A couple of common expressions in English are “to ride a dead horse” or “beating a dead horse.” Generally these expressions are not meant to be extremely ironic. In fact, a piece of tribal wisdom passed down by the Dakota Indians of the American prairies states that:
“When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.”
However, it is in the nature of dead horses that their passing is not always readily acknowledged. This is particularly true for people working in government, corporate bureaucracies, academic pursuits, or politics. Other strategies are often employed, such as:
1. Requisitioning an electric whip complete with battery, solar powered recharger, replaceable whip ends, and insulated handle.
2. Start the hiring process for new riders, which will require the formation of one or more committees and up to a year for evaluation.
3. Appoint a committee to study the horse, after a report has been prepared by several outside consultants recommending the topics to be studied.
4. Arrange for visits to several countries to see how other cultures ride dead horses.
5. Prepare a brief and submit it to an appropriate legislative body requesting that dead horses be reclassified as living-impaired.
6. Outsource the horse to foreign riders, specifying that a report on its condition be submitted weekly.
7. Experiment with linking several dead horses to test the hypothesis that more horsepower increases speed in a linear manner.
8. Request that an environmental impact study be made of the dead horse, covering such topics as energy savings, local fertilization, food-chain supply, and potential bacterial propagation.
9. Review and revise as appropriate the performance requirements for all horses.
10. Issue a PR release stating that while the horse appears dead, it may, in fact, be sleeping or just partially dead. Emphasize that it will take time before a final evaluation can be made.
11. Develop an application to a foundation or research organization for a project that will evaluate methods for increasing a dead horse’s performance.
12. Seek funding for an equine revitalization program, going to so far as to delve into infrastructure support and basic research concerning cellular revivification.
13. Task numerous employees with conducting a productivity study concerning the lowered cost of maintenance for dead horses; whether lighter riders would improve performance; how much lack of movement relieves traffic congestion, and whether management’s time need be expended for a dead horse.
If all else fails, acknowledge the horse is dead, but immediately launch a marketing campaign for a new horse that resembles the dead horse in all respects, but of course, rebranded.