The AQHA Intern Experience

A Reflection of Fall 2016

What makes saying goodbye to Amarillo so hard.

Having horses in the front yard was a perk for the fall intern. (Photo courtesy Holly Wilson.)

I made the big decision in late August, and I packed my entire life into a FIAT to move to Texas.

To say I was taking a leap of faith was an understatement.

I had never met the people that I was going to live with, nor had I ever even driven through the quaint town of Canyon.

However, my dad and I were greeted with southern hospitality and a “Welcome to Texas!” from AQHA Director of Ranching Kim Lindsey, my new roommate.

When we arrived at my new home for the next five months, it was a bit of a shock to find my other roommate’s horse in the carport. But then I thought, “Hey, I might actually like it here!”

And like was also an understatement.

Over the next five months, I was able to explore and adventure through Canyon and beyond.

I discovered my all-time favorite place to eat, Feldman’s Diner. Complete with an airplane hanging from the ceiling and the best fried zucchini I’ve ever had, you could say it was love at first bite.

I took a road-trip to Denver when I started to feel homesick to see some familiar faces. My boyfriend’s family was more than happy to see me, and Denver was beautiful. (I highly recommend the 6.5-hour drive for future interns, if not just for the adventure.)

I also went with my roommate, Kelsey, to a Stock Horse of Texas show in Vernon, Texas, and paid all-too much money for a drink that came in a real pineapple. I felt the familiar nostalgia for cow horses.

I adventured with the Journal intern, Alexis, to the Amarillo Zoo, Cadillac Ranch and the local Barnes and Noble. Let’s be honest, we went to the Barnes and Noble more times than we should have.

But perhaps the most important thing I did was ride.

I have my own horse at home, and missing her is worse than any homesickness. However, riding with Kim and Kelsey helped. As I felt the familiar rhythm beneath me, I felt at home.

And that’s what Panhandle will do to you. It will make you feel like you’re at home.

From the people, to the places, to the one-street towns … Panhandle charm is alive and well, and I’m going to miss it when I leave for California next week.

It’s been a trip, Amarillo, but I’m sure I’ll be back!