Merriam-Webster defines 'staying power' as the "capacity for continuing without weakening." Perhaps horse people are most familiar with the term 'staying power' as it relates to race horses. We all know that it's not just the fastest horse out of the gate that wins, it's the horse that is capable of maintaining speed throughout the race. 

Time and adversity reveal a person's staying power just as speed and distance reveal a horse's. Time, as it relates to duration, is the greatest way to determine a person or organization's staying power. The ability to maintain focus and "solider on" over the course of time reveals character. Time measures staying power as nothing else can. The person that is able achieve something worthwhile is able to overcome adversity - they persevere and they STAY at it. Quitting is easy, anybody can do it. Having the guts to continue working for something "without weakening" takes courage. 'Anything worth having is not easily had.' 

Staying power is especially critical for a horse 'rescue.' Many 'rescues' are begun with good intentions...But keep in mind what the road to hell is paved with. It takes more than good intentions to successfully rehabilitate and re home slaughter bound horses. It takes good business sense, sound operating principles, adequate resources and SHEER DETERMINATION on the part of the people involved. A 'never say die' attitude and an unwavering commitment to continue are critical. An organization HAS to be sound in its foundation or it will come up "lame" long before the mission is completed. Soundness and staying power are absolutely essential to long term success. Remember, "It's a long way to the top if you wanna rock and roll." 

Want another way to evaluate staying power? Consider the ability to duplicate success. George Strait has staying power. Not only has his work stood the test of time, he is able to consistently turn out hits. (Should I mention some other artists that don't have staying power? The 'one hit wonders' are sprinters in this analogy. They  obviously lack staying power.) The principle of duplicating success is particularly applicable in the horse 'rescue' world. An organization has to find a system that works or 'rescuing' can turn into 'hoarding.' If placing horses in good homes is the measure of success for a 'rescue,' then establishing a method of doing so repeatedly is critical to long term success. A 'rescue' that finds that system has staying power - they will be able to 'hit their stride' and help many horses over a long period of time.

In order to 'come down the stretch' in good form a horse has to have found his stride, been determined to finish and found the guts and work ethic to achieve 'staying power.' Not all horses are able to do this and neither are all horse 'rescues.' Repeated success over the 'course' of time is the true measure of staying power.