12 Alternatives to Beating a Dead Horse

“The tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians says when you discover you’re riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount. However, in modern business and ministry, because of the heavy investment factors, other strategies are often tried with dead horses, including:

  1. buying a stronger whip;
  2. changing riders;
  3. threatening the horse with termination;
  4. appointing a committee to study the horse;
  5. arranging to visit other sites to see how they ride dead horses;
  6. reclassifying the dead horse as “living-impaired”;
  7. hiring outside contractors to ride the dead horse;
  8. harnessing several dead horses together for increased speed;
  9. donating the dead horse to a recognized charity and deducting its full original cost;
  10. doing a time management study to see if lighter riders would improve productivity;
  11. declaring a dead horse has lower overhead and therefore performs better; and
  12. promoting the dead horse to a supervisory position.”

My favorites are numbers 4, 5, 8 and 12. Which are yours?

HT: Dr. Sam Lamerson.


  1. Sharon Gamble says:

    I liked number 3!!

  2. Margaret says:

    May I suggest Number 13? Give the horse a decent burial and pronounce the benediction.

  3. Gomez Adams says:

    I find that most government agencies lean towards #12

  4. Ray Fowler says:

    Gomez – Ha! Good point!

  5. David says:

    Very large companies, function like government, and every one I’ve ever worked for tended towards #12

    Additionally I’ve seen #2 #3 #4 #5 #7 #8 #10
    Fortunately now I’m self-employed.

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