Home INSPIRE Her Parents Wouldn’t Buy Her A Horse, So She Trained Her Dairy...

Her Parents Wouldn’t Buy Her A Horse, So She Trained Her Dairy Cow Instead

At 11 years old, Hannah Simpson was told she couldn’t have a horse because they are too expensive. So the farm worker from New Zealand decided to hop on the next best thing instead – a dairy cow.Now 18, Simpson and her seven-year-old Swiss Brown, Leila, have become a regular sight on their daily rides.

image/text credit: nollygrio

She said: “Lilac 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.”

image/text credit: nollygrio

Recently, Simpson taught the heifer to jump, and said Lilac could now scale obstacles up to 1.4 metres high – although only when she feels like it. “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.”


Simpson has attempted to ride other cows without much success. Leila, she says, is undoubtedly “special.”Simpson tried Lilac with a horse saddle once but she didn’t take to it, so now she rides bareback with a halter and a small stick to give the old girl a nudge when she needs it.

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.