At the age of 11, Hannah Simpson expressed her desire for a horse to her parents, but they couldn’t afford one. Despite the setback, Hannah refused to give up on her dream of riding and instead chose to train a Swiss Brown dairy cow named Lilac on her family’s farm in New Zealand.
Now, seven years later, the duo can often be spotted riding in the fields of Invercargill, located on the South Island of New Zealand.
Hannah, who is now 18 years old, reminisces about the first time she rode the dairy cow. “Lilac was only six months then and I was just a midget,” she shared with The Guardian. “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.”
Over time, Hannah has taught Lilac how to jump, but she acknowledges that the cow will only jump if she feels like it.
“I have always loved jumping, I always wanted to do show-jumping on a horse,” Hannah tells the paper. “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.”
According to Hannah, she has tried riding other cows with little success, and she believes Lilac is truly unique because the cow enjoys riding with her. They often take long walks together and even go for a swim in the river.