‘From Nags to Numbnuts: A Skint Dressage Daddy’s Guide to Horses, Horse People & Horse Sports’

  • Are you looking for a horsey-themed book that will make you (and your non-horsey family and friends) laugh out loud? If so, From Nags to Numbnuts: A Skint Dressage Daddy’s Guide to Horses, Horse People & Horse Sports, is just the read for you.

    ‘Skint Dressage Daddy’ first started life on the internet, where author Daniel Skinner blogged about his experiences as a non-horsey father and husband in a house dominated by his daughter’s obsession with horses and dressage.

    In this, his first book, Daniel explains everything you need to know about the world of horses and horse sports, following his journey into “misery, mild alcohol dependence and, ultimately, probable financial ruin”.

    Daniel, who has spent most of his career working in newspaper publishing as a digital designer, leading teams for web and mobile app launches for the Financial Times, Daily Mail, Evening Standard and Metro, describes himself as liking “red wine, pale ale, motorbikes and planes. But not horses.”

    Here is an extract taken from the chapter titled “Are horses expensive?”

    “So exactly how expensive is horse ownership? Good question. Let me perhaps throw this back at you by asking three simple questions in return; how many vital organs do you currently have, how many are you actually using, and do you have a least favourite? Trust me, I’ve actually looked into this. Apparently, you can happily spare a kidney, a portion of liver, a lung, some intestines and an eyeball, and there’s good money to be earned if you go to the right places. A fresh, healthy kidney can fetch up to £100,000 in Israel, my research has found, and that could come in very handy indeed currently.

    “Basically, every aspect of owning and riding horses is expensive. The nagonomics at play are simply not in your favour. The horses themselves are expensive to buy, they’re expensive to run, they wear expensive clothes (for some reason), it’s expensive putting them up in horse hotels, it’s expensive moving them around from place to place and, on top of all that, everything you buy in relation to horses has some kind of secret Horse Tax applied on top. If you bought an apple and said it was for a nag, it’d be twenty quid.

    “I found just the other day that CC1 [Cost Centre One, Daniel’s wife] had bought some salt for the nag, that came in a big tub. I found the receipt and it had cost about a million f**king quid. It was salt. In a tub. But for a horse. And it had a special name, like ‘Equine Performance Salt’ or some s**t, like when they try to flog sugared water to runners by just using words like ‘hydration’, ‘fluids’ and even ‘aqua’ to justify it costing a fiver a litre. But it was just some salt. In a tub.

    “Owning a horse is like standing in a muddy field for hours on end, freezing you t*ts off and setting fire to twenties to try to stay warm.

    “Before you start worrying about all the associated costs of horse hotels, horse clothes, lorries and competitions etc, you’re going to need to get hold of an actual horse. Luckily these are free. Hahahahah, slaps thigh and wipes tears from eye.

    “They’re actually a bit like cars, in that you can get a really nice one for a s**tload of money, or a ropey old banger for much less. The costs are actually pretty equivalent too, when you think about it. A few hundred quid for a proper old sh***er and hundreds of thousands for the equivalent of an exotic supercar. In other words, a whole heap of money. You can even lease horses in the same way, because the up-front cost is often just too much to bear.

    “And much like cars, horses can go wrong in all kinds of ways, need regular servicing by a trained vet and usually require insurance to make sure that you don’t have to sell the house when they go wrong. You’ll be needing that house to sell later on anyway, as we’ll soon see. They also wear out from contact with the ground. All very similar.”

    Price: From Nags to Numbnuts: A Skint Dressage Daddy’s Guide to Horses, Horse People & Horse Sports can be purchased for £6.99 via Amazon.
    Published by: Obvious Books, October 2018

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