Animals

She Couldn't Get A Horse - So She Trained Her Cow To Show Jump

Know that old rhyme about the cow jumping over the moon? Until now I thought it was just part of the story, but Leila the show jumping cow has me rethinking things.

Leila's owner Hannah Simpson had always wanted a horse to compete in show jumping with. She asked her parents for a horse when she was 11, but was told they were too expensive. On a dare from her brother, she hopped on Leila the dairy cow instead, and the pair connected instantly.

Over the past seven years they've trained together, starting with stepping over logs in their yard. You can tell all their hard work has paid off when you see Leila's impressive jumping skills.

           
           
           
           

           Instagram video by Hannah Simpson • Dec 28, 2016 at 9:24am UTC

           

You don't see that everyday!

Simpson rides Leila, who she calls her "best friend," around their ranch in New Zealand every day. While today Leila can jump as high as 1.4 meters, Simpson says they started off very gradually.

"She is a cow and I can't expect her to ride like a horse," Simpson told The Guardian. "Without a bit of prodding she wouldn't really do anything, she has a very chilled-out nature."

Despite being so chill, Leila can put on a burst of speed when she feels like it, as Simpson shows on her Instagram account.

           
           
           
           

           Instagram video by Hannah Simpson • Dec 28, 2016 at 9:09pm UTC

           

The pair seem to get along well, but Leila can supposedly be pretty temperamental. The heifer refuses to wear a saddle and Simpson says she's been bucked off "countless times." Then again, cows don't normally expect people to ride them, so Simpson is lucky Leila even puts up with this.

Incredibly, two years ago Simpson actually got the horse she'd been dreaming of, but now she prefers to ride her cow around.

           
           
           
           

           Instagram photo by Hannah Simpson • Mar 2, 2016 at 6:51am UTC

           

"She is more special than a horse," Simpson says, "more rare." That's for sure!

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