• A Tradition Unlike Any Other

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    2021 marks the 10th year of a grand Knollwood tradition, our spring food drive. Benefitting the Food Pantry of Waukesha County, we are proud to say that we’ve donated more than 10,000 pounds of food to our local food bank over the last decade.

    What began as a small Knollwood helpers event, has grown and evolved into a total Team Knollwood phenomenon involving all members who’d like to support our neighbors in need, and create Olympic memories in the process.

    2020 and 2021 have been a tough time for many in our community, and food pantries are feeling the pinch. Additionally, schools will be out soon for summer break, and many students will no longer be receiving lunch at school.


    Enter Team Knollwood.

    Any rider who would like to collect five food kits is eligible to join a team and compete at our 10th year of silliness, the  Knollwood Olympics on Saturday, May 15 at 6:00 PM.

    A food kit consists of:

    Food Kit

    *Instant Potatoes


    *Can of Vegetables

    *Can of Fruit

    *Can of Soup

    *Box of Jell-O

    *Boxed Dessert

    *Box of Cereal


    Food barrels are ready for your donations in the show barn lounge.


    Simply put the items into a bag, write your name and the day of the week that you ride on the outside of the bag, and we’ll tally for you.

    If you have friends or family who prefer to make a financial contribution, they can write a check to the Food Pantry of Waukesha County and we’ll deliver it.

    The cash equivalent of a food kit is $15.


    The Teams


    Knollwood Kids are placed on teams based on the day of the week that they ride. Each team will have riders of different ages, and the team captain will assign different members to different events.


    The Events


    Through the years, we've competed in many, many games of 'skill,' including:

    Blanket Race

    Blind Buggy Race

    Helmet Toss

    Hop, Skip, and Wrap

    Wheelbarrow Obstacle Races

    School Horse Charades

    Relay Race


    Got an idea for a fun Olympic event? Please pass it on to your instructor!



    Please have your food kits and checks to the farm by May 10 so we can set up the teams.


    We can hardly wait!




    What’s Coming Up?

    IASPHA Spring Show

    We’re off to our first show of the season! We have three academy riders making their show ring debuts, and Tori will be showing in a suit for the first time on her new horse, Frankie.

    Come join us at Beyond Stable Farm in Woodstock, Illinois. We’d love a cheering section!



    Knollwood Show Entries Due

    April 25

    Entries for the Knollwood Spring show are due April 25. Please check with your instructor to see which classes are right for you.



    Academy Palooza

    April 30 and May 1

    The UPHA spring show has been reborn as an all academy event at Beyond Stable Farm.  We have riders making their cantering debuts on Friday night, and two more walk and trot riders making their show ring debuts on Saturday morning.

    Come join us!



    Knockouts Street Cleanup

    Saturday, May 1

    1:00 PM

    Join your Knockout friends as we clean up the neighborhood for spring! We’ll be sprucing up Oakwood and Nagawicka Roads, and we’re looking for Knollwood Kids of all ages to help.

    Permission slips from the City of Delafield are required, and will be available in the school barn shortly.



    Knollwood Spring Show

    May 22-23

    Join us for a full weekend of fun outside.





    See you soon at the barn, or at the in-gate!


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  • Three Souls Who Got Us Here

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    It’s April, and all of Team Knollwood is looking forward to the start of show season this month. 

    Recognizing the horses who got us to where we are today is an important aspect of horsemanship and sportsmanship. The wonderful lesson horses who made us the riders we are as we enter the ring in 2021 may no longer have young bodies, but they have beautiful minds. These legends were patient when you were struggling, forgiving when you were frustrated, taught you the value of perseverance and grit, and always offered a neck to hug and a place to share your secrets.

    During April, we honor three of Knollwood’s finest souls who are celebrating birthdays this month.



    Hylee’s Red Fox, known around the barn as Eddie, is a pattern legend, and we suspect there are some unicorns hidden in his bloodlines.

    This brilliant Morgan came our way when his owner Kellyn went off to college. She and Eddie showed all over, and were quite a team. We are beyond fortunate that Kellyn called us first when Eddie needed a new home.

    Eddie can do it all. He’s shown on the ‘A’ circuit when a horse was needed in an Open Pleasure class here and there, and is a stellar academy mount.

    Because Eddie has been everywhere and has done everything, nothing really bothers him. His bombproof personality teaches the tiniest of academy riders that they can own the ring in the 8 and under walk and trot division.

