Confession time – I am a grooming product junkie and I have grooming OCD. If I brush my own hair once a day it is a miracle but if a horse has one plait skew ways I start twitching. I get excited by new sprays and lotions and potions. I have a special love for old style wood and bristle brushes. While spending €50 – 70 on some grooming brushes might seem madness to some, well that’s how I feel about others spending it on heels or Jaeger bombs. I believe in the French concept of cost per use / wear and try to embrace that when buying quality products.
I first heard of Haas products on Facebook when I clicked through and read and watched the videos on this link – https://eqclusive.com/products/haas-bay-chestnut-horse-pack . They sounded fantastic but I find it can be hard sometimes to determine what is a great product and what is great marketing. Nevertheless I do an awful lot of grooming and was in need of some new products so I took the plunge. I didn’t buy my products from the link above, instead I bought mine from horze.co.uk because I had a discount code. The brushes can also be bought from Amazon so I’d suggest shopping around because prices will vary.
The original link and video recommended six brushes – the curry comb, the mane and tail brush and the four brushes in the bay / chestnut pack – The Military brush (the brown one), Cavaliere (black with black and white bristles, Felglanzburste (blue with white bristles) and Diva Exklusive (lambs wool).
I’ll start with the mane and tail brush – to me this was a no. It didn’t do anything in particular and had no benefit to me. I do all tails with a hair brush type tail brush and use Eqyss Survivor Detangler and you won’t sway me from that. This brush didn’t even try.
Next the curry comb. I thought a curry comb is just a curry comb but I was wrong. This is fantastic. I can’t quite put my finger on why but the shape of it despite feeling very comfortable on the hand and the horse is incredibly effective – I tried it on removing sweat, mud and poo and it performed every time. I went heavy with it and even the fine skinned horses didn’t react to it. If you only buy one brush, buy this one!
Next the four brushes. These are used in an order – military to remove the ground in dirt and grime, cavaliere to remove that from the coat, felganzburste to remove it all and lay the coat flat and diva to bring up a shine. I used these on a number of bay and chestnut horses that I work with.
Guinea pig one is a Hanoverian that I groom religiously. I was stunned (and a bit embarrassed) at how much scruff these brushes unearthed from his coat. He gleamed afterwards but to be honest he is like an oil painting so I couldn’t count him as a genuine test of the product.
Guinea pig two was a moulting bay gelding that I wanted to improve the dull coat on. Here I ran into a problem. These brushes remove so much from the coat that a moulting coat is a nightmare as the brushes get clogged with hair. Plus the coat looks horrific when you are working on it as all the loose hair and scruff gets dragged to the surface and has to be removed. I invested in a metal curry comb which helped a lot! So I would suggest that these brushes will definitely help you to get the dregs of a moulting coat off but you need to allocate yourself a good bit of time to raise the loose hair and remove it.
Guinea Pig three and four were two mares I ride regularly – a chestnut hannovarian X irish horse and a bay Warmblood. The bay has a naturally glossy coat and these really enhanced it. The chestnut has a flat coat that can be dull and these brought up a great shine. One interesting result was that after giving these mares a good groom with the brush set – the coats remained looking fab for days afterwards and I was impressed to see a lasting result.
Guinea pig five was my own chestnut gelding a cobby Heinz 57 who I groom daily. I was shocked to see how much extra scruff the Haas brushes brought up that my other brushes had not noticed. I groomed him for this series of photos with each brush in turn and he was gleaming afterwards. He comes up a lovely bright orange in summer and with his glossy coat I have gotten so many compliments on it recently.
A few points to note. Grooming sprays – I avoid spraying product on to natural brushes as I find it clogs up the bristles. If you need to use some grooming products, I would recommend to spray sparingly onto the coat and brush in.
The diva brush – this is heavenly to touch. I honestly spent about five minutes brushing my face with it before it went near a horse because its like a soft cloud! I did originally question if it was necessary because its only something I would use for finishing off but I think it is necessary now as it gives that finishing touch and shine to the whole process and really does make a difference taking the last of the dust and hair away.
After all of my experiments I was still unsure if I was really seeing a huge difference or if it was in my head because I was looking for it. Last week I was plaiting a horse at a friends yard and she was grazing her bay dressage horse. I gave her the brushes to play with and told her what order to use them in. Five minutes later I could hear her shouting ‘Where did you get these? I need these – NOW’ at me. So Haas has earned not just one but two fans from this experiment. For me these are a definite worthwhile investment and they now form the basic components of my everyday grooming kit and they are also the basis of my competition grooming kit for me and for clients. I have no association with Haas nor did I receive anything from them in return for this review. I bought my products to try them so that others can benefit from my review.
**Update ** 27/5/16. After reading my review Marta who owns Eqclusive.com and who designed the packs contacted me to express her delight at my review and also to ask me what they could have done to persuade me to order from them. I explained that I had a 10% discount code for Horze at the time which with free delivery had made the products slightly cheaper. The great news is Marta is keen to ensure Eqclusive are the best place to buy these kits and brushes. The website currently has 20% off everything which makes it much cheaper than the website I used (use code “20” in the checkout) and if you are looking to purchase a kit and have found products at a lower price anywhere please contact Marta (firstname.lastname@example.org) to work with her to get the products you need. I have been really delighted and impressed to see a business owner be so positive about a customer review and so proactive in reaching out and giving a personal touch to communicating further.
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