From Endurance to Dressage
When I bought my first Haas brush last summer, I knew I was heading down a dangerous path. I am a bit of a collector by nature, and I am fiercely brand loyal, so when I bought the next one not long after, there was no going back. I now own six different Haas grooming tools.
Riding Warehouse, my supplier of Haas brushes, recently shared a guide to Haas brushes which I found really helpful. There are so many to choose from that it's hard to know how they're different from one another. In the guide, the RW Crew grouped the brushes by categories. Since I already had three of the brushes, I recently decided to "complete" my collection.
RW's first category was Best Brushes for Tough Spots. After looking over the list, I bought two of them: the Striegel Soft Curry Comb and the Schimmel Grooming Body Brush. Neither of my horses is a fan of stiff brushes, but this is the time of year when I really do need them. Speedy's coat is so thick and dense right now that not much is able to drag through his rug of a winter coat.
The Striegel is made from a softer plastic than a lot of other curry combs. My beloved jelly scrubbers are on their last legs, and breaking in a new one just takes so long. The second I started using the Striegel on Speedy, I gasped in delight. I was shocked at how much dirt and hair, especially the hair, came cascading down. I started out gently, but in no time, I was using as much force as I wanted. Speedy just stood there resting with a leg cocked. He never fussed or flinched, even along his spine. In fact, he pressed into my hand, clearly enjoying the sensation. I really liked how light and flexible it was, and I am hoping this curry will replace my jelly.
The Schimmel is made from stiff coconut fibers, and they are stiff. This brush is supposed to work exceptionally well on grey and white horses and claims to be perfect for working stains out of the coat. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I am not saying that isn't true, but anyone who owns a gray knows that the only thing that really removes stains is a bath. I will say that this brush does a good job of removing mud. Again, I started gently, but I quickly discovered that Speedy didn't mind the stiffness of the Schimmel, for now anyway.
I used both the Striegel and the Schimmel on Izzy, whose coat is nearly all shed out, and he quickly let me know that the Schimmel is too stiff for a sleek coat. He didn't object at all to the Striegel. Once Speedy is nearly shed out, he won't like the stiffer Schimmel either. For thick coats, it works great, but if I were only going to buy one brush for tough spots, it would hands down be the Striegel curry comb. I really like it, and so do both horses.
Next up were the Best Brushes for Bringing Dirt Up. I already have the Parcour, which has become my favorite grooming tool. The bristles are firm while still being soft. I think it is because the bristles are so densely packed together. Both of my boys love to have their faces rubbed with this brush, but it's still stiff enough to lift dirt off the body, and it's especially good for legs.
And then there were the Best Brushes for Shine. I already own the Fellglanzburste Grooming Body Brush, but I wanted something with a longer bristle. The Fellglanzbürste works great on short coats; I reviewed it here. The Diamond Gloss, named for it's glittery back, is a little softer than the Fellglanzbürste, and its bristles are about a third longer.
For each of the new brushes that I tried, I let Speedy take a good long sniff before I used them on him. They must have smelled like something interesting because for each one, he took his time, giving them a solid going over. When I used the Diamond Gloss down his neck and across his back, his head swung around so quickly that I am surprised he didn't suffer whiplash.
It wasn't a pain response, but he definitely felt something new and different and wanted to know what it was. I let him check the brush out again, and he sniffed at it for even longer. Once he was satisfied that it truly was a tool for pleasure, he let me work it through his coat. It's definitely a brush meant to finish with, but even it removed loose hair and dust. I think he would have let me use it on him all day. While the Fellglanzbürste and the Diamond Gloss are both in the category of shine, the Diamond Gloss feels more like a finishing brush than does the Fellglanzbürste.
The RW Crew also put together a list of the Best Brushes for Manes and Tails and the Best Brushes for Small Hands, but those weren't brushes that I needed. Their list of the Best Brushes for Finishing Touches was one that interested me though. From that category, I already had the Diva. Since I only got it this Christmas, I haven't been able to use it yet because Speedy's coat has been too thick, but I know that he will love it at shows. In high summer, his coat is ultra fine and short, perfect for smoothing with the lambswool center.
I can't say I am done shopping though. I keep a separate set of brushes in my trailer, where the Fellglanzbürste and the Diva live. What I really want are two complete sets of Haas brushes, one for use at the barn and another for use at the trailer. My barn set is mostly complete (you never know), now I need to finish out my trailer set.
I'd say I am about half-way there.
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: