I admit that I've always had trouble with math. Throughout school I was a member of the artsy English and Theatre crowd. I could barely sleepwalk my way to a C- in basic arithmetic but I had read everything written by Truman Capote by the time I was 17. My proclivity for writing and literature has served me well, but my lack of math skills impacts my life with horses.
For starters, I have trouble with old fashioned word problems:
If alfalfa is about $17 a bale, and a bale of 50/50 alfalfa & orchard grass is about $20 a bale, but Wally only eats the best part of each flake and wastes the rest, how much money do I NOT have left over once I break down in frustration and simply feed him oat hay pellets at $9.75 per 50-lb. bag?
Then there are annoying simple equations that I can't avoid:
New Bridle - Broken Rein + Repair Cost = Hide Receipt from Husband
I don't even try to do division. It's just too scary. For example, Wally got shod last week. I won't share the grand total for his shiny shoes but suffice it to say that just once--- ONCE-- in my life I'd like to waltz into a shoe store, point out some fancy footwear for myself that costs as much as Wally's, and state confidently, "I shall have those!"
Instead, as the farrier works on Wally, I'm doing a division problem in my head, trying to ascertain the value of X (with X representing the current open market price for steel and aluminum per ounce). "Hmmm...." I figure, "at the price I'm paying, divided by four shoes, and then that divided by six nails per shoe..."
With my brain a-swirl with numbers, it's odd that I found this latest quiz on Horse Channel intriguing:
Horse Quiz with Mind Numbing Numbers
You might know all the answers, but I took it and felt much like I did in Basic Math 005: I only got one answer correct. Now, if it had been a quiz about how many horses appeared in the collected works of Truman Capote, then I would've scored 100%.