Saturday, March 1, 2008

And the Grand Total Is...

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%.


Anonymous said...

That's so funny! Atleast your writing is amazing! (oh the haybale problem... your paying about $10 for the par Wally is NOT eating, so feeding him the 9.75 per 50lb bag is less. Sorry I'm a math person, with free time.)

Anonymous said...

The first time I took that quiz I got only one answer right too-- the one about the average weight that most riding horses are. The second time, however (aren't I devious?) only one wrong. Therefore I can truthfully say, to quote the comment on my SECOND score, "I have numbers on my mind."


Anonymous said...

i have a tip for you if take the quiz about 6 times you get all anwsers.hope it helps.


Anonymous said...

Wow! Things sure are expensive in CA! In TX I paid $11 per bale of some nice alfalfa and I thought that was too much! As far as farriers go...if you have a difficult horse to shoe (which it doesn't sound like Wally is one), no price is to high, but I wouldn't pay over $100 for one horse, and that's just good business sense, even if you just put shoes on the front.
My 2 cents!
P.S. I took the quiz, too and abou half of my guesses where right. I must be living good!

Halsgal said...

I can't believe how expensive hay is in CA! :D I don't know what kind we get here, I'm fairly sure that it's alfalfa but anyway, it's 2 bucks a bale here. And as for shoes, it makes me wonder some times how much labor fees are added to it . . . my father was a farrier (until a horse kicked him across the barn and proceeded to totally destroy 3 disks in his back) and when he shoed my horse, it was about 30 bucks for shoes, now with this new farrier, i'm getting $250 bills!! Horses . . .can't afford them, but we still manage some how to scrape up the cash . . .

Anonymous said...

I'm gonna put in a second comment here on hay. Out here (Central TX) we can get a fairly good-sized square bale for about $8. It's fairly good quality. Sas doesn't need the higher protein that alfalfa contains; 1) She gets fat enough on hay and some oats, and 2) She doesn't get exercised enough to work off all the extra energy alfalfa's protein content would give her.


Cindy Hale said...

I think I'm going to have to revisit the topics of hay prices and farrier fees, LOL!

Thanks for all of your comments.