Have you heard of Haas Brushes for grey horses, for coloured horses, for bright bay/chestnut horses, for black/dark bay horses? I had and I wanted to check them out.
I was brought up in the old way with dandy brushes, body brushes and metal curry combs, where elbow grease and sweaty hard work were the order of the day. When I got my horses back a few years ago now, I simply replicated what I had been taught.
Watching Facebook you cannot have failed to have seen adverts and posts about THE new way to groom your horse. I have seen supportive comments, disparaging comments, disbelieving comments and everything in between. My curiosity was piqued and so I decided to invest in some and see for myself if it was true or false.
So what brushes to buy?
Having read the marketing and having a bright bay, a dark bay and a very pink roan I really only had one choice and that was the universal pack so I could cope with everything – as my mare is in foal I have no idea what will come out this time, so even if it is black I am ready!
A cardboard box appeared with all the seven brushes packed inside with instructions on which brush to use for which colour. Out of the 7, 5 Brushes for my dark bay, 4 brushes for my Bright Bay and 4 for my roan plus the curry comb. Now you may be thinking WHAT!! You can’t be serious……
Here is what I thought the secret was.............Dependent on the colour of your horse, their coat and skin texture is different. The next secret is top quality horsehair brushes designed for specific coat type and finally the sequence you use them in.
NOW I KNOW DIFFERENT............Having talked to the Managing Director of Haas, I now understand that these brushes can be used across any colour of horse as long as you have the right collection of brushes. So for my bright bay, strawberry roan, bay and dark bay I am now using the brushes from Someh, just one pack for all of them and I get a curry comb, mane/tail brush and a beautiful flick brush as well.
My horses are grubby tykes and they always find the best and muddiest place to roll. I started off on my big bright bay boy all 18 hands of him. The innovative curry comb got all the dried and caked on mud off easily and gave him an invigorating massage at the same time. The first brush (Koko) took off all the residue mud, the second, (Military) gets to the base of the coat and brought all the dirt to the surface, the third brush (Welsh) removed everything that the first brush brought to the surface, the fourth brush (Grundy's Finest) which is my favourite) really gets to grips with all the grey stuff (dander) in the coat and starts to polish. I always thought my horses were clean but these brushes take it to a whole new level. The last brush is the pamper brush, (Diva) this one creates the gloss on the coat but above all it is now the Stretch man’s favourite brush and if I even think about not doing it, I get a shunt from him to tell me to get on with it. He loves his grooming session and it not happy that they are over too quickly.
If you have a grey or a roan and don’t have a Koko brush then I sympathise with you. They are the best things since sliced bread, once you have had one, you will wonder what you ever did without it!
Finally, my cantankerous bay mare who hates to be brushed at all and especially not anywhere close to her tummy. To my amazement she tolerated it, even on her stomach and for the first time ever I was not avoiding sly cow kicks. Today, she is happy to be groomed as she knows the Diva brush (the last polish brush and aptly named for her) will be coming for her head pamper!
Time and Effort
Let me tell you that I am far, far quicker with five brushes than I ever was before. I am not anywhere near as sweaty and the final finish is startling to behold. I am always getting comments on how shiny my horse is. Good feeding and a balanced diet has a lot to do with it there is no denying that, but great grooming tools ensure sparkly horses 365 days a year. No cheating required and by that I mean spraying silicone onto my horse!!
In the Someh collection is also the mane and tail brush, no more ripping out of healthy hair from tails. Then the guys at Someh have added a very useful flick brush to their pack. A very welcome addition and something that I use regularly just to take the dust off before riding. Haas also manufacture the best hoof brush on the planet, soft and strong at the same time which minimises the risk of mudfever and ensures I always have clean hooves and especially frogs!
Price and Performance
At £115 for the pack of 7 brushes and the curry comb, they are not the cheapest on the planet but if you do the maths, that works out at just over £14 per item, really not that bad at all for something that really works. It all depends on how important you believe the welfare of your horse is and this is down to you. For me it is paramount especially at this time of year when we are depriving them of sunlight with rugs. Anything I can do to ensure the health of my guys skin and coat gets the tick of approval.
Just in case you were wondering, you wash them in warm soapy water, rinse thoroughly and leave them to air dry and they look virtually new again. I have even put them in the washing machine!
If you want to save yourself hours, not work up too much of a sweat, have great partnership building time with your horse, have a horse with a healthy coat and be glimmering into the bargain, brushes that last (and they should last a lifetime if you look after them) then there is only once choice in my humble opinion.