Synthetic Brushes v Horsehair Brushes - blog by Ashley Oswald


As far back as I can remember, I have had horses in my blood. I remember the first time I saw some ponies in a field when I was three. It was only a 5-minute walk from the house we just moved into!

Very soon after that I started riding lessons and I have been around horses ever since.

I spent every spare minute I could at the stables and I loved just spending time brushing all the ponies. Most of my memories of grooming were all with synthetic brushes, in fact, I did not know there were any alternatives until I was 32 years old!

I find this very strange in a country that has always been a horse loving nation.

All the long hours I spent as a child, and then as an adult, seem somewhat frivolous now as over the last year I have discovered just how little I was doing whilst using synthetic brushes.

I first started using horsehair brushes just almost 1,5 years ago, I saw an advertisement on social media asking for yards to volunteer themselves to be guinea pigs so to speak. So, I sent a message to a lady named Marta. This amazing woman came to my yard and brushed all 4 horses there every day for two weeks! ...FOR FREE!

At first, I was very sceptical to say the least. I do not buy into gimmicky products but to my wonder and surprise, Marta had completely transformed these dirty, itchy, stained and grubby horses into beautiful, well groomed, shiny horses.

Had I not witnessed this with my own eyes I would never have believed that this had been achieved using 4 non-descript horsehair brushes. The shine on their coats left all sprays far behind in comparison but not only that, my horses coats felt amazing. They were clean from their skin to the top coat and clearly felt much better too.

As I soon learned, the reasons behind this were actually very simple. When we think of horses in the wild, they clearly do not have regular baths, grooming sessions or even a hand touching them. So why do they always seem to look clean?

Well, the answer is…They help each other.

They groom with their mouths and teeth, they rub along each other with their bums and bodies and what this does is clean their coats of any dust, sweat, mud and grease thus leaving behind the good oils in their coats allowing for better condition, waterproofing and the part we all love, THE SHINE!

When we use horsehair brushes we mimic the natural way in which horses clean themselves. They respond to these brushes in a very surprising way.

My youngster really didn’t enjoy being groomed at all. He would fidget, run away from you in the stable and try to bite if all else failed. Within a few days of being brushed with horsehair brushes he was far more reluctant to fight with it. He started to fall asleep! Again, I was dumbfounded. Had Marta doped my horse? No, of course not, he just loved the feeling of the brushes.

He and the other horses were far less itchy, less inclined to roll in the knee-deep mud bath in the middle of our field and just looked a million dollars!

Needless to say, had to purchase these miraculous brushes as the thought of my now beautiful horses returning to the bog monster state they previously enjoyed was out of the question. Now almost two years later I have two piebald horses that NEVER look dirty.

I also have the most wonderful bond with both of my horses which I largely put down to the fact that they absolutely adore being brushed with my horsehair brushes and I for one actually enjoy grooming now, more than ever, as I not only see a huge difference the condition of my horses coats but quite simply because I know how much better they feel for it.

I receive so many comments from people asking what shampoos or magic potions I have used and my answer is always… MY HORSEHAIR BRUSHES!



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