The invention makes it possible to cover the inner surfaces with the protective layer, inclusive of the inner surfaces of the eye regions.

An embodiment in which the outer surfaces of the side legs are still partially covered by the protective layer offers the advantage that the protective layer still forms a surrounding grip around the side legs in a hose-like fashion so that it is assured that the protective layer is retained. In an embodiment in which the outer surface is completely free of the protective layer, it is assured that the protective layer is intimately connected to the metallic material of the side legs. This is achieved by appropriate measures, namely gluing, vulcanizing and/or spraying. Other methods ensuring a secure hold between a preferably thin protective layer and the inner surface are also contemplated.

It is preferred that less than 50% of the outer surface of the side leg be provided with a protective layer, more specifically that it is not provided with a protective layer at all. A light-weighted embodiment having a pleasing appearance is thus achieved. Preferably, the respective borders of the protective layer are implemented so as to thin out toward the border so that they merge into the surface of the band member without any step. This may also happen at the end regions of the protective layer that are neighboring the eye region. There, prior art riding spurs have a step in the protective layer. This step can be avoided by continuously reducing the material thickness toward the border.

When the protective layer is intimately connected with the metallic material of the band member, it is also possible to integrate into the protective layer parts of the inner surface of the eye regions. This may permit to avoid any contact between the material of the band member and a riding boot. Additionally, the friction between an eye strap and the eye region may be increased in a selectively adjustable manner so that it is made more difficult for the eye strap to become displaced.

To improve the bond of the protective layer on the inner surfaces, it is proposed that the side legs comprise at least one hole that commences at the inner surface and is either a through hole or a blind hole. This hole improves the bond of the protective layer. A similar result may be obtained if each side leg comprises a recess, more specifically a crimp, formed on the inner surface and receiving a portion of the protective layer so that it may even be matingly connected with the band member. More specifically, an intimate bond of the protective layer to the inner surface is obtained if the protective layer is vulcanized thereon. Usual methods known for metal-to-rubber bonds may serve this purpose.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Other features and advantages will become more apparent upon reviewing the appended claims and the following non restrictive description of embodiments of the invention, given by way of example only with reference to the drawing. In the drawing:

FIG. 1 is a side view of a riding spur that is disposed on a partially shown riding boot and that is associated with the strap;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a riding spur in a configuration like FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a top view of the riding spur in accordance with FIG. 2, with the protective layer being partially cut away in region X;

FIG. 4 is a top view of a third exemplary embodiment of the riding spur;

FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken along V-V in FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a schematic representation in the form of a sectional view of a mould for manufacturing the riding spur of FIG. 4, concretely for manufacturing the region corresponding to the sectional view of FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is an inner view of a fourth exemplary embodiment that is shown in parts only;

FIG. 8 is a sectional view similar to FIG. 5 for a fifth exemplary embodiment;

FIG. 9 is a sectional view similar to FIG. 5 for a sixth exemplary embodiment;

FIG. 10 is a sectional view similar to FIG. 5 for a seventh exemplary embodiment; and

FIG. 11 is a sectional illustration of an intermediate state during the manufacturing of an eighth exemplary embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

A riding spur, which is retained by means of a strap 18, is attached to a commercially available riding boot 20 of which the upper portion of the shaft is not shown in FIG. 1. It can be seen that the riding spur 16 forms a U-shaped surrounding grip around the heel region of the riding boot 20 and is located above the sole of the riding boot 20, being spaced a distance of more than one centimeter apart from the sole.

The riding spur has a U-shaped band member 20 and a spur 24 that is connected to the band member so as to be replaceable should the need arise. Finally, the riding spur 16 has a protective layer 26 that is also connected to the band member 22. In the concrete case of the exemplary embodiment shown in FIG. 1 and of the second exemplary embodiment shown in the FIGS. 2 and 3, the protective layer is configured in the shape of a hose and is not bonded to the band member 22 but matingly retained thereon.

The band member 22 comprises two side parts 28 that are preferably built according to the same principle. This side part 28 has one side leg 30 and one eye region 32 that is located at the free end of the side leg 30. The side legs 30 are integrally connected together in the region of the spur 24. Preferably, the band member 22 is manufactured from a planar stainless steel blank, the reader being referred for this purpose to the document EP 1 094 730 61 of the applicant; the band member 22 may also be cast. The spur 24 may be integrally associated with the band member 22.

