SDP Buffalo Ranch owner Shane Plummer addresses crowd

Decisions

Have you ever sat down to write something and stared at the blinking cursor waiting for yourself to type? That was me this morning with a blog entry due, the one you are now reading.

How this works for me is something like this. I get an email on Monday saying, “Shane, will there be a blog entry this week? Due tomorrow by noon. Thanks!”  I then see it and continue on with whatever requires my attention at the moment. Tuesday begins with Shella Langford, my director of marketing, texting me with, “Are you doing a blog today or what would you like me to do?” It is now 11:27 and I am three minutes into writing this. Let’s see how this goes.

One of my ancestry lines is wholly comprised of early Latter-Day Saint pioneers, most coming from Europe to America and settling into the Eastern states. Not long after establishing a life in their new home, they packed up and headed west, out of the new country they called home and into the wilderness, so to speak. Why they left is not the blog of the day. The blog of the day is for me to put myself in their shoes and think of the unimaginable hardship I know they went through. Some pushed hand carts with all of their belongings more than 1,200 miles. Some of these ancestors buried children along the way. It’s unimaginable for me.

Thinking through their decisions and circumstance puts into focus my perspective on things. I have five kids, the joy of my life. I didn’t really know what being proud was until I saw my kids begin to achieve their passionate pursuits. Being a father is the best, but it is by no means for the idle or slothful. Kids are being ruined by the droves because of folks not parenting. Just ask your local school teacher. Scary.

We are way, way, way too spoiled today. Speaking of parenting, when I have one of my kids come to me with one of their problems, I think of my ancestors crossing the plains or of the many billions living in comparative extreme hardship, most due to things wholly out of their control. So, when my kids come to me with the big problems they are having, we try and analyze perspective. Perspective is everything, right? F.W.P. Don’t know what F.W.P. is? Click here for a quick explanation with more than 14 million views. 

It is now 11:39. I’m still not sure why I am following this line of thinking, but it’s my blog, so … Relating it to the horse industry, it still is about perspective.

Due to my years in this business and the many thousands I have come into contact with, I have altered my perspective through the years. I remember when my family first got into the Western performance world — they are also known as performance horses — breeding cutting, reining and cow horses. I came into it fresh off of analyzing the business side of things through my upbringing and training with the racehorse industry. The business side of things is basically the same as far as those economically living off of the industry. But those that are funding the industry, well, their reasoning for being a part of it all is not always economically motivated. I made so many mistakes in the early years not understanding that. Time and experience has shown me a wholly different perspective.

I am now sitting in a seat running a large horse business that must sustain itself by servicing all folks that it interacts with. I have learned that I cannot control every outcome. It has taken me years to realize this. I tell people all the time that I can only give two guarantees. First, we will be honest. Second, we will try our best — always. There are too many moving parts in the horse game. Guaranteed results, nigh impossible. Guaranteed effort and strategic decision-making, well, that is what has gotten us this far.

11:51 … I’m feeling the heat now! Haha. You mare owners for the most part, I have learned, just follow trends and what is “hot” at the present time. I get it. It has been that way forever, and I really don’t see anything changing. Just know that any decision you make today, the consequence of that decision is two to four years away. There are no guaranteed outcomes in breeding — not in the science and nature of it, nor in the outcome of the cross. There are, however, increased probable outcomes based upon what is done. I implore you to take the time necessary to “stack the deck” in your favor the best you can. It is all a gamble, but the odds are better with poker and blackjack than with slots!

I’m done here. It’s kind of a ramble, but it is what came to mind today. A very wise man (Thomas S. Monson) said, “Decisions determine destiny.”  I work every day to keep things in perspective, to stay positive, to not let information overload weigh me down, to work my tail off to perform my duties to all those I am responsible to and for. I wish you only success in your horse endeavors. I know that success is the same as unicorns and pots of gold at the end of the rainbow, so to speak, but it is the ride that we find so thrilling, not the destination!