• The Perfect Weekend

    0 comments / Posted by Ann Wilt



    If perfection is even possible, we experienced it last weekend at our spring in-barn show.

    For three days, we celebrated our academy program and the all the wonderful people and horses who contribute to its success. Of, don’t worry, there were contributions from dogs and cats as well. It IS Knollwood, after all.

    We’re grateful to so many for so much, and we’ll try to explain.



    It takes many, many hands to put on a horse show for 90 plus riders who compete in a minimum of three classes each. Knollwood families pitch in to make this a grand weekend for our riders.

    We had kids and parents working in concession, grilling delicious food, creating gift baskets, and putting up and tearing down the tents.

    Lisa oversees the ‘Knockout Village’ of concession stand and other fundraising. Because the show fell on Mothers Day weekend, the Knockouts served lemonade and cupcakes to moms, grandmas, and honorary moms of all types.

    Thanks to our generous sponsors of OKTA and TRIP-LICITY, THE Knockouts cleared over $1500 this weekend, which will help the club defray award banquet expenses.

    If you’re interested in sponsorship, or know of someone who might be, we have 2 more shows coming up this season. We’d love to get the name of your company out there!

    We are grateful for all the families who donated some of their Mothers Day weekend to make the show a memorable event for so many.



    Knollwood Kid for life Ainsley judged each and every class like it was the first of the show. She evaluated each class with great thought, and rewarded riders who improved class to class, which is fantastic. 

    She also offered words of encouragement to riders, and explained some of the placings.




    Show Staff

    Wendy announced both Saturday and Sunday, offering explanations, and keeping everyone up to date on upcoming events. She didn’t break into song once!

    Hanna took wonderful pictures of the show both Saturday and Sunday. Be sure to check out your proofs here.

    Jane was our Sunday concierge and helped our 10 and under walk trot riders navigate the day.



     Personal Assistants

    These Knollwood Kids are the best.

    Our 15 Sunday assistants were each responsible for a horse for 10 and under walk trot day.  They’re knowledgeable, kind, efficient, and friendly. From prepping horses to making sure saddles and stirrups were correct to putting up their horse after the show, they were amazing.

    Their contribution on Sunday freed up the instructors to watch their newest show stars in the ring and offer them advice before their championship classes.

    They’re just amazing horse people.



     The Horses


    We’ll say it again.

    We have the best lesson horses in the world.

    From our newest horse Mulligan who worked at the show with Brooklyn to Sparky who’s probably shown 14000 times, they were all on their best behavior as teachers.

    Some highlights?

    Earl thought the crowd was great, and wanted to visit with them.

    Bee won her first equitation championship.

    Poppy thought showing walk and trot in the big outdoor was the best.

    Mulligan enjoyed everything about the weekend in both arenas.


     Knollwood’s Show Stars

    We were thrilled to have over 90 riders participate in our spring show.

    Entry level showing is a chance for riders to practice all the skills they acquire in their lessons in a different situation. These Knollwood Kids overcome their nerves each time they enter the ring, and every one of them should be congratulated for that.

    So many lessons are learned at these shows.

    Some horses, like Hugo are a lot easier to get going in a show situation while others, like Earl are actually distracted by the audience and move a little slower.

    Riders learn that the show ring is unpredictable. Other riders can make interesting traffic decisions, diagonals can be more difficult to identify with the added stress,  and you can never predict when a certain yellow and white cat may enter the show ring.


    Riders learn resilience. Everyone is learning, so there will be missed diagonals and leads, there will be forgotten pattern elements, and there will be disappointments. Riders quickly learn that mistakes are part of the process, and should be learned from. Move on, congratulate someone on a good ride, and move on.


    What related things do they learn?

    To congratulate everyone who was as brave as they were to show, and be judged.

    To clap for everyone, even from the line up.

    To appreciate, respect, and give credit to your horse.

    That the most important thing is your ride. Did you meet your goals? Was your instructor happy with your ride?

    It's not the ribbon, it's the ride.



    What’s Coming Up?


    The Food Drive is On!

    We’re teaming with the Food Pantry of Waukesha County through May 31 to help them at a time of the year when stocks run low. It’s our 12th annual drive, and we’d love all of Team Knollwood to help us help our neighbors in need.

    Just bring in a minimum of 5 food kits, and  you’ll be eligible to compete in the Knollwood Olympics on June 8. Participants will be placed on teams by day of the week, and compete in ‘games of skill’ like blanket racing and helmet tossing.


     Summer Tee Shirts

    We have some fun summer shirts in stock! Youth sizes are available in kiwi and purple for only $20. You can pick yours up from an admin or an instructor. We’re taking cash, credit card, or checks.



    Madison Classic Horse Show

    May 23-26

    New Holland Pavillion, Madison WI

    Most of the show horses, and some lesson horses will be at this big, big show. It will be worth a road trip to see all the grand show horses and accomplished academy stars.



    Memorial Day

    Monday, May 27

    We’re not holding lessons in honor of Memorial Day. Your instructor will schedule a make up.


    Prairie State Classic Horse Show

    May 31 – June 2

    Beyond Stable Farm, Woodstock, IL

    Our academy horses and riders will compete against some great Saddlebred and Morgan lesson programs. We have 4 new riders making their academy debut at the show, too.

    Please come down and cheer them on!


    Knollwood Summer Show Entry Time

    June 1-15

    Yup, it’s time to enter our Summer show which is happening August 16-18.

    Think the weather can be as perfect as last weekend?



    Knockout Car Wash

    June 23

    Piggly Wiggly in Hartland

    11AM – 3:00PM

    It’s the most entertaining fundraiser of the year!

    All Knockouts are asked to take a shift to wash cars and work the brat shack. We need parent volunteers as well to grill and man the cash boxes.





    See you soon at the barn. 




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  • It's Show Time!

    0 comments / Posted by Ann Wilt

    Greetings from Pumpkin the Magnificent, Knollwood’s 2024 School Horse of the Year.

    As the horse of the year, my responsibilities include educating Team Knollwood about the lesson horses and their activities.

    Our spring recital is coming up this weekend. You may call it a horse show, but to those of us lucky enough to be lesson horses at Knollwood, it’s a chance to show off our brilliance.

    It currently looks like the weather will be beautiful for humans. We sturdy lesson horses don’t really mind rain, but those mamby pamby box stall horses get crabby when they get wet. Keep your fingers crossed for sunshine and light.

    Should the weather not cooperate, we’ll move the Saturday show inside and start at 1:00 PM, and move the Sunday show inside starting at 2:00 PM.

    Our co-workers, the riding instructors, will make contact with everyone should the weather rain on our recital. We wouldn’t want pouty fancy horses, would we?

    We could only imagine how Hooper would dress for the rain.

     I'm ready for anything!

    On Saturday, spectators should bring chairs and set up either in the west pasture behind the path the horses have worn next to the arena, or in any shady spot they’d like. Please don’t set up in Scott and Carol’s yard, and please don’t hang on the rail. Some of you look scary that close up.


    On Sunday, please bring chairs and set up on the north side of the small arena. The maple trees provide great shade. If you prefer sun, you can set up on the east side of the arena.

    Please be sure to leave plenty of space for us to come in and out of the ring. The instructors are always looking out  for us, and will move you if you’re in the way of our stage entry.


    Please visit the concession stand area which includes gift baskets and other fun things besides food. Is there anything better than food? Really?

    Plus, you'll meet lots of my friends who have volunteered to make sure everyone is fed. Tell them Pumpkin sent you!

    All the funds raised benefit the Knollwood Knockouts.



    Ann wrote the next part:

    We’re pleased to welcome Okta as our concession stand sponsor. They’re an international company that provides online security all around the world. They keep us all safe online.




    TRIP-LICITY is our coffee bar sponsor for the show.  Come enjoy a coffee and learn more about Kelly’s company that provides fantastic experiences.



    I’m back. The fine print is over.


    Knollwood’s annual food drive starts on Saturday. We horses are fortunate that we always have the best food available to keep us healthy. We’ve been told that some of our human neighbors aren’t as fortunate as we are, so the humans are gathering food to help their friends in need.

    Just collect  food kits and put them in the bins from the Food Pantry of Waukesha County. Be sure to put your name on the bags so you get credit for the donation.  If people don’t like to shop, they can give you a check as well, made out to the Food Pantry of Waukesha County. Each food kit is equivalent to $15.

    My friends Eliana and Marin are super organized and already have their kits in. These two will be great competitors in the Olympics, so get your donations in to join them!



    If you gather a minimum of five kits or donations of the same, you’ll be put on an Olympic Team to compete with friends on Saturday, June 8 at 6:00 PM. We school horses have the best seats on the farm to watch the games in the big outdoor arena.

