Thanksgiving is a time to pause and reflect on our blessings and the things we’re grateful for. But I don’t think that needs to be limited to the “big stuff.” This Thanksgiving, let’s ponder some of the smaller things for which we’re thankful, including—of course—feed buckets.
I like things that last. It’s not so much that I mind having to buy a new feed bucket once in a while, it’s just that I get sort of emotionally attached to my feed buckets (I know, it’s a little weird) and I like to be able to use them for years and years and years. Thanks to the amazingly durable construction of the average feed bucket, they usually do last for years and years and years. And it’s not from lack of wear and tear, because some of my ponies think that feed buckets represent an open invitation to rub, itch, bump, and scratch. Or, if all else fails, to push hundreds of pound of body weight against the buckets with all their might. Amazingly, the buckets can take it.
Okay, so even the most durable feed bucket sometimes gets damaged. But the life of the bucket isn’t over yet! When a feed bucket can no longer be used for feed or water, I repurpose it and give it a new career in another field. Sometimes it becomes a garden bucket… perfect for transporting garden soil, protecting wobbly seedlings, or hauling garden tools. Sometimes it gets relegated to life as a grooming bucket… a place to toss dandy brushes and sweat scrapers and a carrier of shampoo bottles. Sometimes—if it’s almost too far gone to be useful—I use it as a makeshift trash can.
I know some people like all of their feed buckets to match and will buy strictly one color for uniformity and aesthetics. I’m not that kind of person. When I need to shop for feed buckets, I take the colors seriously. Reds, blues, yellows—yes, please, but the primary colors are always easy to find. So when I can venture into pastels, I’m even more excited. The occasional pink? Excellent. Delightful shades of pale green—perfect. Eventually, each color becomes more or less associated with the pony that uses the bucket. Are colorful buckets necessary? No. Are they fun? You betcha.
What horse-related item are YOU thankful for this year?
Samantha Johnson is a freelance writer and the author of several books, including The Field Guide to Horses, (Voyageur Press, 2009). She raises Welsh Mountain Ponies in northern Wisconsin and is a certified horse show judge. Follow her on Twitter: @miraclewelsh.