An 18-year-old girl takes the word “cowgirl” literally. Crazy it may seem but this dairy farmer is teaching her cow to jump like a horse.
Hannah Simpson from an Invercargill farm on New Zealand’s South Island has been jumping over large logs on the back of a dairy cow for years.
Hannah who works on a dairy farm in nearby Southland has been riding her heifer, Lilac since she was 11.
It all started on her eleventh birthday, she was told that a pony or horse would be too expensive. She was dared by her brother to try riding Lilac instead.
The pair’s relation blossomed and they became “best friends.”
In an interview with Eleanor Ainge Roy in New Zealand, Hannah told them, “Leila was only six months then and I was just a midget. It was a dare from my brother to jump on and she seemed OK with it so we kept going. Before then I’d only ridden a pony twice, and a sheep.”
Since then, the jumping cow and the girl are inseparable, Hannah has taught Lilac to jump. Of course, the cow’s power isn’t comparable to that of a horse but it is more than capable.
According to Hannah, when Lilac is in the mood, she was able to jump up to 1.4 meters high obstacles.
Hannah said, “She is a cow and I can’t expect her to ride like a horse. Without a bit of prodding, she wouldn’t really do anything, she has a very chilled-out nature.”
Apparently, Lilac was always jumping out of the barn when she was young, so her jumping skill is already there -all she needs is a perfect partner.
“Lilac was always jumping out of the cow shed when she was young so I think she likes it, too. We started her off with stepping over logs and it just got bigger and bigger,” Hannah explained.
Despite the jumping ability, Hannah rides on Lilac bareback with a halter. Though she’s been bucked off a fair few times the pair remain faithful to each other.
Hannah said her cow doesn’t enjoy cantering around the place or running up and down hill but prefers gentle strolls through the bush, and gentle river swims. Lilac also loves jumping on occasion.
Hannah has ridden other cows but Lilac is special.
So special that she even prefers to ride her trusty cow than her horse named Sammy that she got two years ago.
“She’s special,” Hannah said.