As a communication major, Terra Mitzel is good with people. But as a member of the Blugold Equestrian Show Team, she is also good with horses. Terra recently competed in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association Finals held in Springfield, Massachusetts — the first Blugold equestrian to ever represent the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire at a national level.
Read Terra's Power of AND story
"For as long as I can remember, I have always had a strong passion for horses. I pursued my dream and got a job when I was 13 to buy my first horse. From then on, I traded sleepovers for horse shows. I even left my junior prom early because I had an early-morning horse show the next day. My date was not impressed. Being on the UWEC equestrian team has played a large part in my college career. I was very nervous to leave my horses at home and live in a place where I couldn't ride for months. When I got to college, I saw they had an equestrian show team, and I immediately signed up! A few weeks later, one of my horses moved to Eau Claire with me to be a part of our team. Since joining the team, I have gained so much knowledge about my horsemanship skills as well as team skills. Showing horses has always been an individual sport growing up, but now that I ride for the school I can be a part of something much greater. My favorite memory from the UWEC equestrian team would have to be my first show during my freshman year. I had no idea what to expect, and when I went to get on the horse, I was surrounded by my teammates ready to help me with whatever I needed. They cleaned my boots, tucked my shirt in and made sure I was prepared before I entered the arena. I had never experienced such a strong 'team' aspect before this, and I knew right then and there that I made the right choice by joining this team. The UWEC team has the best coaches and facility, along with an incredible bond among teammates. Thanks to them, I am a communication major AND competitive equestrian."
Photo credit: Molly Johnson Photography