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D3O® technology makes for happy horses

We are excited to announce a collaboration between MicroPerformance and D3O®, a technology company leading the way in advanced impact-protection. At MicroPerformance, we have always embraced innovation and our recently developed MicroPerformance ProSport Impact Pad is like nothing seen before, in the equestrian market.

Lorenzo Minachesi and MP Saddle Pads

D3O® Technology

There are lots of saddle pads and half pads on the market promising to absorb shock but with our backgrounds in science and technology and experience in other sports, we knew there were better materials available so we started shopping around. It did not take long to discover that D3O® was a market-leader in this area.

D3O Marketting Manager George Dixon announced

“We’re pleased to bring the thinnest, most advanced protection in the world to MicroPerformance’s new saddle cloth range. The introduction of D3O® technology will enable MicroPerformance to offer enhanced comfort and performance for riders at all levels.”

D3O® is a smart material that takes impact protection to the highest level. It is an industry leader in military and law enforcement protection and is used by the US Department of Defense and the UK Ministry of Defense to deliver comfortable, lightweight impact and trauma protection in helmets and body wear. It has been widely used in extreme sports, such as Ice Hockey, American Football, Motorcycling and Snow Sports for several years including by brands like adidas, 3M, Scott and Triumph. It is little seen in equestrian so far, even though D3O claim to offer “the world’s best impact protection”.

Smart materials have properties that react to changes in their environment. This means that one of their properties can be changed by an external condition, such as temperature, pressure etc. This change is reversible and can be repeated many times.

In case of D3O, the material is shaped into a foam. In its normal state, at molecular level, the particles can flow smoothly past each other, making it flexible. However once sudden force is applied, all the molecules lock together forming a hard shield that disperses the energy of the impact.

This concept is now used in Micro Performance Sport+ Impact Pads. The D3O foam inserts provide a layer of protection between the horse and the saddle. Whilst riding normally, the pad would sit there without interference, but if there is to be an impact on the horse’s back- perhaps a bad landing or the weight of the rider after a jump; the foam forms a hard barrier and dissipates the energy, protecting your horses’ back.

Furthermore, the inserted foam makes the pads stiffer, which in turn allows the horse to more freely under the saddle. So combined with our unique Cool-dry mesh with superior breathability and heat and sweat wicking properties, we think we might have invented something your horse might just love wearing.

Our test riders have been competing their horses in the product at top international events, this is what International Showjumper, Ruby Fryer had to say:

“my favourite thing about the MicroPerformance D3O saddle pads, is that they are shock absorbent without compromising the fit of my saddle. They also allow my horse to move freely underneath me.”

Visit https://microperformance.net/shop to see our new ultimate Saddle Pad range

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