Taking the threadjack where it belongs - Haas brush thread

We completely hijacked the favorite holiday gifts thread to talk about these brushes and I started it, so I’m also starting a discussion thread about it…

I’ll post my experience with them downthread so we can just start off with a general discussion and reply to each other’s questions as we go- threaded replies being a great feature of the new board software! But I’ll start by saying that I was skeptical that these brushes would perform differently than any quality set of brushes wielded by a competent person, and I’m now sold. Horsehair makes a difference!


So I’ll bring my question (and long description of my need) from that thread over here:

Which Haas brushes would you recommend for the resident chestnut mare? She has a very thick coat—although it’s not terribly long—but is the most sensitive animal I have ever owned (Hanoverian/TB cross). She’s good with anything on her legs, head, poll, about the first 1/4 of her neck behind the poll, and the top of her rump. Anything else, all bets are off and you have to growl at her and keep a good eye on the hind legs.

My best success comes from the “finer” one of the round Oster rubber groomers and then a cactus cloth. If I use other brushes it takes a good 10 minutes of very light, very small circular motion until she warms up to that one area of the body being groomed. Clearly, sometimes I just have to go for it because she needs to be groomed. She doesn’t care for rolling and getting very muddy, but she can get rather scurfy and dandruff-y. So, it sounds like the Haas brushes do a great job and are efficient, which would be helpful for the WWF fight night grooming sessions.

I usually clip her but decided to let her go natural this winter because she isn’t a huge fan of blankets (probably also due to her sensitivity) and is not a delicate flower regarding temperature and precipitation (although I can’t help but sometimes still treat her like one…with the exception of fight night grooming sessions, she is the most loving mare on earth).


The Subject: Irish Sport Horse with Cushings, 2 months into his fall clip. When in full coat, his hair coat can shame a Shetland (and he used to be turned out with two Shetlands and a Dartmoor Pony, so I know whereof I speak.) Double coated with a wiry topcoat that makes an extremely effective barrier against rain, cold, and any attempts to move it out of the way, and a dense, plush undercoat that has been the Waterloo of many a clipping machine. The mission: part the topcoat to effectively remove dirt and dried sweat from the undercoat, preventing skin funk. Notably, as he was clipped about 2 months ago and has been rugged ears to tail since then, he is not in full coat right now.

What I have: Schimmer (coconut fiber mud brush) and the bay horse set, accumulated in pieces: Parcour, Lipizzaner, Cavalier, Fellglanzburste (Coat Gloss,) and the Diva. Also a pair of Hands On Grooming Gloves, not made by Haas but considered essential by the overgrown pony; and the Posture Prep massaging curry, ditto.

The bay horse set is designed for double-coated horses with the Cavalier being effective at lifting dirt from the undercoat and the Lipizzaner the topcoat; the Parcour then clears all that mess away. None of these brushes are particularly stiff- if you have a mudball, use a curry or get a mud brush first. I have found both of the dirt-lifting brushes to do what they say on the tin. Most particularly, my horse has a persistent dandruffy patch at a hair whorl underneath his mane that I haven’t been effective at clearing up with previous curry/dandy brush efforts, and the combination of Cavalier and Lipizzaner got about 95% of it up. (Nothing is going to totally lift that until it’s warm enough for me to get at it with Head and Shoulders.)

The Coat Gloss brush is an excellent quality horsehair finishing brush that I don’t find to do anything different than any other excellent quality horsehair finishing brush. I like the shorter and very dense bristles- I don’t find a flick brush to be required since the previous brushes in sequence do such a good job at removing dirt from the coat. However, the Diva is unique. This brush has a soft-bristled outer surrounding an inner of Mattes lambswool. I find the mini size to be ideal for brushing ears and faces- it’s also less expensive than the full size. If you already own a shearling grooming mitt you do not need one. If you take your winter gloves off to hand-rub your horse every day in winter, you do not need one. If, like me, you used to own a shearling grooming mitt and then your dog ate it, you should get the Diva brush and keep it away from your dog. My mother reports using the Coat Gloss and Diva brush on my horse’s face in concert: “He was practically purring.”

