A lot of children grow up wanting a pony. They combine all the joys of owning a pet with the practicality of transportation. Hannah Simpson of New Zealand was one such little girl who wanted a pony, but her parents thought it was too expensive.
Being practical, she did the next best thing. She went out and got herself a cow, named it Lilac, and trained it to serve as a riding animal.
According to The Guardian, “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,” Hannah explained.
“She is a cow and I can’t expect her to ride like a horse,” she admitted. “Without a bit of prodding she wouldn’t really do anything, she has a very chilled-out nature.”
Turns out they both enjoyed the experience. “I have always loved jumping, I always wanted to do show-jumping on a horse,” Hannah said. “And 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.”
Being a cow, Lilac hates cantering and going up the hill, but she actually doesn’t mind the jumping. That said, she would never use Lilac in a professional competition: “I don’t think she would behave if we took her anywhere but home. And I don’t need to compete. She is more special than a horse, more rare.”
Now an adult, Hannah actually has her own horse, Sammy, but she still occasionally rides her beloved cow to honor old times. At times, she even says she prefers riding her beloved cow, due in part to being what she is used to. Riders, after all, need good rhythm with their noble steeds!