My cousin posted a facebook picture of a recent “tool” she created to rest her horse’s hoof on for different types of management like hoof cleaning, filing, etc. Kathy (my cousin) owns a multitude of horses and dogs and I am constantly in awe with some of the creations she has used in order to continue doing what she loves as she gets older, possibly poorer, but rich in character and life. Remember Scrooge McDuck from Walt Disney telling his nephews to work smarter not harder? Well that is Kathy, where there is a will there is a way.
We are bombarded by marketing that tells us we can’t do this or that, but we really can. In simpler terms, the Engineering Mindset is exactly that; finding a way to do it yourself. Using the tools you find in your everyday life. We have so much information available to us. Everything from Kathy’s design were objects that she had around her house and barn. She brainstormed with pinterest and created a very functional hoof rest without paying any money, just time.
Remember the 10 Mindsets? Here is what Kathy did but probably didn’t realize at the time.
Mindset 1 – Consider the Problem – constant bending was hurting her back, the horse was restless after a certain time, she could not afford to buy one.
Mindset 2 – Process of Solving – could she make one and if she could how?
Mindset 3 – Exploring Materials – if I’m making this do I have the materials needed, if not I may have to try different ones.
Mindset 4 – Considering the needs of the problem – a solid weight will be needed, and a circular rest for the hoof so the horse is comfortable, it also needs to be the right height and sturdy.
Mindset 5 – Brainstorming – since Kathy lives rurally she does not have much ability to brainstorm with others at a moments notice. Using pinterest she built upon designs used by others to create her unique structure.
Mindset 6 – Using science and math for your design – exactly how high did it have to be, how heavy, how long did the circular rest have to be, will it balance properly?
Mindset 7 – Testing the design – speaks for itself.
Mindset 8 – Learning from failure – Kathy needed a soft material to add comfort to the pvc half pipe she used for the rest but couldn’t find the material. She tried various ways but found success with using two bungee cords. She persisted until she found the solution.
Mindset 9 – Working in teams – since people were not available (she is rural) she used resources like pinterest to add to/modify her design.
Mindset 10 – Seeing yourself able to do it – this success and others makes you feel that you can do it. From small to large projects each success brings pride and resilience.
So next time you come across a problem, use the above mindset examples to work through the process.