Impasse?

A dying father tells his 3 sons that he wants each of them to inherit his prized horses. The father says to the first son “You are to receive one half of my horses.” To the second son he says “You are to receive one third of my horses.” And to the last son he says “You are to receive one ninth of my horses.”

When the father dies, there are 17 horses.

Without killing any horses, how can each son receive his designated share of 1/2, 1/3, 1/9?


(See blog for a solution.)