(Photo: Bolderhof Farm)
To see the lovely terrain of Hemishofen, Switzerland, mount your trusty steed and head out on the trail. That won't be a horse, but a dairy cow. It's one means of transport for visitors to the Bolderhof Farm. The Smithsonian magazine describes the delights and challenges of this cow-mounted adventure:
Once you’re on your cow—be it Umbra, Oklahoma, La Paloma or another—it’s time to get mooving. Don’t expect to take off at a trot, though. While a horse (usually) responds to its rider's speed preference, the cows at Bolderhof pick their own pace, which Rickenbacher says is “between slow and very slow.” The ride is calm and quiet, allowing riders to enjoy stress-free moments in the beauty of the Alps. There's a benefit to saddling up a cow instead of a horse: Cows don't really care about the kinds of things that might spook a horse. “If something happens around you, the cow stands still and looks,” Rickenbacher says.
The biggest challenge cow trekkers face are stalled rides because of some particularly delicious grass or corn along the route—a problem that can be fixed with a few pets and nice words to the cow. In the worst-case scenario, you may need to hop off and lead the heifer away from the distraction.