I had previously used a set of natural-fiber brushes, with the exception of a synthetic mud brush, and I do notice a substantial difference in using horsehair brushes. They promote a better shine. (They made enough of a difference to my horse’s coat appearance in two groomings that two people commented about it and one asked me if I’d just clipped him.) The other thing that sets these brushes apart from what I’ve used in the past is the density of the bristles and that too makes a difference. It’s harder for little dirt particles to escape the brush, so one swipe with a densely-bristled brush replaces two or three with another. The longer bristles on the outer edge of the Cavalier and Lipizzaner are also a good design for parting hairs and getting to the skin. These brushes are all of moderate stiffness (I use the stiff Schimmer as my mud brush) so they are good for a sensitive-skinned horse.

Because my horse is not in full coat right now I can’t say this for certain, but I think that the brushes I have are probably going to be most effective on a moderate to heavy coat and I might want something with a little more oomph if I let him get properly Shetlandy. For instance, I considered the Pony brush, which has stiff horsehair bristles interspersed with brass threads, but thought that was overkill for a horse who gets a partial clip at most. However, they are extremely effective on a moderate double coat including guard hairs.


Well, I’m glad this was brought up. About 30 years ago I ordered a brush set of extremely soft brushes for my most delicate Thoroughbred gelding. I still have them but did not know what kind they are.

I’d been thinking about getting some new ones but didn’t know what kind to get. Now I know. I love the tiny soft finishing face brush. I mean the horses do!!

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Thank you for this most excellent description of the brushes! I am a bit overwhelmed by the selection and buying guide on the Riding Warehouse website.

And thanks for the laugh: “…the Waterloo of many a clipping machine.” Laughed right out loud at that.

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This coat killed four T-84 blades from my trusty Andis Super-2s. In one side of his body. They run into that floof and just stop dead. I had to go to the Lister Star- which was originally designed for shearing sheep. (It works great.)

I can only speak to the brushes I own, but I think that the Parcour and Lipizzaner brushes are both soft enough that they would not anger a sensitive horse. (Would your horse respond better if she had a heating pad over her sensitive spots for 5 minutes before you touched her, I wonder? That’s made a difference for me with sensitive horses.)

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Good to know about the Lister Stars. I understand completely. I go through three T-84 blades per clip. One each for each side of her rump, and then the final blade struggles to make it through the rest of her, particularly her back.

I’ve often wondered if a Back on Track sheet put on her while I do her hooves and tail would help. I’ve not done that because she’s equally angry about being groomed in the summer when it’s tropical steamy, but that logic might not be sound.

Absolutely you should try Haas’ Grundy’s Finest. Beautifully soft and dense, so it still works to get the coat clean. (It won’t be much use on caked mud, though).

My previous horse was a TB mare, and incredibly sensitive about her brushes. She hated dandy brushes of any description. The Grundy’s Finest was by far her favorite.
Haas Grundy’s Finest

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Going from a variety of different natural horsehair brushes to Haas, I can’t tell really tell a difference. I tend to pick and choose based off of need. I have a combination of Haas, Waldhausen, Winners circle, Horse, Decker, Legends, etc. Between my boxes I probably have 15 natural brushes after donating 10+ this year. Whenever I travel to a horse area and browse a tack shop, picking up a novel brush is an easy present to myself. I have favorite horsehair brushes but I have not found a single brand to be superior.

For me, the HAAS tend to be wider than what is comfortable in my hand or you have the childs size, which is nice for a face but small for the body. I strongly prefer the rectangle style backs so I can wrap my hand around them. If anyone encounters a rectangular style back with a Parcour style bristle, I’d be all over that. I really do like that brush, just not the shape. Or one of the dual sided brushes. I love those but only find them in oval shape.

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Hand size and shape makes such a difference! I have child-sized hands that cramp up holding a full size rectangular brush. Having some kind of a grip loop on the back of the brushes really helps me to hang onto larger brushes. I wish everything came in Beastie Brush size. For me that’s just about perfect.

Since you have such a collection - is there a manufacturer you’d recommend who makes a good horsehair brush in a shape that works better for you?

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I have zero experience with Haas brushes, but something occurred to me while reading about her getting scurfy and dandruffy. Have you tried supplemental vitamin E?

My younger horse used to be horribly scurfy and had big flakes of dandruff coming out of his coat. Unlike your mare he was more itchy than sensitive, though he did have large don’t touch zones. I started giving him extra vitamin E after chasing a patch of mud fever around his cannon for weeks and blood testing showed his E right at the bottom of the normal range. The mud fever did clear up, and after some months I realized he was less itchy, had less scurf, less and smaller dandruff flakes, and less of a reaction in his don’t touch zones. After a year or so even his abnormal hair coat was less abnormal which surprised me.

