Dead horses, and the usefulness thereof

Received by e-mail from reader Vince G.:

The tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians, passed on from generation to generation, says that: “When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.”

However, in government, education, and in corporate America, more advanced strategies are often employed, such as:

  1. Buying a stronger whip.
  2. Changing riders.
  3. Appointing a committee to study the horse.
  4. Arranging to visit other countries to see how other cultures ride dead horses.
  5. Lowering the standards so that dead horses can be included.
  6. Reclassifying the dead horse as living-impaired.
  7. Hiring outside contractors to ride the dead horse.
  8. Harnessing several dead horses together to increase speed.
  9. Providing additional funding and/or training to increase dead horse’s performance.
  10. Doing a productivity study to see if lighter riders would improve the dead horse’s performance.
  11. Declaring that as the dead horse does not have to be fed, it is less costly, carries lower overhead and therefore contributes substantially more to the bottom line of the economy than do some other horses.
  12. Rewriting the expected performance requirements for all horses.
  13. Promoting the dead horse to a supervisory position.

Thanks, Vince! That gave me a good laugh this morning, and I’m sure my other readers will enjoy it too.



  1. My son came up with these additional lines:

    14. Require all future riders to go through dead horse sensitivity training
    15. Provide the dead horse with all the free hay and water it can use so it will not have to worry about not being able to carry any riders any longer
    16. Determine if the dead horse died of unacceptable work conditions/incompetence on the part of the rider. Sue said rider. Sue said riders’ employer. Sue said employers’ parent company as well as the saddle maker, shoe maker, bridle maker and hay supplier.

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