Each side leg 30 has one outer surface 34 and one inner surface 36. The inner surface 36 is turned toward the riding boot 20, the outer surface is directed outward and is visible from the exterior. As can be seen from all the Figures, the protective layer 26 is located on the inner surface 36 in any case. It prevents the normally metallic band member 22 from having direct contact with the riding boot 20 and from scratching or otherwise adversely affecting same. In most of the exemplary embodiments shown, in the FIGS. 1 through 3 for example, the protective layer 26 does not extend into the eye region 32, but, as will be discussed later, the invention makes it also possible to provide for a protective layer there as well, the reader being already referred to FIG. 7, which is anticipated for this purpose.

For the protection of the riding boot 20 it is not necessary that the protective layer 26 be also located on the outer surface 34. Insofar as the protective layer 26 is located on the outer surface 34, it covers there the metallic material of the band member 22, which means a certain weight and also a certain thickness of same. In order to prevent this, the protective layer 26 in the two exemplary embodiments shown in the FIGS. 1 through 3 are configured in the form of a hose completely covering the inner surface but not completely covering the outer surface 34 of the side legs 30. There, windows 38 are left free through which the surface of the band member 22 is visible. By virtue of the hose-shaped configuration, the protective layer 26 is matingly connected to the band member 22 in the two first exemplary embodiments without being directly interlocked therewith or having to be bonded thereto. Thanks to the hose-like surrounding grip, the protective layer is connected to the band member 22 so as to be secured from being lost.

As it can be seen, the spur 24 is free from any protective layer 26 in all of the exemplary embodiments. Although it may in principle be sheathed with such a layer, it is advantageous to leave it exposed.

Concretely, the two first exemplary embodiments are manufactured in the following way: First, a riding spur as it is known for example from the cited document EP 1 094 730 B1 is manufactured. This riding spur 16 is placed into a mould of a construction similar to that shown in FIG. 6 which will be discussed later. It has a mould cavity for receiving the riding spur and also has enough space for the protective layer. Once the riding spur has been placed into the mould and the mould is closed, the material of the hose-shaped protective layer is injected. A quite soft, rubber-like synthetic material, more specifically TPE, is used. It preferably has a Shore hardness of about 70. Injection occurs at 150 to 180° C., the material used is black. The borders of the windows 38 may taper softly although they may also be substantially perpendicular to the surface of the band member 22. The same applies to the ends of the hose-shaped protective layer in proximity to the eye regions 32.

As contrasted with the exemplary embodiments discussed herein above, the metallic material of the band member 22 is somehow bonded to the protective layer 26 in all of the following exemplary embodiments. As a result, a shape-mating surrounding grip around the cross-section of the side legs 30 is no longer necessary, this offering the advantage that not only a portion of the outer surface 34, but the entire outer surface 34 can be left free of the protective layer 26.

In the third exemplary embodiment as shown in the FIGS. 4 through 6, a strip-shape protective layer 26 is vulcanized on the major part of the inner surface 36 of the two side legs 30. It can be seen in particular from FIG. 5 that the strip-shaped protective layer 26 covers the major part, about 80 to 90%, of the inner surface 36. Like in all the other exemplary embodiments, the protective layer 26 is quite thin, it preferably has a material thickness of 1 to 2 mm; the material thickness can be in the range of 0.5 to 3 mm. Greater or smaller material thicknesses are possible in principle.

The riding spur 16 according to the third exemplary embodiment is manufactured as follows. Again, a riding spur as it is known from the cited document EP 0 194 730 B1 is first manufactured. In the areas of the inner surface 36 that are to be provided later with the protective layer 26, the inner surface is now roughened, more specifically sandblasted. Then, these regions are covered with Chemosil or another corresponding binder. Chemosil is for example sold by Henkel KGaA, Dusseldorf, Germany, the reader is also referred to www.chemosil.de. Chemosil is utilized for safe rubber-to-metal bonds. By virtue of their universality, the Chemosil binders are accepted as standard products by the rubber processing industry.

