Education: teaching you a lesson Godfather style

As you may have read in the "About Me" section, my hometown is Napa Valley, a region with a unique blend of down-to-earth farmers and ranchers, blended with hobby vintners and celebrity tourists and weddings.

Recently a rumor circulated the valley that a decapitated horse head was left on the back stoop of the world-famous restaurant Bottega (article here).
I knew it couldn't be there as part of the dinner preparations because it is illegal in California to sell horse meat for human consumption.
It was later revealed that the head skinned mammal appendage was a sheep's head.
The source of the head remains a mystery, but it does bring to mind the infamous scene in The Godfather in which a horse head is left at the foot of someone's bed as a warning or a threat.


{Scene from The Godfather: Source}


For those who subscribe to The Equestrian Professional, an article was e-mailed today about receiving complaints from your equine customers, and that in fact, complaints can have a positive effect on your business or enterprise.
I loved the point made about solving and preventing issues through education; as you all know, I am an advocate to help horse people become more legally educated in their horse activities, whether those activities are for profit or just for pleasure.

Excerpts from the article are listed below; for the entire article click here.
  1. Complaints can stimulate creativity. Sometimes a complaint will make you aware of a need that you could fill (and charge for).  One riding instructor heard her customers complaining about their kids not getting their homework done on lesson days.  So she created a special after school riding program that included a tutor to help the kids get their homework done at the barn. The parents were thrilled and the riding instructor had a new (and more profitable) program.
  2. In the equine world, complaints are often solved through education. In fact, education is one of the most important goals of a successful horse business marketing plan.  The better educated your current and potential customers are, the better decisions they will make. Also, a well educated customer is far more likely to appreciate the work that you do and will place a higher value (both emotional and financial) on your services.
While it is unlikely an unhappy business partner would leave a horse head at your door or in your bed, it is possible horses will be used as leverage when a deal goes sour.  For example, your co-owner of a horse may refuse to consent to a sale, a trainer may take a larger commission than you had anticipated, or installment payments on a horse/ trailer/ piece of tack may not be made in full to you as you had orally agreed with the buyer.

Take-away: educate yourself as to your equine legal needs, so that you can better communicate and educate your customer or business partner in aspects of your joint equine transaction.