Genus Envy: The Cow Who Thinks It’s A Horse

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Regina Mayer jumps with her cow Luna over a hurdle in Laufen, southern Germany, on Tuesday, March 29, 2011.

AP Photo / Kerstin Joensson

A horse is a horse, of course, of course — unless it’s a bovine.

A young German lass was told by her parents that she couldn’t have a horse, but she wasn’t ready to give up her yearnings to ride free throughout the Bavarian countryside atop a four-legged mammal. So the 15-year-old trained a cow named Luna to do the job.

(More on TIME.com: Watch video of a different kind of cow jumping in France)

The Associated Press article relaying the magical journey of Regina Mayer and her animal calls the two “soul mates” and recounts the years of acclimation it took to make Luna into the running, jumping, saddle-friendly cow she is today. Luna will obey commands to “go” and “gallop” and in turn gets the grooming and petting so often reserved for horses. Sometimes Luna gets a bit sassy and won’t do as she’s told, but to combat this tendency, Mayer got help from “a cow expert in Switzerland on how to deal with ‘steering’ problems.” (See what they did there?)

The lesson being: Don’t judge an animal by its hide. Though this open-mindedness really should have become standard the moment we saw that you can teach a squirrel to water ski.

(More on TIME.com: See pictures of a cow town in China)

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