A - Z 2021: Strike while the Iron is hot

Photo by Jonathan Bean on Unsplash

Welcome back to A - Z 2021. Yesterday we explored what Home means.

I is for 

Strike while the Iron is hot 

I had a hard time coming up with an actual situation to write about. 

Instead I figured I could watch YouTube videos and learn how farriers actually make horseshoes. 

It's really fascinating to observe. They take this ordinary looking steel bar and heat it in a furnace, and when I say heat, I mean it: 2,300°F (1,260°C)!

After a while, the formerly black piece of metal comes out annealed! Bright orange and red of color, and it becomes easily bendable and shapable. They call it "forging".

As the metal cools down pretty quickly though, the blacksmith needs to work fast and precisely. 

The saying really makes perfect sense. Use a rare opportunity before it's gone!

I still have no everyday example. What's wrong with me? Evidently there are people who have several irons in the fire?

The reason may be that I am not your typical opportunist? 

Thinking about it, I don't like to ask for help, I don't like to sit around and hope to get lucky, and I don't like to depend on others. 

I like to create m own opportunities. That way they will be exactly the way I like them.  It involves way more time and effort, but it makes me feel like it's more precious and deserved.

In my all Duck or no Dinner post. I mentioned how I was taking matters into my own hands.

Back to horses though. There is another idiom, you may have heard of it: flogging a dead horse.

The wisdom of the Dakota tribe, passed on from one generation to the next, says that when you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount 

Some creative person has put this into business context, where for obvious reasons the horse stands for investments, strategies and practices that deserve rescuing, and some of the analogies are hilarious. They suggest it'd be a good idea to be

  • Buying a stronger whip.
  • Changing riders.
  • Threatening the horse with termination.
  • Appointing a committee to study the horse.
  • Arranging to visit other sites or countries to see how they ride dead horses.
  • Lowering the standards so that dead horses can be included.
  • Reclassifying the dead horse as “living-impaired.”
  • Hiring outside contractors to ride the dead horse.
  • Harnessing several dead horses together to increase speed.
  • Providing additional funding and/or training to increase the dead horse’s performance.
  • Doing a productivity study to see if lighter riders would improve the dead horse’s performance.
  • Declaring that the dead horse does not have to be fed, it is less costly, carries lower overhead and therefore contributes more to the bottom line than some other horses.
  • Rewriting the expected performance requirements for all horses.
  • Promoting the dead horse to a supervisory position.

Does any of it sound familiar to you? 

Do you have any irons in the fire as we speak? 

Let me know down below, and please include the link to your post so I can return the visit.

Happy Weekend! Be back Monday morning, bright and early - we may need your help to overturn some score from the East German Judge!


  1. Hmm, I'm more a "I will do it tomorrow" than "strike while the iron is hot". Procrastination is my second nature ;))
    Quilting Patchwork & Appliqué

  2. Reclassifying the dead horse as “living-impaired.” That so made me laugh as I've worked with managers that would do that.
    I'm a bit of a procrastinator, no striking whilst the iron is hot for me.

  3. Those are some funny spins on flogging a dead horse. My favorite is also to "reclassifying the dead horse as “living-impaired.”" That is just hysterical.

    I'm definitely a strike while the iron is hot type of personality.

    Weekends In Maine

  4. Lots of wisdom in today's post Tamara. Thank you.
    There are people who strike when the iron's hot...I don't think I'm one of them--maybe, I'm foolish or maybe I have too many irons in the fire--although, I enjoy them all and they turn out okay;)
    I like your attitude about making your own opportunities.

  5. I have always been fascinated with forging. I would love to try it sometime. I think it's so cool and I want a horse so bad I can't stand it. We actually went yesterday for a drive to look at some land that we're interested in purchasing.

  6. Use a rare opportunity before it passes -- that's the essence, as you have expressed it. Like participating in the A to Z Challenge. It's a time to get some writing done and engage with the blogging community -- our opportunity every April to strike while the writing iron is hot. Clearly, we've made that choice! https://mollyscanopy.com/2021/04/bm-country-club-and-the-great-divide-atozchallenge/#comments

  7. I've tried to strike but sometimes the iron cools before I actually get around to it!

  8. Strike while the iron is hot, you say hmmmmmmmmmmmmm
    That isn't possible any more..................

  9. I suppose you can take advantage of any opportunity that comes along but I rarely have such opportunities. That phrase - 'when one door closes another opens' - that's more what I encounter. I suppose if you're not looking, you can bump into a door and not know it.

    Have a lovely day.

    My A-Z posts are here.

  10. I haven't heard this one in a while, but my Dad used to be quite fond of saying it. It's very true.

  11. I think in the pandemic the fire is out for most of us.. 9-5 jobs are what secure, especially if you are working on computers. Rest business are flogging the dead horse :)


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