Finally overcome by curiosity, I got my first horse hair brush a few days ago -- Vie-Long Cachurro--: Scent -- Right out of the package it did not smell bad -- actually it smelled a little chemically, like some cleaner had been used on it. After only 4 lather-ups, the scent is a little bit like wet hair -- just what I'd expect. It never smelled anything like a horse. I like horses and have spent some time with them. I don't think horses smell bad. New badger knots smell much worse. I have badger experience and have shot them, so I know what they smell like. New badger knots smell a lot more like badgers than my Vie-Long smells like horses. Shape -- I expected the knot to be more fan shaped. This one is more of a bulb. Not very evenly trimmed. Not a very pretty knot. Loft -- A bit les than advertised -- about 55mm Density -- Low -- I expected more hair. Handle -- Wood with metal top. Nice shape, comfortable to wield, nice heft, but finish looks very fragile -- some finish seems to have worn/washed off the wood after only 4 uses. Backbone -- As advertised here and in other places, horeshair is a different experience. After all, that was why I bought it. Backbone is slight, but it still does a good job lathering hard soaps (DR Harris, and the like). I use soft water. It is a great "paintbrush" for applying lather. Definitely not a lather hog. I use linear back-and-forth motion to whip up the lather on my face, but my technique with this brush really is more the bowl-lather type. I would never call this brush floppy, but it is quite flexible. For instance, I think most synthetics are fairly floppy -- they fling lather all over if you're not careful. Not this horse. If you are the type that has to crush the brush into your face and grind it around in a vigorous circular motion to spread or work up your lather, this brush is not for you. Scritch -- Very little Shedding -- It shed 2 hairs the third time I used it. Otherwise none before or since. My Overall Satisfaction -- The brush is very "useable" -- extremely soft and comfortable, and still does the job, I will use it probably as regularly as my boars and badgers. Yes, it is right in between boar and badger for feel. Another reason I bought it was for its length -- to reach down into my deeper mugs. It's OK for that despite being a couple of millimeters under advertised loft. However, I would love to know what a horsehair knot would be like if it was more dense, larger diameter, and fan-shaped.