'Cow cuddling' is the new wellness trend for people that want to relax
Life can be pretty stressful, so it's important to find time to relax. You could start meditating, enter a yoga class or soak in a warm bath - that is, if you're totally basic. If you're feeling more adventurous, you could try out the latest wellness trend, and pay $300 to cuddle cows.
I know this sounds udderly ridiculous. (Sorry). However, animal-assisted therapy has proven effective, and grown in popularity. Science says that animals provide a sense of comfort and improve your emotional well-being. When you bond with your pet, you develop a sense of trust and self-worth. Therapy animals are often prescribed for people suffering from mental illnesses, like depression, schizophrenia and addiction. Sure, dogs and cats are the most common therapy animals, but why not cows?
The Mountain Horse Farm is located in upstate New York, and offers customers a "Horse & Cow Experience." In the session, you spend quality time with horses or cows. You can pet them, cuddle them, watch them graze and even go through an obstacle course. The sessions last ninety minutes and are attended by two professionals, a licensed counselor and an equine specialist. The sessions cost $300 for up to two people and $395 for up to four people.
I know the price might sound steep, but cuddling with horses and cows can improve your mooood. (Sorry. That's the last one.) According to Mountain Horse Farm's website, the therapy can' "bring relaxation, healing, awareness about your body language, comfort, mindfulness, build assertiveness, help with overcoming fear, build confidence, lets you be playful and teaches you to set boundaries." They argue that horses and cows are particularly good at this because of their sensitivity to body language:
"Horses and cows are sensitive, intuitive animals that communicate with each other using body language...when you enter their space, they will read you subtly but with intent, just like they would read any other herd member. They will pick up on what's going on inside and sense if you are happy, sad, feel lost, anxious or are excited and they will respond to that without judgement, ego or agenda.
Spending time with them in this way can comfort you when you are sad or go through grief... It can give you clues about your own body language which will give answers to questions you may have about why people respond to you in certain ways... Horses & cows naturally prefer a state of calm and if they get upset, they try to go back to this state of calmness as soon as possible. They don't hold on to grudges or things that happened in the past... Just by watching this unfold, we can learn."
The website also includes profiles of all their animals, listing their names, biographies and personality traits. That way, you pick your horse or cow in advance, and really milk the experience. (Sorry. Okay, that's the last one.)
Some people might mock the idea of cow cuddling, but animal therapy has worked for many people, and hey, who doesn't like playing with animals? Maybe cow cuddling will get more popular, and Mountain Horse Farms' wellness retreats will turn into a real cash...something.