Abrasion and Durability of Duplo Horseshoes
Our goal is producing a functional hoof protection that is as durable as possible. The general abrasion resistance of a composite horseshoe is determined by its synthetic material and its metal inlay. It is essential to find the optimal proportion between the two materials. That way, we can offer a product that convinces with weight, abrasion resistance and stability.
However, it is not the product alone which determines the individual abrasion resistance of a hoof protection. There are many other relevant factors like boarding conditions, terrain conditions, weather conditions, and the riding discipline. Thank you for considering these surrounding conditions on which we have no influence!
Standard or Extra?
There are two lines of Duplo models which differ in the hardness of their synthetic material. The Standard models are made from relatively soft synthetic material. They are recognizable by their knob inlays in orange color. The Extra models are made from a slightly harder material than the Standard models. They are recognizable by their knob inlays in green color.
Exception: The Basic models don't have colored knob inlays; their degree of hardness is recognizable by an abbreviation (Std./Ex.) on the hoof side of the horseshoe.
Which horseshoe is better for your horse depends not only from his individual preferences but also from the temperature: The softer synthetic material of the Standard models stays flexible during the cold season and keeps its shock-absorbing characteristics; the harder material of the Extra models, on the other hand, is more immune to heat and remains abrasion-resistant even during higher temperature.
Your Horse is Wearing Duplo Horseshoes for the First Time?
Some horses need a short period of familiarization during the transition from a conventional metal horseshoe to a composite horseshoe. A horse whose musculosceletal system and mechanics have adapted to the sliding behavior of metal horseshoes may shortly be confused because of the reduced sliding range of the Duplos. This may in turn lead to an abnormal abrasion during the first shoeing period with Duplo Horseshoes.
Is it Possible to Use a Duplo Horseshoe More Than Once?
Yes. However, we cannot generalize this statement because the abrasion strongly depends on the individual use and movements of the horse.
If the metal inlay is visible at the end of a shoeing period, we generally don't recommend another application. However, the final decision if a horseshoe is reusable or not is always made by the farrier on-site.
By the way: A "used" Duplo Horseshoe has a different sliding behavior than a new horseshoe - comparable to older winter tires that don't have the same grip as new ones any more!
If you decide to reuse a horseshoe, please make sure to straighten it before shoeing. Otherwise, an unevenness developed in the previous shoeing period might now cause tension and pressure on the sole.
Is it Necessary to Replace the Horseshoe as Soon as the Metal Inlay is Visible?
No! The cross section of the Duplo Horseshoe shows that - even if the metal inlay is visible - the core functions of the horseshoe (hoof protection and shock absorbance) are still given. However, the risk of injuries in the herd may increase depending on the condition of the horseshoe.
Particularly Solid Duplo Horseshoes
The Heavy Duty Shoes were conceived for "big and strong" horses. In addition to their particularly solid metal inlay, the HDS have a thicker synthetic layer on their bottom side in comparison to regular Duplo models. That way, it takes longer for the horseshoe to wear down even in case of increased abrasion caused by intensive use.
Which Horseshoe is Best for Rocky Terrain?
On stony paths or in rocky terrain, the demands on a hoof protection's durability are particularly high. In order to increase the durability of Duplo Horseshoes in these situations, we have developed the model "Arizona". The model uses a protective steel border in its toe area which additionnally protects the synthetic material from being torn out.
Since the steel border is only superficially covered with synthetic material, it will be visible after a few days. In case of this horseshoe, this is no sign of wearout but part of the basic function of our "mountaineering model". However, the risk of injuries in herds increases when the Duplo Arizona is used.
Spikes as Abrasion Protection
Spikes are comparable to hard metal pins in conventional horseshoes. They are usually applied as anti-skid protection in order to improve the horseshoe's grip. However, as a side effect, Spikes in the toe area slow down abrasion in this area and therefore can have a positive influence on the horseshoe's durability. Please note that the risk of injuries in herds increases when Spikes are used.
Storage as Abrasion Protection
A recommendation by Hubert Frank for all those who are en route a lot - during endurance rides or long trail rides, for example - and demand a great deal of their Duplo Horseshoes with regard to abrasion resistance: We always store the horseshoes for 3-4 weeks after production in order to guarantee the usual abrasion protection. Those who have the option can buy their horseshoes in advance and store them at home. That way, the abrasion resistance is additionally improved!