top of page
Chiara Zaugg Portfolio EQUIA adaptive hoof protection for horses hoof boot


adaptive hoof protection 
for horses


When horses walk on hard ground, their hooves need protection from unnatural abrasion and sharp objects such as stones. Fewer and fewer horses are shod with horseshoes made from iron. Existing alternatives in the form of hoof boots support the natural hoof functions. Synthetic materials promote shock absorption, allow blood circulation in the leg and maintain the animal‘s sense of touch. However, existing products pose a risk to the safety of humans and animals due to the limited adjustment options and complex handling. These adaptions are necessary due to the horn growth and the associated change in the shape of the hooves.



Through the interplay of flexible materials and the shape of the shell, EQUIA adapts directly to the shape of the hoof. This reduces the risk of the boot becoming detached from the hoof and sticking to the foot, thereby increasing the safety of the rider and horse. Worn out soles and broken parts can be replaced without much effort. The boot can be put on and taken off in just a few simple steps, shortening the preperation time for a ride.



bachelor thesis at Zürich University of the Arts

applied skills

market analysis
expert interviews
explanatory graphics
model and prototype construction
CMF (colour, material and finish)
creating and customizing sewing patterns
3D printing
silicone and polyurethane casting

Optimized handling
Due to the simplified handling, EQUIA requires half the time to be put on as other hoof boots.

1   flexible polyurethane shell with a cut-out in the toe area for form-fitting

2   stepless fastening with Velcro

3   size-adjustable fastening strap made of water-repellent functional textile (Cordura), with elastic sections (softshell) and reflectors, for a perfect fit, comfort and safety even in the dark

Sole and shell
The injection-molded shell is made of polyurethane. This material is particularly suitable due to its high mechanical strength, good damping values, weather resistance and low deformation. The sole of hoof shoes is subject to the greatest wear. To simplify the time-consuming and therefore expensive resoling, EQUIA has a replaceable, glued sole that is molded over the toe.

Formal appearance
EQUIA integrates itself into the overall picture of horse and rider thanks to its closed and minimalistic shape, while the sporty cut underlines the comfortable and safe movement.

Process documentation
The documentation offers a detailed insight into the thoughts and process of the project. It‘s written in German, as this was the language in which the project was processed and written. 


bottom of page