The Design Process
Tri-Zone boot design starts with us recognising a need for protection of the horse's leg in a particular situation. That may be the type of work, or hazard encountered in a particular discipline, or a need to protect the horse from self-inflicted injury.
This idea may come from within the team at Equilibrium, based on their own experience, or from feedback from the many leading riders across all major competitive disciplines who support us in our quest to develop the best equine boots.
Once a concept has been identified, we set out to identify possible materials. These may be ones we already use for other applications in our range, but quite often we have to search for appropriate materials used in other product areas, such as sports injury management, or equipment for other sports.
When we have an idea of the materials and fabrics available, we construct prototype boots. These are often based on a mould taken of a horse's leg, so we can be sure the final product will fit well, especially if it is a close-contact boot. The prototypes are then used by our panel of riders, under controlled conditions. Their feedback is essential in refining the design, in terms of fit, flexibility, security, ease of use, and many other aspects.
Incorporating their comments, we may prototype repeatedly, until we and the riders are happy with the design. A set of technical drawings of the boots is created, and sent to selected production units, for them to create the first samples. These will be used both for more field trials, but also for laboratory tests, which validate the boots' performance in terms of protection and, other relevant aspects such as heat management, flexibility and weight.Final amendments are made to the drawings, and the first production run is commissioned. This is not the end of the design process, however. We are always interested in feedback from users, and your comments are used, either to confirm our design, or to refine it further, our main concern always being the horse's wellbeing.