I started with 2000iu and when another test showed a very slight drop after six months I increased it to 3000iu. In addition to the mud fever healing I was seeing less dandruff and he was less itchy by that six month recheck.

If you haven’t tried it additional vitamin E might be worth trying. Give it time. I saw things continue to improve for a couple of years.


Thanks for the info and the suggestion. I have not. Something to investigate.

I have the same problem (small hands) and the Haas brushes seem to be too big and their “mini/child” size seems too small :frowning:

Years and years ago, I had a horse hair brush that I and my thin-skinned mare LOVED. It was just my size, not too big for my hand or too small. Of course, it “disappeared” one day at the barn and I never found it again. I don’t remember what brand it was either.

So the search is on for a horsehair brush that is suitable for small adult hands, but bigger than a “child’s” brush.

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Recommendations for this horse: 22 YO palomino Morgan mare, does not grow a lot of winter coat except on her legs, so is not clipped even though she works through the winter. She is very good at grinding dust into her coat; she can look perfectly clean after brushing, but still have dust down by the skin. Her mane and especially her tail are a bit kinky and hanks of her tail tends to curl up like they are going to dreadlock, but never do.

She is not sensitive about being brushed, unless there is static. Dampening the brushes and hanging on to her mane or tail while brushing her body helps.

I got a Haas Schimmer brush, which works well on the dirt, so it has sold me on Haas brushes, but it is a bit big for my hands. What else would people recommend?

I have a couple of HAAS brushes, the Schimmel, the Cavaliere, and the Diva.

The Schimmel was bought for my grey TB, couldn’t use it at all in the summer, far to rough for him, but was great getting the winter grunge off. The Cavaliere does a good job, and could use it all year. The Diva, best finishing brush out, we both loved that thing, enhanced the finished look, and he enjoyed it.

Then I found the answer to my grooming issues, buy a unicorn

That’s his default look, quick flick with the Schimmel over the tack areas, Tiger Tongue everywhere else, literally 2 minutes, I’m done…highly recommend the ‘Teflon finish’ horse


I’m a newbie to Haas brushes so no expert. Like others, felt overwhelmed by all the choices.

Riding Warehouse had the child size in the Diva and Grundey’s Finest and they feel good to hold. I have large hands and having no cramping using the brushes. I’d gotten to where I barely used a brush after discovering the new grooming gloves with the knobs. Felt so good to wear versus holding a brush.

In planning my input for this thread I gathered up my new Haas brushes and brought them in the house. My first surprise is the Grundey’s Finest and the Diamond Gloss feel like the EXACT same bristles. I hadn’t noticed that before. They both are a softer but still firm bristled brush.

I really like the Schimmel for getting dirt off legs and most anywhere. It’s a much firmer bristle than the Grundey’s or Diamond Gloss.

EVERY horse deserves the Diva - so soft and luxurious.

I also have the Koko mane and tail brush and it’s smaller so easier to hold too.

I’ve been confused by the horse color recommendations. I have a bay and a buckskin. What brushes am I missing???

Appreciate this thread and all the ideas and fun. You guys are great.

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I have a mix of brushes mainly, Leistner, Haas, and Legend brushes. The Haas brushes are rarely used as they are just to big for my hands. Crazy nice brushes though. Love the finishing brush, and the Diva brush, my pony still loves his old school rice root brush. The Leistner ones are by far my favorite as most have a strap so easier to hold with gloves.

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Love haas brushes, but also love the tiger tongue sponge. That might be a good thing to try on your tb, as it’s really not a brush. I use it to get the dirt/mud off then finish with the diva brush.


My current favorites split between my grooming tote and travel bag:
Leistner: 3i81, 4h94, 4h90, 1d92
Legends: natural union charger, gold charger
Winners Circle: Decker Grip #65, Horsehair blend - soft
Champion - Horsehair blend dandy
Hill Brush - White goat hair
I then have an Oster tail brush (hate hate hate), Epona tail brush (75% enjoy), soft rubber curry comb, grooming mitt, hoof pick, hoof brush, Health hair care spray, hoof products, etc.

Other brushes I am eyeballing:
Leistner - 1c75, 1c94, 1a12 (I won’t because of the size but such a unique design)
Borstique - metal curry comb, banana finishing brush
Legends - Calientito, 2292
Champion - tampico flick brush
Horze - Horsehair dust brush