Her parents refused to buy her a horse – so she did the next best thing

By Almari Wessels
07 January 2017

“She is more special than a horse, more rare.”

Who needs a horse? Certainly not Hannah Simpson, an eighteen-year-old girl from New Zealand. After her parents refused to buy her an expensive horse seven years ago, the farm worker concocted an ingenious plan: she jumped on a dairy cow.

The next thing she knew she was riding around on Lilac, a Swiss Brown cow, like the girls do on ranches in American movies.

“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 okay with it so we kept going.

Read more: This groomer turns horses’ coats into elaborate works of art "Before then I’d only ridden a pony twice, and a sheep,” Hannah says of the first time she mounted her beloved cow on the outskirts of Invercargill, a South Island town in New Zealand. The experience wasn't as jumpy as she would have imagined and she was surprised when Lilac didn't buck her off.

"It's kind of like a horse, I guess, except she's slow and it's a slightly different motion," she recalls. Read more: Holy cow! Bovine farts cause farm explosion In the past seven years Hannah and Lilac trotting around have become a daily sight in the countryside and recently Lilac has even taken to jumping -- with a lot of nudging from Hannah.

“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.”

Even after Hannah's dream came true and she got a horse two years ago, she still prefers her rides with Lilac.

Sources: cbc.ca; theguardian.com; mid-day.com

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