Can you ride a cow?

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We are all aware of the fact that we can ride horses or mules, but riding a cow might be unusual activity. We all learned that cows produce milk or meat, and that, generally, they serve a different purpose in our lives. Nevertheless, to answer the original question, a person can ride a cow. Is it really possible to do it though? How and why would someone try it, or, avoid it?


Why is riding a cow a good idea?

This alternative hobby could be ideal for some people, depending on their preferences. Although it is something rare, there are some reasons to choose a cow instead of a horse or a pony.

  1. You are a beginner rider

Let’s hypothesize that you decided to start horseback riding, but the beginning with a horse seems a bit difficult for you. A horse is tall, it isn’t easy to control both the speed and the animal in general. Well, then, maybe a cow is a good place to start.

When they have weight on their backs, cows are pretty slow. Their wide backs and their slow speed might be pretty helpful for a beginner.

  1. You want to enjoy nature

If you are from the people who enjoy a slow ride so that you will be able to enjoy nature, then you should ride a cow. In Switzerland, there is a farm where visitors can ride cows and go sightseeing in the woods, next to picturesque rivers. The speed might be low, but you are getting the chance to explore your surroundings.

  1. You are a patient person  

As we mentioned before, cows are slow, and a ride with them will take a bit longer than with a horse. In addition, it takes more time to train them for this purpose. Moreover, while moving, there is a big chance that she might stop to take a bite from the nearest grass! Patience is the key here, but, if you are up to it, the results will be amazing. You will create a whole new bond with the cattle and the experience will be original.  

Why is riding a cow a not so good idea

You will find out below that there are many backflips if you decide to ride a cow. It is not as simple as it shows and it might be really stressful for these animals. So, before you decide to dive into this hobby, consider the following:

  1. Cows are not made for riding

Cows produce milk. Period. Their body shape and anatomy are not ideal for someone to ride them. They are really big animals, they get tired easily when they have a burden on their backs and it is difficult for them to do something else than their original purpose.

There are lovely horses, camels, mules, and ponies to ride, so it will be better to avoid it with a cow.

  1. Training will take a lot of time

Since they are not used to this, the training period might even take up to four months. Even if you train them, you will not be sure that they learned everything which they needed to learn.

  1. It might be dangerous

Cows and bulls from their nature, if they feel a weight on their back will jounce in order to get rid of it. This comes from their natural behavior so that if a predator attacks them, they will be able to protect themselves.

  1. You cannot ride them for a long time

They are getting tired of this kind of activity easier than horses. A rider cannot show them and their hooves will be affected negatively a lot sooner. Additionally, their backs are quite large, which requires a big opening of legs. Since this is tiring for the rider as well, the trip is not expected to last a long time.

  1. It is distressing for the animal

A very important reason not to ride a cow is the stress you might put her through. As we already said, cows are not meant to be ridden. Their body will be exhausted and their hooves will wear down. They are not used by nature to let people ride them and they might end up as hobblers.

Train your cow to give rides

If you read the above and you decided that you would like to try riding your cow, then here are some useful tips:

  • First of all, you should not pick an older cow. Start training a calf, because the younger she is, the easier it will be to get used to riding.
  • Do not rush it. You have to make her get used to your touch. Caress her back until she feels comfortable with it. The purpose of this is to form a bond with her so that training will be easier.
  • Begin putting some weight on her back. Push it with your hands or put a saddle on it. Do this for many days, repeatedly for some minutes for her to not be afraid of the weight.
  •   Find an enclosed space with no distractions around, and try climbing on her back. Do this for several days, for a few minutes. This is the part that takes longer than the other steps. It has to happen for weeks, even 2-3 months.
  • Put on her reins and start riding her for a little longer, still with no distractions. In this step, you have to start training her to do the actions you want, using the reins.
  • Continue practicing every day for minutes, until she fully learns that you won’t harm her and that it is fine to ride her. It is preferable to not ride her for a long time because as we said before, it is dangerous for those animals’ health!


To sum up, you can ride a cow, but it comes with pros and cons. It is true that any large animal can be trained to give rides, but the question is if we should do it, just because we can! Before trying this activity, think about all the aspects and then decide what is more suitable for you. Either way, cows are resourceful beings who definitely deserve our care, even if we ride them or not!

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