This is the final finishing touch to presenting a horse or pony to perfection in the show ring. To create perfect quarter marks, does take lots of practice to give a really sharp, eye catching finish. By choosing the right size and type of quarter marks can enhance and distract the eye from confirmation issues too.
If you are showing your horse or pony in a particular class, it’s worth watching the professionals and other exhibitors to make sure you mark-up correctly for the class that you are presenting your horse or pony for. You definitely want the correct look, so taking time with your show prep will be worthwhile in the long term.
You will need:
Wide comb for hunter marks
Small comb for the quarter mark squares (top tip: break a plastic comb to the width you require)
A densely packed body brush with reasonably stiff bristles.
Smart Grooming Quarter Marking Spray
Show Hunter Quarter Marks
Marking up for Show hunters and hunter ponies is simpler than for show hacks, and show ponies. You want to create a bolder but plainer look which will enhance the quarters.
1. Wet the body brush in a bucket of water. Shake off excess water and start at the top of the quarter and brush the coat across ways in the direction of the tail. Continue all the way down to just above the thigh. Then spray with Smart Grooming’s Quarter Marking spray.
2. Use a metal mane comb with a wooden handle and comb down vertically using the whole width of the comb. Depending on the size of the quarters, you will need to put in either two or three downward stripes and again you can either put them in very close together or space them out a bit (around an inch is about an average distance apart).
3. V-shaped marks can also be put in, which are good to emphasis the roundness on cobs and larger horses and create a simple but effective look.
Show Hack and Show Pony Quarter marking
Marking up for these classes can require a little patience, as some of the designs do take time!
1. Damp down exactly as before, using the same body brush, water and quarter marking spray.
2. Take a small comb, about an inch wide. To create the upside down V shaped pattern start on the left or right hand side at the top of the quarters and comb down (which is against the coat and will give the pattern) then leave an inch gap and comb down again – this needs to be repeated across ways until you have the right width, and then start on the next line down, again joining up with the corner bottom of the squares already created. Repeat until you create the size that you need on the quarters. This may take a few practices as it needs to suit the size and conformation of the animal. Once finished spray over with Smart Grooming’s Quarter Marking spray to set and shine.
Once the quarter marks have been put in, then the final finish of shark’s teeth can be added.
1. Standing at the side, use the firm bristled body brush, damp thoroughly, apply quarter marking spray and brush in an upwards direction in one stroke starting at the point of hip in an arch shape stroke. Once this is in place brush downwards starting at the same point. This will then be the start of the shark’s teeth pattern. The hair will now be lying in different directions which will be giving the flash type pattern on the outside of the quarters. Continue with the same size brush strokes brushing up to meet the last point down. Repeat until you have three of four shark’s complete shark’s teeth. Again this will depend on the size of the animal as to how many you will want to put in.
2. To add a professional finishing touch, take a brush and starting at the top of the tail, brush down in a gentle arc down the quarter to create a sharp, defined finish.
3. Spray all over with quarter marking spray to set and hold the patterns for the day.
Practice makes perfect – so keep some water, spray and brush handy to practice whilst you groom!
Products used: Smart Grooming Quarter Marking Spray. Small comb or Smart Grooming Quarter Marking Comb, Stiff densely packed body brush – we recommend the HAAS small body brush