Lindsey Hankins is a UW senior who traveled to Denmark, Sweden, England, Scotland, Ireland, Spain and Portugal during the summer of 2012 as part of AQHA’s International Horsemanship Clinics.
One of Lindsey’s favorite memories for her trip was helping others transform their riding abilities. She describes one on these trans formative experiences as follows:
“It was the first day of our clinic and a gentleman who clearly wanted to embrace the ‘Western’ lifestyle came riding in on a nice little Quarter horse whose origin he was unaware of. We quickly discovered that it was from a ranch in Texas that I was very familiar with. Once we knew this, we were able to completely transform the rider. Watching the rider and horse work as a team, and improve so rapidly, was one of the most rewarding things I experienced while traveling, but also in my life. I would not trade that memory for the world. "
When the group wasn't riding, or participating in clinics, they had the opportunity to travel to Portugal. During the trip to Portugal, they visited a village where they helped the locals harvest a potato crop using donkeys and plows. Lindsey reflected on this experience saying:
“This experience was absolutely incredible and turned out to be one of my favorite parts of our entire trip. I would highly recommend others to go to Portugal and spend some time in the rural parts. It was an experience that completely changed my perspective on a lot of day-to-day things."
One of the greatest challenges of Lindsey’s trip was the language barrier she faced. To overcome this, she suggests that other US students, who are not fluent in their home country’s language, “either learn the language prior to traveling, or have a translation dictionary handy.”
Lindsey recommends that all people travel. She says, “If you have not had the chance to travel and explore this incredible world, you definitely need to. There are so many incredible experiences and opportunities right at the tips of your fingers. I highly encourage everyone to look into opportunities abroad and take advantage of them!”