Quarter marks are normally the final thing that are applied before riders go into the ring.
Hunters are meant to be a free and easy forward going horse, that has scope and fluidity. So the quartermarks should be big and bold, like the horse itself, and follow the contours of the horse’s hind quarters.
Riding horses should be similar, but the strokes don’t need to be as broad and bold, so they require a bit more precision. As the riding horses sit between hunters and hacks, the design shouldn’t be too technical or fussy.
With hacks you can be more artistic. Some people use stencils, but we still use the traditional chopped up comb to make a chequerboard patten. We use a slightly larger comb for large hacks than small hacks, while tiny combs can be used to produce hundreds of little squares on show ponies. We tend to go with what fits on the individual horse’s backside without looking too busy.
Remember that quartermarks are supposed to enhance the appearance, not be a distraction.
Jayne’s top tip
If you have a horse that is slightly lacking in the hindquarters – perhaps a little immature or not as ‘made up’ as you’d like at the beginning of the season – don’t overdo the quartermarks. Less is often more, so don’t try to be too busy and put too much there.
Put two stripes down rather than three and space out your sharks teeth – don’t put four or five, use three. You’re trying to encourage the person looking at the horse to think they are looking at a bigger area than they really are. If the horse is lacking topline on the hind quarters, then make sure all of your lines are very rounded too.