Book Reviews

From Nags to Numbnuts by Daniel Skinner – A Review

by Samantha Hobden

I think I am an ideal candidate to review this book. Why I hear you ask? Because I have just come out the other side of fourteen years of horse ownership. From learning to ride in the days when we wore plastic riding boots and second hand riding hats, the horse and pony obsession gripped me young.

My parents watched me riding ponies in utter bewilderment like author Daniel Skinner. He battled the equine warning signs with his young daughter as she plunged together with her mum in tow, into the wonderful but weird world of horses and ponies. Putting his thoughts and observations from a Skint Dressage Daddy’s point of view makes a hilarious account in the book From Nags to Numbnuts.

I instantly felt sympathy for the author as he identified the Dominant Eight Behavioural Tendencies (DEBT) of equine addiction. Ten full chapters documented how the equestrian world is a license to print money with tack shops enticing horse addicts to buy matchy matchy to horse luxury hotels (yards to us horse lovers) charging for various levels of s**t picking. The chapters covered how to transport “the nag” to competitions, which needed a calculator in hand whilst ringing the bank up to remortgage the house or sell a kidney to fund all of this.

It was a very cathartic read for me as I identified myself (worryingly) in every chapter. Every page you turned you laughed out loud. I read the authors quote of “Spendy F**king Spendy” when it came to owning horses to my husband (a fully fledged horse detester) who nodded in complete agreement with Daniel. And this is why the book is such a good read. Horse owners can read this book recognising at every turn of the page themselves immersed in this addiction. For those that foot the bills for their children or partners hobby can read the book and feel a complete kinship and outright sympathy with the author.

With the book containing swearing, whingeing, whining and hilarious poems about the horse world and the oddities that “horse people” portray, is a delight and a very humorous read. This is a must for all horse addicts but also for the confused parents, partners and other halves that cannot comprehend why their loved ones stick themselves on to something that is GFM (check out the hilarious glossary at the back of the book to find out what that means!).

I have decided not to buy another horse and reading From Nags to Numbnuts has probably backed up that decision in a very amusing sense. But I do miss shopping for those matching numnahs and “legwarmers”….

Published by Obvious Books, October 2018

From Nags to Numbnuts: A Skint Dressage Daddy’s Guide to Horses, Horse People & Horse Sports can be purchased for £6.99 via Amazon.

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