Ebb and Flow Arena Kit

Ebb and Flow Arena KitEbb and Flow Arena KitEbb and Flow Arena Kit

The Ebb and Flow technology for horse riding arenas have been used in Europe for many year now. The Ebb and Flow arena design is used by all the top dressage and show jumping riders for working arenas.

Also Ebb and Flow arena design is widely used for competition arenas.

The terminology Ebb and Flow comes from the Dutch language  “EBB en VLOED“  what means low and high tide.

Knowing also that 75% of The Netherlands is below sea level this means that rain water that falls  has to be pumped into the ocean. This is done through a system of canals and rivers. 

The water is pumped (by means of windmills in the olden days) by big diesel pumps from the lower laying canals into the higher laying rivers and from these rivers  into the ocean.  This way the ground water level is controlled to the desired level. This same technology is also used in an Ebb and Flow design arena. 

It basically works with a system of drainpipes (mimicking  the canal system) which are installed under the sand cover.

The water is kept in the arena by sheets of heavy duty plastic which have been laid before the sand is installed.  With a sump next to the arena the water level in the sand can be  adjusted  and  the capillary effect of the sand  will provide an even moisture /water level in the arena.

This level can be set and does not have to be altered unless the requirements changes.

For flat work and dressage the water level can be  set to a different level than when the arena is used for show jumping.  Altering the water level in the arena is easy and there a no tools required.

The sump has to be fed with water - this can be town water, rain water, dam or bore water.  When it rains thw rain water will be pumped out of the arena and can be stored in a water tank for later use.

Some of the advantages of this arena system include: 

  • No base for draining purposes required - the EBB AND FLOW arena can be built on a solid ground of rock or clay  or even sand
  • No irrigation or irrigation system  required  
  • No drains required
  • No slopes or crowns ( on bigger arenas ) required  on the arena
  • Arena can be built on a not naturally draining area
  • The arena will never flood and can always be  ridden on also after heavy rain   
  • The rain water collected from the arena can be stored and in dry periods supplied back into the arena
  • The EBB AND FLOW technology can be used for indoor and outdoor arenas
  • The EBB AND FLOW technology can be used for all size arenas

This technology provides substantial  advantages and is an economical as well as a cost saving design for all levels of the equestrian sports.  The  costs to install the Ebb and Flow system are less than the conventional arena design and the advantages are  obvious.

  • Less water required
  • 100% availability of the arena in all weather
  • No irrigation system required
  • Always an even riding surface
  • Flexible for all disciplines

For more information view the Ebb and Flow Arena Kit PDF

Recent EBB & FLOW Installation

Recent EBB & FLOW Installation

SOILTEX being blended into the most recent Ebb & Flow arena.

Installed in the Southern Highlands of NSW.

20 x 60m Indoor Arena using Ebb & Flow Arena Kit and SOILTEX Premix.



SOILTEX being blended into another recent Ebb & Flow arena.

Installed in the Central Coast area of NSW.

20 x 60m Outdoor Arena using Ebb & Flow Arena Kit and SOILTEX Premix.

View Gallery

Did you know that...

For an arena the sand selected should HOLD some moisture.

We hear and see it advertised the so called well-draining arenas. REMEMBER if an arena drains well then it is also difficult to irrigate during dry periods.

If you have a poorly designed arena you will need to carry out intensive grading. With a Capricorn EBB & FLOW arena maintenance requirement are kept to a minimum.

Any waxed arena surface consist of chemicals ( commonly a by-product of oil refining ) these chemicals could contaminate water streams.

The better a conventional arena drains - the more difficult it is to keep the sand moist.

That with a "conventional arena" with a fall for drainage purposes the sand washes down to the lowest point during heavy rain.

An Ebb & Flow arena requires less maintenance.

After HEAVY rainfall an Ebb & Flow arena is ready to ride on within 2 hours of the rain ceasing.

10mm of rainfall on an arena is 12,000l of water. With an Ebb & Flow System this water can be collected the same as water can be collected from the roof of a covered arena.

Providing a suitable Arena Surface is an important aspect of horse management that effects both performance and soundness.

SOILTEX is a unique / quality product that is manufactured by a well known and established ISO 9001 accredited fabric recycling company in Europe.

That for an EBB & FLOW arena you DO NOT need a base or irrigation system.

The terminology EBB & FLOW comes from the Dutch language “EBB & VLOED “ which means low and high tide.

SOILTEX minimises compaction and allows extended full movement and stride length in all gaits.

The structure of the SOILTEX mixed with the sand provides the required cushion and the mix of the multi denier fibres mimics the root system of grass.

If the riding surface is TOO HARD there will be insufficient hoof rotation, increased chance of sliding and excessive concussion.

The hoof of the horse makes contact and leaves the riding surface in different speeds and gaits. From canter which is asymmetrical to a piaffe and passage which is symmetrical.

For an EBB & FLOW arena you do not need any kind of gravel or mat/s under the sand surface.

If a horse is restricted in its natural hoof slide injuries could occur.

A horse that is used to being worked on a good riding surface (imported horse) will deteriorate quickly when be worked on an inferior surface.

Photos taken from a horse on a light/er coloured sand surface show much better than on a darker surface.

If you don’t have to worry about spending time irrigating your arena you can ride more horses and increase your income - EBB & FLOW system does this for you.

That an area surface which is too hard results in excessive concussion of your horses joints.

That a deep arena surface puts alot of strain on the tendons of your horse.

If your arena is built to drain very quickly after rain - this same arena will require alot of irrigation during dry periods.

An arena base which is permeable drains the water out of the sand layer - this means alot of water is required to keep the riding surface moist.

When you loose the fines in the sand the surface becomes unstable underfoot and will not hold water when you irrigate.

The brown water that drains from the surface of your arena contains all the fines from the sand. These fines are there to provide the correct sand particle size distribution.

To add so called "Metal Dust" does not improve drainage - it will however make the sand a packing sand resulting in a surface that will compact easily.

Arenas with a "Crown Shaped" base for better drainage are difficult to maintain - in general the surface on the Centreline gets thin and the tracks too deep and heavy.

Well draining arenas are also difficult to irrigate.

On a hard surface the horse could slip forward as well as backward by take off.


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