    Eddie is the king of patterns. With an even stride both ways of the ring, Eddie is a favorite horse all summer at pattern camps. This brilliant horse always does exactly what you tell him, even if it’s not what the pattern calls for.

    This mild mannered soul prefers to go out for recess with the older gents, as he doesn’t like to play rough like Heist and the boys in the big playground. Eddie can have whatever he desires.

    Eddie’s 21st birthday is coming up on April 26. You can bet that a package from Kellyn will be delivered.




    Hawaiian Cat, known to all as Hugo, is one in a million.

    This big homegrown Saddlebred was born at Knollwood on April 25, 2007.  His large mother was The Hula Dancer, and Daddy was The Cheetah.

    Hugo let it be known early on that he interested in being a show horse, and he started his lesson career early.

    Hugo was teaching lightly as a four year old, and even attended his first show. He’s been a legend ever since.

    As the first saddlebred our students ride, he’s a favorite at Knollwood. The look in little eyes when his neck comes up for the first time after learning on the pony and quarter horses is priceless.

    Hugo’s favorite job? Teaching wee ones. He’s happiest when he’s doing his super slow jog trot with about 30 pounds of rider aboard.

    Besides giving low stress lessons, Hugo enjoys sleeping in his stall. Time outside is too valuable for naps, as there are lots of friends to wrestle with.  He also enjoys pooping in neighbor Picasso’s feed tub every day, and generally being well, a pig in his stall.

    Most of all, Hugo likes to play games on horseback. You wouldn’t believe it’s the same horse that moves in super slow-mo in walk and trot lessons if you saw him play relay games or ‘steal the crop.’




    Bonnie’s Novel Santoro, known to all as Sundance, is master of the pasture.

    He may be retired from lessons, but he’s still in charge out on the playing field.

    Sundance arrived at Knollwood 27 years ago, and what a career he’s had. Sundance has taught countless riders the ways of a really smart horse. This handsome fellow taught riders how to read a horse's mind, how to sit when he’d shy at things unknown, and to ride a horse that truly enjoys being a horse.

    Sundance attended countless academy shows, and was always a favorite of judges and riders alike.

    He was a fixture of advanced camps, and of games on horseback. All the other horses were afraid to cross his path while playing games. In fact, they let him win many, many points rather than get in trouble later in the pasture.

    Sundance has retained control of the pasture all these years through his personality of benevolent dictator. If his horses don’t act according to his rules, either he’d pay a visit to correct the behavior, or he’d send one of his lieutenants for a coaching sessions.

    Current lieutenants are Tony, Hugo, and Picasso. Although, Hugo is usually off messing around.


    We’re so fortunate to have enjoyed Sundance’s lessons for many years.

    The grand gentleman turns 30 on April 24.


    What’s coming up?


    Food Drive Starts April 15

    Our food drive to benefit the Food Pantry of Waukesha County starts on April 15.  Anyone who donates a minimum of five food kits is eligible to join a team and participate in the Knollwood Olympics on May 15.

    Help us help our neighbors in need, and have fun with your barn friends, too!


    Knollwood Show Entries Are Due April 25

    Entries for the spring show are closing on April 25.  Please see your instructor to join in the fun!



    IASPHA Spring Show April 17-18

    Team Knollwood’s first show of the season! Come cheer us on at Beyond Stable Farm in Woodstock, Illinois.


    Street Clean Up  May 1

    The Knockouts will be cleaning up Oakwood and Nagawicka Roads for the spring. It’s a great way to earn your Knockout service hours for 2021, and spend time with your barn friends.




    Knollwood Olympics  May 15

    You won’t want to miss the finale of the food drive and the celebration! Knollwood Kids of any age who donate a minimum of five food kits will participate in Olympic style contests of ‘skill.’




    Knollwood Spring Show  May 22-23

    It’s back! We’re showing outside, and we can hardly wait! 

    Please talk to your instructor if you’re interested in volunteering with the event. It takes a large village!




     See you at the barn, or at the in-gate!




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  • Trust the Process.

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    Show season 2021 is just about to begin for Team Knollwood. While last year threw us some curveballs, we’re looking forward to a more traditional season on 2021.

    You may have possibly heard us say that we love academy showing. Well, maybe about 1000 times.

    How much do we love it? Well, since we reopened after the shutdown, we’ve been teaching lessons non-stop.  Lots of lessons.

    Riders who fell in love with horses before the pandemic  returned to their horse passion with incredible enthusiasm. Riders who started riding after the shutdown have taken to the best lesson horses in the world with great enthusiasm as well.

    Trust the process and the results will come.

