The fourth & final day of the psycho-social drama that is my search for a new horse.
Buying a horse combines the mechanical uncertainties of inspecting a used car, the emotional baggage of adopting a pet, and the imponderables of hiring a co-worker. It’s a wonder any horses get bought.
My Uncle Jim knows little of horses but a lot about hiring co-workers. In the process of starting up and running a successful advertising agency, he spent many hours on personnel matters. This hard-headed businessman’s advice is to go with your gut. Once you have sorted the acceptable candidates from the unacceptable, wait for one that excites you. If you have a space to fill in your business or your barn, don’t you have to take the best of the available candidates? No. If your search hasn’t yielded the right candidates, change your search. Somewhere out there is the sort of person you want who in turn wants exactly what your company has to offer. Not just someone who has to live in your town for family reasons but someone who wants your mix of work/salary/corporate culture. Any time Uncle Jim has settled for “the best available”, he has regretted it.
I called him 6 months ago when I had finally found a decent horse after 6 months of looking. He was the best I had seen. Uncle Jim told me the above. I didn’t believe him. For various other reasons, I didn’t buy that horse. Turns out, Uncle Jim was right. Six months later I found absolutely the right horse, way higher quality than I had been looking for, who came to live here thru a concatenation of circumstances.
I wrote the above text the month Rodney arrived. Having just slogged through a year-long ordeal of horse shopping, I was attempting to capitalize on the agony by selling an article on buying horses to an editor. I wasn’t blowing smoke. Rodney was & is a higher-caliber horse than I ever expected to own.
On my Day 3 post [Eeny], I said I don’t trust other people’s opinions. I have my reasons. For the sake of libel suits, I will leave it at that. Insert your own unsuitable/unsound horse horror stories. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter. You might have the advisory team of Matz, O’Connor, and Gurney with a Gates budget, but at some point you & you alone have to say, Yes, let’s do it.
I don’t trust anybody else, after Rodney I don’t trust my gut, & a third pasture ornament might just do me in. What criteria do I use when I don’t trust any of the criteria?
Horse Shopping day 3: Eeny, Meeny … oh you know the rest
Horse Shopping day 2: Yin or Yang?
Horse Shopping day 1: Crowdsourcing
Shopping for Rodney in Horse Illustrated
Horse shopping online: Putting Myself Out There … On Horseback.
So, Astute Reader, that is the long-winded answer to what is paralyzing me into inaction. In sum:
What should I look for?
Where should I look?
What should I do when I find it?