If you're not familiar with the pastime of show jumping, let us enlighten you: It's a very expensive, very time consuming, ribbon-festooned activity in which specially bred horses and their riders jump over a bunch of obstacles. Points are given for doing it well. There's obviously more to it than that, but that's the general gist of the idea.
In order to engage in show jumping, there's one very important thing you need: a horse. Well, after one New Zealand girl was denied her request for a pony, she took matters into her own hands? and taught her cow how to show jump.
That's right. Seven years ago, Hannah Simpson's parents wouldn't let her get a horse. When her younger brother suggested she ride Lilac, a calf on their family's farm, Hannah took him seriously. She began riding Lilac, and unintentionally, taught her cow to jump.
âWe just jumped on and away we went. There was no training. And she's got better the more I ride her,â Simpson told The New Zealand Herald in an interview.
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According to Simpson, Lilac was always jumping out of the cow shed when she was young, so that gave her the idea to expand upon that frisky nature.
âWe started her off with stepping over logs, and it just got bigger and bigger,â SimpsonÂ said.
But it wasn't an easy road to travel. Cows aren't meant to show jump like horses, and Simpson had to work with Lilac to get her into the swing of things.
âShe 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,Â she has a very chilled-out nature,"Â Simpson told The Guardian in an interview.
Though she has a horse now, SimpsonÂ still rides Lilac. And when Lilac isn't busy riding,Â she provides milk for the family and gave birth to twin calves last year. And though the pair has gone viral thanks to Simpson'sÂ Instagram posts, Lilac won't be competing in any horse shows.
âI 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,â SimpsonÂ told The Guardian.