The title of this article is an English proverb that
makes good horse sense literally and offers an even
deeper meaning figuratively.
You may be able to count some of the following
business items in your tally of “good horses”:
- Your employees or professional support team
- Your tack, tractors, trucks, trailers and equine
- Your good customers and clients
- Your own horses
What makes for each day in business a journey of
Every successful accomplishment your business
makes each working day is largely dependent
on your hand picked employees, assistants and
professional support team. Whether you learned
long ago or are just learning, your business cannot
run successfully without the help and work of others.
If you have ever managed a bad employee or have
had one as a coworker, you know the pain and
frustration of trying to get things done right. Just like a
bad horse might make a one mile trail ride an
endurance event, the wrong employee for the job can
make an eight hour day seem like twelve.
Equipment and Facilities
“Have the right tool for the job” is sage advice from all
old timers. But in the pursuit of false
professional horsemen tolerate baling wire hinges,
manure mountains high enough to cast shadows on
the barn and geriatric fences challenged to stand up
to a strong breeze.
While keeping equipment and facility investment as
low as possible is good strategy, a horse
business starved for tractors, tools and stabling in
good repair will be continuously hungering for steady
Customers and Clients
Clients who show up late for lessons, appointments,
barn hours and the first of the month board fee, sure
do make the day and the customer journey long. It’s a
given: good customers should expect good service.
But, when you are consistently delivering good
service, there are customers who can still find fault
and reason to complain about the most trivial
matters. It’s these customers who make customer
service an uphill trek every time they appear at the
farm or call on the phone. Not only do bad customers
create long miles, they'll drag you along for a
marathon of long miles.
You are admired for your big heart and
for problem horses and scolded for
hanging on to
those that no longer fit in your program as lesson
horses, broodmares or standing stallions.
horses that are consistently the favorites bring smiles
to the faces of the students who ride them, the
instructor who shines because of them and the
business owner who knows their value. The
same smile appears when mares consistently
produce quality foals and stallions sire show winners.
unpopular horses in the lesson string which
intimidate students, broodmares which are difficult to
get in foal and stallions whose get is lackluster and
dull are “long milers” and need to put out their
resumes for new jobs elsewhere.
You, as Business Owner
In your business, are you exhausted because you are
the only one who can do it right, inclined to keep the
details in your head and disgusted and angry
because you can’t find good help?
Or, are you a leader in your business who delegates
responsibility to others, conveys a clear message and
vision in which the business is going and sets an
example for others to follow?
It’s up to you to make the decision to make all of
your business miles, short miles using “good
horses” in all parts of your business.