    We’re thrilled to announce that we’re introducing 20 new riders to the academy show ring in 2021.

    Some people think we’re crazy, but we’re traveling to 12 academy shows and hosting three in-barn shows at Knollwood. How do you get better at anything? Doing it over and over and over again.

    In addition to the riders starting the academy show process, we’re proud that both Emma and Tori will be moving up to the show horse performance divisions.




    The academy showing process is a winning one with many, many life lessons learned along the way.  Here are a few of our favorites:



    Be a light.

    This life skill starts way, way before the rider’s first showing experience. Be glad for others’ successes, be happy to learn from every single horse, view each ride as a chance to further your education, and learn that struggle is a sign of stretching your knowledge and limits.

    At home shows, please welcome and encourage new riders, tell a first time rider you loved their ride, congratulate leadliners on their ribbons, give a hard working walk trot horse some of your time....and carrots! Tell a parent how good their new show rider looks, or offer to help with bathing horses during a break.

    Away from home, if you enjoyed someone’s ride, congratulate them, even if you don’t really know them. Cheer on your friends, be there for them if things are a little rough. Offer positive comments only, and never comment negatively about anything, or complain about results.

    As we like to say,

    'Sit with the winners. The conversation is different.'





    Your horse show friends will often be your forever friends. Being horse kids, and especially Knollwood Kids, you’re surrounded by other horse crazy people of all ages. Those older than you will offer their experience to guide you, those your own age will be your ‘gang,’ and you can help those coming behind you with your inspiration and support.



    Horses are wonderful teachers.

    Just like people, they have illnesses and injuries, and they may affect your riding or show schedule. Horses will teach all of us that this sport is really all about the horse. Their health and well being come first, and yes, it will change our plans sometimes. It just will.

    Offer support to your horse, or to your friends who may not get to ride or show their favorite horse.



    Is life always fair? Absolutely not.

    You may think you should have won a class, or you may be shocked that you won a class after an error.

    Judges are humans, and can’t see everything all the time. They do their absolute best, but they’re not superhumans with 360 degree vision.

    Ride your best, enjoy the ride, learn something, and hope that your trainer or instructor is as thrilled with the ride as you are! Those words are worth more than any ribbon could be.



    Academy showing will teach you how to stay cool, calm, and collected when the unexpected happens. Maybe you canter into the ring, maybe you think you’re reversing at the trot and you end up going the wrong way, or maybe you miss a diagonal.

    Maybe you forget your pattern, maybe you ask for and receive the incorrect lead, (and here you will hear Scott’s voice in your brain saying, ‘Stupid horse.’) or you trot three circles in one direction on a sandwich figure eight.

    Showing will teach you to fix the problem and move on. If it’s too late to fix, move on and focus on your next task. You’ll have a good laugh about the lesson learned later.



    Nothing builds confidence in horse kids like entering a ring with a living breathing creature and asking someone to judge your abilities. These kids, some as young as six, work hard at multi-tasking with both themselves and their equine partner.

    We have different levels of academy horses for different levels of academy experience.

    The initial confidence builders of Dexter, Eddie and Klem can’t be beat for safety and expertise in the ring.

    After riders have developed some confidence and are happy thinking independently in the ring, they can move up to the Baxter and Cashew club.

    When riders are comfortable with a little more speed, they’re ready for some ‘personality,’ and they can ride the likes of Panic, Heist, and Murphy.

    Riders who learn from Scott and Carol can work their way up to the show barn lesson horses for a taste of a real show horse. Alex, Willis, and Sadie offer the most experienced academy riders the chance to learn from the minds of show horses.


    Bottom line, our academy show program gives our riders friendships and memories to last a lifetime.

    We can hardly wait to start another season of memory building!


    What’s Coming Up?

    Jacket Deadline

    April 1

    It’s the last day to order your classic Knollwood jacket in misses and men's sizes.

    They’re only $120, and will be billed directly to your account.


    Food Drive Starts!

    April 15

    Please contribute to our annual food drive benefitting the Food Pantry of Waukesha County.

    Knollwood Kids of any age who collect a minimum of five food kits are eligible to participate in the Knollwood Olympics on May 15.


    First Show of 2021

    April 16-18

    Beyond Stable Farm, Woodstock, IL

    Come watch academy riders as well as show riders compete at one of our favorites, the IASPHA spring show!


    Knollwood Show Entries Due

    April 25

    Be sure to get your entries in to participate in the Knollwood Spring Show on May 22-23.

