These mats provide the necessary barrier between clean stone and the footing surface, while also providing extra stability for the base. Sometimes, less base material is required.
The mat allows water to pass through the holes and into the clean stone base, which then removes any extra moisture at an efficient and consistent rate. The mat also retains moisture in its cups, thus helping to reduce the amount of water necessary to keep the footing at the correct moisture level. Additionally, these mats absorb more concussion than a traditional base. We also consider them to be a safety feature. Should the footing get low in one area, the hoof will hit the mat and not cause any damage to the base or the animal. This same concept works if a harrow hits the mat, and when necessary, the footing can be re-graded and any compromised areas can be fixed very quickly.
Four to five inches of footing are required over the mats.
OT-40 Concussion/Traction mats installed by E=MC Arenas.
Cushion Mats, or the Equestrian Buffer Underlayment System (EBUS), are made of recycled rubber and are very light in weight, making them easy to install. They consist of a flat surface beneath the footing, and provide good drainage in addition to impressive concussion values (bounce and forgiveness) for the horse and rider in both indoor and outdoor arenas. They also allow water to pass through consistently for proper drainage.
These mats do not hold moisture in the footing, but will help provide a safe and solid barrier between the rock and the surface.
Four to five inches of loose footing is required over these mats.
The grid system is used to provide improved drainage in a free-draining base, as it will not hold any moisture, thus allowing for quick and efficient drainage. It provides extra stability for the base, and also requires less base material and footing.
Only three to four inches of loose footing is necessary.
The grid system has numerous application options. Because it stops erosion and provides excellent drainage, it can be used in paddocks, and on roads, riding and walking paths. This system is worth exploring for any area with drainage issues.
When using a heavy duty fabric as a barrier between clean stone and a surface footing, it is paramount that the fabric is installed correctly. The biggest benefit to the fabric layer is that it is very cost effective, as installing a free-draining base with fabric instead of mats results in a considerable cost savings. However, while the fabric provides an excellent barrier, it does need more care and attention than the grid system or Cushion Mats. We have installed many free-draining base systems using this high-quality, heavy fabric, and the arenas have been managed very well.
When installing the fabric over a free-draining base, four to five inches of footing is required.
Underground Watering System
There are two underground watering systems: the Ebb & Flow, and the HIT system.
Although the HIT system requires a substantial investment, ultimately it saves time and money, and we highly recommend it. The system works by providing water from below, using drip lines that are installed beneath grids, which protect them from damage and aid in reducing concussion.
The HIT system is very consistent and efficient, using the least amount of water required for any water-dependent footing. It has a superior performance when compared to many other subterranean systems on the market, and it drains very quickly when necessary, due to the free-draining base below the surface.
Ebb & Flow System
This subterranean system is a good option, though it can be inconsistent due to the layout and the much larger pipes used to carry the water. The Ebb & Flow provides an excellent surface that does maintain good life and energy as the water is drawn up in a capillary format which helps to not compact the surface. Ebb & Flow can drain efficiently, however be sure to install the system correctly with a reputable company.