Thursday, April 28, 2011
In Deeper Than Hansel and Gretel
We have have fenced in about 20 acres of mixed forest for the horse's dietary pleasure. To my surprise they had not hit it hard after nearly a month of having access to the woods. That all came to an end yesterday.
When I got to the horse lot only one male horse could be seen. Everyone else was deep, deep in the woods. They came out very slowly, bellies full of tender shoots, new leaves and fresh browse. High in long stem fiber, a diverse set of minerals and vitamins compared to hay and uniform pasture,--this is a great addition to the natural environment that we seek to provide for our horses. The investment in wire fence was not significant. If I had fenced this woods in a decade ago it would have saved me at least $40,000.00 in hay costs over that same period of time. The horses would have been even happier and likely healthier than they are now.
But I did not do so because I lacked the business judgement to innovate and invest. My response to every economic challenge that we faced was the same--work harder. It was not a bad strategy, but it was not the best strategy.
From now on every decision that I make regarding the program will be based on a very few criterion:
1. Is it good for the horses?
2. Will ii decrease costs?
3. Will it increase income?
4. Will it give me a sense of satisfaction to have it done?
We will also be looking at long term program management that will narrow our focus and sharpen our goals. My plans for retirement have always been based on a vague notion of getting killed by a horse while in my fifties. While economically sound (death is very affordable) it leaves too much to chance, (e.g. suppose no horse kills me) Considering my family history and the great numbers that my blood work always seems to produce I am likely to live to be a hundred.
Longevity has its place and I want to place my longevity in the middle of a horse lot somewhere. That means that it is time for this horse operation to become a part of our family's financial future.
Step one will be for me to adopt the use of certain business terminology that I have always had great difficulty using--such as saying the word "no".
Posted by Steve Edwards