    Your instructor is happy to help you sign up. We’ve simplified the process and will be billing

    directly to your account.


    Adopt A Street Day

    May 1

    Join your fellow Knockouts as they clean up Oakwood and Nagawicka Roads for spring. We’re looking for Knockouts of all ages to help.


    Knollwood Olympics

    May 15

    It's Olympic time! All Knollwoodians who contribute a minimum of five food kits for the Food Pantry of Waukesha County are eligible to join a team for this ‘athletic’ event. You won’t want to miss the blind buggy race or the helmet toss!



    See you at the barn, or at the In-gate!


    Note: We've used plenty of pictures from the archives, so you could see the smiling faces without masks. Plus, you can enjoy seeing Knollwood Kids from years past!


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  • Spring Break For All!

    Posted by Ann Wilt


    The signs of spring are everywhere. From the arena screen door being opened to the school horses shedding up a storm, it’s time to think about the warm weather ahead.

    Many members of Team Knollwood are heading off to spring break adventures. Some are heading to tropical locations while others are heading to Kentucky or to the mountains of Colorado.  Wherever you’re going, we hope you have a glorious time.

    Not wanting to miss any fun, the school horses have thought long and hard about where they’d like to go for spring break.

    Here are responses from all the horses who chose to answer the survey:


    Big Frank would like to go to his mothers basement and play video games.


    Duke would like to test his stamina and try an endurance race. He’s been saving up the energy for a long, long time.


    Fred would like to go on a cruise because the meals are all-you-can-eat.


    Hugo would like a stay-cation where he can sleep and wallow in the mud all week.

    Jelly would like a trip to Austria, his ancestral home.


    Leon would like to participate in a service project for people in need.


    Little Frank would like to buy and visit his very own time share in Florida.


    Mac would like to take a walking tour where there are no straight paths.


    Mark is still ‘thinking.’



    Picasso would like to try his hand at being an actor, and to star in a western film.


    Sparky would like to be a substitute kindergarten teacher.


    Thomas would like to study up on geography in hopes of being able to find his stall some day.


    Tony would like to improve himself while vacationing, and embark on an educational European river cruise.


    Vaughn would like to stay up late, sleep late, and eat a lot, just like boys his age.


    Baxter would like to be a goodwill ambassador for any charity so he can make friends with lots of new people.



    Eddie and Klem would be off to Vegas together.


    Heist would embark on a meditation schedule to improve his outlook.


    Master of teaching pattern skills to wee ones, Hooper would take intensive dance lessons to become even more agile.



    Panic would spring break at Holly’s house.





    For those of you heading to exciting places, please be sure to let your instructor know when you’ll be off on adventures.


    For those of you staying at home, it’s a great time to get in some extra lessons, or to get in make-ups from the past month. Remember, make-ups must be used within 30 days of the missed lesson. We have lots of options over the next couple of weeks.


    Coming Up?


    We’re currently accepting entries for the spring Knollwood Show on May 22-23.  Entry blanks and size sample shirts are available in the school barn.

     New this year? All payments will be handled on your in-house account!


    We're ordering classic Knollwood jackets in misses and men's sizes through April 1.  For only $120, you can own the jacket that the cool kids of all ages are wearing. Best of all? Ordering is easy with forms in the school barn and billing to your account.






    Our annual food drive starts on April 15.  Every Knollwood Kid who collects a minimum of five food kits is eligible to join a team for the Knollwood Olympics on May 15!

    Food kits and $ equivalents are donated to the Food Pantry of Waukesha County. 

    Not in the shopping mood? You can write a check to the Food Pantry of Waukesha County and give it to your favorite Knollwood Kid to turn in.  1 food kit = a $15 donation to the pantry.


    We’re off to our first show of the season!

    Both academy and show horses will be heading to Beyond Stable Farm in Woodstock, Illinois for the IASPHA Spring Show on April 16-18.


    The Knockouts spring street cleanup is happening at 1:00 on Saturday, May 1 this year.  Save the date for fun with your friends, and making the barn neighborhood look wonderful for spring.


    Please don’t forget to arrive 15 minutes early for your lessons. We want you to spend as much time with your horse as possible!


    See you at the barn or at the in-gate!

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  • Looking Back, and Forward...

    Posted by Ann Wilt


    It was exactly a year ago today that Team Knollwood’s life changed.

    New lesson horse Leon went around our arena for the first time, much to the delight of the Tuesday Amigos.  They couldn’t wait to have a turn on him in the days ahead.

    And then a stay-at-home order was issued for the next day, and everything changed.

