22 April 2010

A Step-by-Step Guide to the Art of Quarter Marks

I know how to turn out a horse. I’m pretty good at it, actually.  But quarter marks?  No, sorry, you got me there. I’ve always wondered how the professionals not only turn their horses out impeccably but so so with flair and charisma. Here we can learn this skill in a step-by-step guide to the art of quarter marks by one of the best. Lizze Olmstead rides for Jan Byyny at Surefire Farm, but while Phillip has her horses under his capable wing she’s under the umbrella of True Prospect Farm. How lucky! And lucky us to get a peek into how she adds this finishing flourish.

Step 1:

Spray your horse’s already clean and sparkly hindquarters with shine spray.  The leading ladies at True Propsect use EQyss Marigold Grooming spray which I like because it’s natural.

Step 2:

With a small comb make a checkerboard pattern across the haunches ending no lower than the point of the hip. Like so:

Step 3:

Pause for a moment to pat yourself on the back.  You’re practically a quarter-mark master at this point. Once glowing with self-affirmation, using a soft brush, brush back and forth, front to back and back to front, across the haunches with a slight bend to your lines. Notice her follow-through. Mostly because it looks super cool but also because it will give you an idea about the angles she’s using.

Step 4:

If you need to break for a snack or a drink do so here. Okay, and on we go. Get the soft brush again and this time brush down from just above the tail to the gaskin.

Step 5:

Celebrate! Tell the grocery store clerk about your new-found skill with quarter marks, the post man about your artistic endeavors, and certainly your family about your mad equine skillz. You’ve learned something new to make your turnout even better.  And you’ve learned it from the best.

Thanks to Lizzie for letting us look in on her quarter-marks process.  Happy quarter-marking!

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