'Cow Cuddling' Is When You Pay to Spend Time in a Field with Calming Bovine
If visits with a therapy dog just aren’t cutting it anymore, you can now pay to spend time with a cow.
A 33-acre bed-and-breakfast in New York’s Finger Lakes region is charging guests $75 per hour for “cow cuddling,” a therapeutic practice which involves brushing, petting and chatting with bovine, according to The New York Times.
Mountain Horse Farm is home to two cows named Bonnie and Bella. People come from miles away to spend time with the pair and perhaps work through some issues by spending calm time with the cows.
“It's a fun and very relaxing experience,” the b&b’s website says. “We can't guarantee that the cows will be lying down. It's not a trained skill but their natural behavior, and that may or may not happen.”
Although it may seem like an unusual practice, the owners of Mountain Horse Farm say they were inspired by the Dutch, where “cow hugging” (koe knuffelen) is more common. A few specialized farms around the Netherlands train cows to sit with people in a calm manner. Sometimes, they are even brought into cities for urban dwellers who don’t have easy access to nature.
At Mountain Horse Farm, Bella and Bonnie sit in the grass and chew their cud, sometimes with people nearby. Those who pay for a cow cuddling session are taught how to properly approach the animals and, if all goes well, they’re able to lie down in the grass with them. One of the owners of the b&b, Suzanne Vullers, is a trained equine therapist and is usually the one supervising the visits.
The farm caps cow cuddles to two sessions per day, to keep the animals calm.
A 60-minute session for two people costs $75. You can book up to four people for $125. Appointments are available for booking online.