By Tara MatslerThe American Quarter Horse JournalAugust 21, 2014
Lauren Wells (far right) at the Slovenian Quarter Horse Association horsemanship camp with the Sam Houston State University horsemanship team. (Credit: Slovenian Quarter Horse Association)
Plenty of us dream of world travels. The historic landmarks, the food, the culture … oy vey. But if you’re like me, a hobby of horse showing generally puts a damper on international adventures. (Time and money sometimes come in limited supply, I have realized.) I was floored, however, when years ago I learned that AQHA offers an international internship. Yes, American Quarter Horses plus international travel – what more could a person ask for?
This summer’s AQHA international intern, Lauren Wells, traveled June through August, assisting four American universities with 13 horsemanship camps in nine different European countries. I might color myself jealous if I didn’t know just how hard of a worker Lauren is, and what a great representative for our Association we have in her.
I met Lauren back in 2010; she was competing at the 2010 Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show – but not in the traditional sense. I, on the other hand, was the 2010 AQHA Publications summer intern looking for a scoop on an AQHYA member competing outside of the arena. Lauren was my girl. She told me the ins and outs of the Ford Youth World prepared and impromptu speech, team demonstration and horse judging contests. Indeed, this little spitfire competed in all four.
Lauren went off to college after that – Black Hawk College in Illinois. A couple years later, the go-getter transferred to Oklahoma State University, which is where she finished her bachelor’s degree in animal science in May. She will start her master’s degree in equine nutrition this fall at West Texas A&M University.
This summer, Lauren had the chance to share her AQHA pride across Europe. Before she took off, we mapped out a course of action so Lauren could blog about her adventures on America’s Horse Daily. Not surprisingly, Lauren knocked her blogs out of the ballpark (scroll down to read them).
While Lauren is exceptional, she’s not unlike most horse kids. Thanks to horses, these whipper-snappers learn the value of hard work, perseverance and developing creative solutions. Looking at Lauren – the high-schooler competing in public speaking, the collegiate horse judger and the grad-school student globe-trotting to promote good horsemanship – it’s easy to sum up how many doors American Quarter Horses can open.
But I’ll let her top blog posts speak for themselves.
Each summer, AQHA is proud to offer international horsemanship camps, sponsored by various countries and conducted by several universities. Learn more about the AQHA international horsemanship camps.
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