Many poeple haven’t heard of cow hugging. As crazy as it sounds, it’s a real thing that serves as a form of stress relief. The idea originated in the Netherlands and is slowly popping up at farms in the United States.
The idea is simple; just like dog therapy or horse therapy, you can get the same effects from spending time with cows. Animal therapy is just one of the services offered at Mountain Horse Farm in Naples, New York.
It’s something owners Suzanne and Rudi Vullers started a few years ago. The motto of Mountain Horse Farm is “wellness through nature”. Their 33 acres of land includes a bed and breakfast, traditional Sioux Indian Tipis, massages and cow cuddling.
“Cows are very relaxed laid back animals. They like to lay down, their heart rate is lower than ours, their body temperature is a little bit higher, so they’re very relaxed. If you go sit with them, you kind of feel that relaxation and that’s a very good thing if you are stressed, suffer from anxiety or want to reconnect with nature, they are wonderful for that.” Suzanne said.
Each session is limited to one or two people and is no longer than an hour. The animals will never have more than two sessions a day so they are not overwhelmed. The owners allow you to have supervised, but private sessions with the cows.
“If you’re going through grief or something, that is very helpful too because they are big animals. You can kind of hug them, just sit with them, and talk to them, but we won’t be right on top of you so you’ll have some privacy with them. So if you want to talk to them and share your story with them you can do that.” Suzanne said.
The farm is a sanctuary for the animals, meaning it will be their forever home and they are kept just as pets and nothing more.
For more information about Mountain Horse Farm, click here.