The horses at The Sydney Royal Easter Show are a sight to behold. Coming in all shapes and sizes, from the tiny ponies, to the enormous draught horses, every one is a spectacle in and of itself. But attentive viewers may have noticed that some of the horses, particularly those in the dressage events are sporting some fancy checker patterns on their behinds.
What is that? What does it do? Is it to identify the horses? Some sort of system the judges use to tell horses apart? Is it a superstitious tradition, that old timey horse trainers would use to ward away evil spirits? NO! Of course not, that would be crazy. Turns out the horses are just as keen to make their butts look good as we are. Or their trainers are keen to make their horses look good, Show Radio was unable to find a horse willing to provide a comment.
The marks are called Quarter Marks, and they’re all for show. The pattern is made by brushing the horses hair in different directions, often using a stencil. The marks aren’t always checkered squares, they can be triangles, or even love hearts.