1550.16 – Harnessing Horses

Tags:Problem Set 5Pre-AlgebraAlgebra Prep

Jane bought a harness, a big horse, and a small horse for $4,500 in total. The value of the harness and the big horse together was twice that of the small horse alone. What was the value of the small horse? Note: this problem doesn’t require fancy algebra. Try doing it in your head!


The algebra for this is simple. Call the value of the small horse xx. Then the value of the harness plus the large horse is 2x2x. Everything together sums to $4,500. What is everything? It's 2x+x2x + x or 3x3x. In words, three times xx is $4,500, so xx is a third of this amount, or $1,500. This is the value of the small horse.

We are simply recognizing that the $4,500 is split into three equal parts, with two going towards the harness and big horse, and one going towards the small horse. The problem is to divide $4,500 by three, which is not that hard.