Concretely, two coatings of Chemosil are applied consecutively, with four hours waiting in-between for the respective layer to dry properly. Then, a rubber strip, which has previously been cut to size and has substantially the shape of a very long rectangle, is placed thereon and the whole assembly placed into the mould 40 in accordance with FIG. 6. The strip-shaped blank is bonded to the metal of the band member 22 at a pressure of about 30 bar (about 30 tons) and at a temperature ranging between about 140 and 160° C. The blank may be made of natural rubber, although other rubber-like materials such as EPM, EPDM, MQ, TM and so on are possible. During vulcanization, the thickness of the original blank made from rubber or natural rubber is slightly reduced, it is typically reduced by about 30 to 40%. An approximately 1 mm thick layer of approximately uniform thickness as it can be seen in FIG. 5 can be obtained.

Details of the mould can be seen in FIG. 6. The mould consists of two halves 42, 44 that are shown separated in FIG. 6; they are assembled pursuant to the arrow, then bounding a mould cavity that corresponds to the outer contours of the cross section in accordance with FIG. 5. Compressed air is supplied through a feed channel 46, with a heater (not shown) heating the arrangement to the temperature required. In an alternative, it is also possible to inject an elastomeric synthetic material through the feed channel 46.

It is also possible to apply the protective layer 26 when the band member 22 is in its extended shape and has not yet been bent into a U-shape. This will be discussed with reference to FIG. 7, which shows a portion of a band member 22 that is completely extended and level, meaning that has not yet been bent into the shape shown for example in FIG. 4. In this state, the protective layer 26 may e.g., be applied as discussed herein above with respect to the third exemplary embodiment shown in the FIGS. 4 through 6. Next, the band member 22 is bent into its U-shape as it is shown for example in FIG. 4. Generally, this simplifies the configuration of the mould 40 for vulcanization or, in the first two exemplary embodiments, for injection-molding.

FIG. 7 shows more than that. The protective layer 26, which again only lies on the major part of the inner surface 36, now also extends into the eye region 32. Concretely, it extends into the interspace between two eyes 48. As can be seen from FIG. 1, this interspace is not contacting the strap 18. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 7, the strap 18 does not come into contact with the protective layer 26. The protective layer 26 shown in FIG. 7 reduces the possibility of a contact between metal and riding boot 20.

In a variant, the protective layer 26 shown in FIG. 7 may also extend into further regions located on the inner side of the eye region 32. The inner sides of the outer webs bounding and defining the eyes 34 toward the outside for instance may also be coated with the protective layer 26, which at need may be configured to be thinner. These regions make direct contact with the strap 18 and produce an effect of increased friction as compared with the contact that may be achieved with the metallic material of the webs. The strap 18 fits better this way, meaning the strap 18 cannot become displaced so easily with respect to the eye region 32.

In the exemplary embodiment as shown in FIG. 8, the side leg 30, which is shown in a sectional view, has a crimp 49 that is obtained through a forming process. Instead of the crimp, at least one local hole, which also commences at the inner surface 36 and is configured to be a blind hole, may be used. The crimp 49 preferably has an undercut. It is filled with the material of the protective layer 26, which adheres inside the crimp 49 or the hole 50 and is better retained as a result thereof. In the exemplary embodiment shown in FIG. 8, the protective layer 26 may otherwise be connected to the inner surface 36 in any other way, for example by gluing, vulcanizing or spraying.

In the exemplary embodiment shown in FIG. 9, a hole 50 is configured to be a through hole. The protective layer 26 again extends through this hole 50 and also slightly against the outer surface 34 in the form of a knob 52. In other respects, the conditions are the same as in FIG. 8.

In the embodiment shown in FIG. 10, a carrier means 54 in the form of a metal mesh is connected to the inner surface 36 such as by spot welding. Next, a plastic layer forming the protective layer 26 is injection-molded around this carrier means 54 in the form of a thin metal grid mesh, which is covered all round with this layer. The carrier means 54 is completely ensheathed and not visible from the exterior. It merely serves to come into intimate contact with the material of the protective layer 26 so that it is solidly connected to the side leg 30 through the carrier means 54.

FIG. 11 finally shows the steps of gluing a protective layer 26 onto a side leg 30. For this purpose, a layer of glue 56 is applied onto the inner surface 36. Then, the strip-shaped blank that is intended to form the protective layer 26 is pressed and glued thereon.