My uncle, James Bunting, sent me a plan to approach buying a horse as a business project. He doesn’t know horses, but has built several business over the years. I have no doubt this advice is gold in the business world. However, I have doubts about how well this would apply to the horse world. I could go through the list point-by-point with counter-examples from the searches for Rodney & Milton.
This could be my discouragement talking. It is all too easy to say why something won’t work. So, I would like your help in taking this general business advice and translating it into horse-specific advice. Theories, personal experience, whatever ya got. I’d rather not have horror stories. The goal is to get me moving, not to send me hiding under the bed. Please forward/share the post with anyone who might have input on the subject. Thanks in advance. Welcome, Uncle Jim.
If I was going to buy a horse, here’s what I would do.
1. Decide if I want another horse. Make that definite decision which will clear my mind so I can proceed with certainty, or, not proceed. If yes, decide what I am going to do with the horses I currently have, and how I am going to it. After that you are ready to go.
2. If I’m going to proceed, I’d set a budget. If I’m going to buy a terrific horse, I’d budget for a terrific horse. It may take some time to learn what great horses cost.
3. Next, I’d assume I don’t know anything about buying a horse. I’ve found that whenever I start a new venture, and I don’t know anything about it, people think I am naive, foolish, and not very smart. But, I ask basic questions, gather information, and forge ahead and don’t pay any attention to the people who think I’m naïve. I don’t mind being perceived as stupid. This is a very important point, you have to be confident in yourself and your process, and willing to ask stupid/obvious questions, which other people may dismiss; the people who can help you are confident in their knowledge and will see your genuine interest and passion and will want to help you.
4. I would learn everything I can about buying a great horse. I’d ask people at shows, stables, etc. people who are the best at what they do, and have great horses.
5. I’d find the best horse buyers and talk with them. I’d find a person, an advisor, who would be willing to lead my horse buying project. I would probably have to pay the person. The key here is to find the best person who is honest and trustworthy and has a proven track record….too many posers out there. I’d check references and ask around about the person, which is just good business.
6. I would actively look for horses and visit the best horse candidates, which may mean travel for you and your advisor, and riding each good candidate.
7. Eventually I’d find a horse who I like and likes me, and it would be clear…this is the one. Patience will be important, and don’t accept an “almost the right one.” “Good” is the great enemy of excellent.
The overall theme here is to have enough confidence to say “I don’t know how to do this and I need help.” I think that is the key to success.
One more thought, which may or may not relate to this discussion. When I start and complete a project, I am very matter of fact about it, all business, nothing social; I’m not out to make friends. But, people respect my process, like the result and are glad they participated in the project and feel good about their contribution.
Thank you for reading,