Background: I like pretty things. A lot. But with brushes, I usually just use whatever is in my bag and don't think about it too hard. I've had a random collection of nylon and unknown bristles in plastic handles for most of my career. The horses are clean and shiny, no harm, no foul. Why would I drop a bunch of money on a fancy set of brushes? Because I own a yak and my brushes are mostly patting the surface. I need something more effective to get down to the skin or I get this 'dead zone' in his winter coat that isn't groomed and becomes a mass of dead skin and oil.
I stared at the Haas brushes for a year. Literally a year. Reviews kept saying they really got into the coat. I finally pulled the trigger and have been using them for a month.
The Product: Haas brushes are made in Germany from a company that is very old (est 1919) and well respected. They're definitely more expensive than your standard nylon bristle brushes. They use natural materials for the bristles and most have a nice leather strap on the back to keep your hand in place. They also have fancy German names like Cavaliere and Diva Exklusiv.
I did not go buy the whole 'Black Pack' set of brushes. I couldn't convince myself to buy in that much. But I did use sample lists of brushes to piece my set together. I went through Smarkpak and bought the Der Gute curry comb, Schimmel stiff brush, Cavaliere body brush, and Diamond Gloss finishing brush.
Diamond Gloss brush: This is so the wrong time of year to test this brush. I did give it a good work out after his last clip job to see it in action. It's so dense that it feels stiff and not like a finishing brush. It does put one heck of a shine on your horse. I don't bust this one out much since it's November and my horse is actually a yak, but when I tested it, it got the job done. Worth the purchase? If you're show ring bound, yeah, I'd toss this one in the show bag to give me that extra hit of shine before I head in. I find I stop with the body brush most days at home, but I suspect the finishing brush will be getting more use in the summer. It really needs your horse to be most of the way clean before you start to get the effect. It's so dense it just jams up with dirt, but if you've done your work with the other brushes? Mirror like finish is possible.
Overall? I'm happy with my investment. I'm seeing a real difference in the amount of gunk hidden under his coat and I'm having an easier time keeping him looking reasonable in this very rough time of year. I'm looking forward to putting these brushes through their paces next summer when I can really shine him up for the competition ring.
At least the curry and the Schimmel brushes should be added to brush collections. Those things are magic for those that own yaks.