How Many What?

Why is that such a common and such a difficult question?

When someone hears that I have horses, they'll ask a few nicey-nice questions and then pop the big one ... "how many?"

My jaw drops and my mind goes blank. It's not that it's a bad question, and I don't consider it rude, but it's a little more complicated than that.

"How many what? How many horses or how many equid? We do have a donkey you know. Are you asking how many I own or how many I feed each day because not all of mine are living with me and not all the ones that live with me are mine. And what about the co-owns and the leases? Do I count them as half a horse each or do the ones that live with me each get a count of 'one' with no count for the ones I own that aren't here?

The jaw flaps a little as I try to make up a number, because, really, once you get over about four, it doesn't really matter. Not until you have to buy wormer and that's by weight, not by head. Vaccines are by head count as are feed buckets.

So, I own, outright: Gwaihir and Gandalf (who is not a horse), Telpe, Miree, Landroval, Luinil (who is technically leased although she hasn't left yet), Beri, Cimmi, Witness, Vaniah and Shahin. That's eleven if you count the donkey, but the last three don't live with me. Marah, Morwen and Glamdring do, and I co-own them with my Uncle. He pays their bills and I do all the work. Halaalwe is living here in exchange for Witness living at the breeders. Sarah, Hadha and Asila belong to someone else who boards them here.

So, I guess, I own somewhere between eight and a half horses, or thirteen depending on how you count the co-owns and the leases, and a donkey. I have fifteen here that I feed every day, but only eleven that I buy vaccine for, and only nine for wormer because anyone under 500lbs only counts for a half. ... so how many do I have!?

1 comment:

Leah Braemel said...

Don't forget the two dogs! You have to pay vet bills for them when they bitten by rattlesnakes too! Even if Gandalf's not a horse but a donkey, he still counts! He's so sweet and got such a great personality, you can't discount him.