    We could no longer give lessons, and our customers couldn’t visit the farm. In true Knollwood fashion, we made lemonade out of the lemons handed to everyone.

    Everyday, after horses were cared for, we put our heads together to keep everyone informed about their favorite horses. Facebook and Instagram posts of horses, dogs and cats flooded our feeds, the Knollwood cocktail hour was born, and we even hosted a school horse Olympic day and interviewed Scott for his wit and wisdom.

    In the middle of all this, we took a look at ourselves, and used extra time to update our curriculum, processes, and overall lesson experience. The creative think tank came up with new programs to welcome students, and streamlined some existing categories.

    Knollwood customers were so very understanding of our situation. They walked the bridle path, and the lesson horses were beyond grateful to see their kids. Customers drove a car parade through the farm, and they donated more than generous amounts to Merton Feed to support all the unemployed lesson horses.

    When we reopened in early June, we modified camp with masks, hand sanitizer, and hand washing stations custom built by our own Mr. Berget.

    We moved our in-barn shows to the great outdoors, and discovered that everyone likes them better that way.

    Our show season was shortened, but it sure felt good to get to State Fair Park for Summerfun!

    We are ever so thankful to all who have been by our side through this challenging year. We extend our gratitude to these fine folks:

    Our customers. They went through the shutdown and crazy show season with grace. Masks couldn’t hide the smiles when they returned, both from staff and customers alike.

    Our helpers. They created a new system for keeping the barn humming when students had to meet their horses in the arena, and then made another when the kids could be in the barn, but all the lessons became private lessons.  Please thank a helper the next time you see one.

    The horses. In a world gone awry, horses kept spirits up. They were happy to see staff each and every day even when they missed their special people. School horses ran to the fence in the pasture when their kids would arrive, and show horses missed their peeps in a big way.

    Richmond. He came to the farm in February, and his kitten days kept everyone laughing, even on the crazy days. When we were going through lesson withdrawal at its worst, we attempted to teach him to ride. Most of it didn't work.

    Actually, we’re still laughing at his antics.

    We're looking forward to a healthy, vaccinated, unmasked show season ahead.



    What’s Coming Up?

    Monday, March 22

    Entries for the Knollwood Spring Show accepted!

    We’re accepting entries through April 23 for the Knollwood show on May 22-23.

    Walk, trot, and canter riders as well as walk trot riders aged 11 and up will ride on Saturday. Sunday will feature 10 and under walk trot riders, green riders showing for the first time, and our leadline stars.

    New this year? All show payments will be processed on your ICP account!




    Academy Show Planning Meetings

    Our instructors are holding parent meetings to tailor show schedules for each academy rider.  If you’d like to meet, but we somehow missed you, please talk to your instructor!


    April 15

    Knockouts Food Drive Kicks Off

    Each year, the Knollwood Knockouts hold a spring food drive for our local food bank, the Food Pantry of Waukesha County. Every Team Knollwood member who collects a minimum of five food kits by May 10 will be eligible to join a team in the Knollwood Olympics on May 15.


    April 17-18

    IASPHA Spring Show

    Our first academy show of the season is happening at Beyond Stable Farm in Woodstock, Illinois.



    May 1

    Knockouts Spring Street Clean Up

    Join your fellow Knockouts as they clean up Oakwood and Nagawicka Roads for the spring. We welcome Knollwood Kids of all ages, including parents. A permission slip from the City of Delafield is required to participate, and they’ll be available in the school barn soon.


    May 15

    Knollwood Olympics

    Let the games begin! All Knollwood Kids who collected a minimum of five food kits will compete in ‘games of skill,’ none of them serious. Previous events have included blanket races, helmet tosses, ‘Guess that Saddlepad,’ blind buggy races, and school horse charades.

    Trust us, you won’t want to miss the fun!



    May 22-23

    Knollwood Spring Show

    Saturday’s events will be in the big outdoor, and Sunday’s will be in the little outdoor.

    We’re always looking for help at the concession stand, with the gift baskets, and other parts of the show.

    Please join us!


    May 29

    Academy classes at the Madison Classic Horse Show

    Because the world is still crazy, the Madison Classic Horse Show is being held at Wisconsin State Fair Park this year.

    It’s a great show, running May 27-30 with show horses from all over the Midwest. Academy stars will ride on Saturday, and classes are expected to be DEEP.



    See you at the barn or at the ingate!


    And remember, please arrive at your lesson 15 minutes early. We want you to enjoy the most time on your horse as possible for maximum learning!


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