    If we had thumbs, we’d eat popcorn  and watch the blind buggy race and the blanket race too!



    Let me introduce the supporting cast for the weekend. We horses are the stars, of course.

    Ainsley Budzinski is judging all three days. While I’m pretty new here and didn’t teach her, she’s legendary to our long serving lesson horses.

    A fantastic rider, she won countless championships in both equitation and performance classes, captained the gold medal winning Team USA World Cup team, and has a deep appreciation for horses and riders. I can’t wait to meet her.



    Wendy will be announcing Saturday and Sunday. A rider as well as an accomplished vocalist, don’t be shocked if she bursts into song.



    Jane will be our concierge (Ann spelled that one) on Sunday. A life long rider and lover of horses, Jane will help our walk and trot riders with back numbers, tie downs, and anything else that comes up at a horse show.  I love Jane.



    All of us lesson horses have Monday off after the show. We’ll come in and get to nap or practice yoga while the instructors finalize plans for Knollwood Summer 2024.

    All lessons will be credited on June bills.


    We’re looking forward to our recital this weekend, and can’t wait to help our riders learn the ways of horse showing. We have a few tips for all of our riders and their friends here to see them.

    The whole weekend is about learning. Even though we’re the best lesson horses in the world, showing horses is stressful for riders. They want to do their best, and are all trying really hard.

    Showing horses can be unpredictable. That diagonal that seems so easy in lessons is sometimes harder to see under pressure, or a rider may be thinking so hard that they don’t hear that they’re supposed to come to a walk.

    While everyone is learning, let’s all remember why we're here. It’s to see us, the school horses do our jobs fantastically.



    Ann here

    Actually, we’re here to enjoy the best lesson horses in the world as they help our riders learn the ins and outs of horse showing.

    Let’s live by our Knollwood horse show mantras:


    It’s not the ribbon, it’s the ride.

    Love and appreciate your horse.

    Clap for everyone.  



    Pumpkin back.

    I agree.

    Let’s have a great show weekend!



    See you in the show ring! 



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  • Keeping Up With Our Adventures

    0 comments / Posted by Ann Wilt



    Great thanks to all the Knockouts and their tremendous parents for a successful Street Clean Up project last weekend. Thanks to them, Oakwood and Nagawicka Roads are beautiful and ready to welcome summer.

    Knockout members who couldn’t make it last Saturday can sign up for a shift at the concession stand on show weekend to fulfill their club service hours. You can choose your time in the school barn, or online here.


    The Knollwood Spring Show is coming up fast!

    We can hardly wait for the in-barn show season to start with patterns on Friday at 6:00.

    Here are some helpful hints for show weekend:

    • Be sure to get your gift basket items in by Wednesday, May 8. Bins are set up in the show barn for easy collection.

    • We all have our fingers crossed for good weather, but we have plans in case nature doesn’t help us out.

    • The Saturday show will start inside at 1:00 PM if it rains on our parade.

    • The Sunday show will start inside at 2:00 if the weather doesn’t  cooperate.


    • Don’t forget your tie downs!

    • Jodi will have number magnets available for purchase at the barn.

    • Jane will be our Sunday office manager in the school barn. She’s a show horse lifer, and can answer all your questions, and can solve almost any problem.


    Here Comes the Food Drive!

    Knollwood starts its annual food drive to benefit the Food Pantry of Waukesha County on May 10, and runs through May 30. The pantry runs low on food during the summer months when kids are out of school and aren’t receiving lunch at school.

    We’ve been partnering with the pantry for 15 years to help bridge the gap. And, we found a way to make giving fun.

    Every member of Team Knollwood who collects a minimum of 5 food kits, or who gathers a minimum of $75 in cash donations can join a team to compete in the Knollwood Olympics on Saturday, June 8.

    Olympians will gather at 6:00 to compete in games of skill that mostly involve barn chores. We’ll admit that some of the events have nothing to do with horses, but are just a lot of fun to watch.

    Events include:

      The blind buggy race

      The relay race

      The helmet toss

      The blanket race

      The original dance is back! Teams will choose a song, and create a group dance. An esteemed judge will choose their favorite three dances.


    Please help us continue the tradition and help our neighbors in need while having fun with your Knollwood friends. Everyone is invited to participate, school barn riders, show barn riders, and parents. How about a team of parents? It only takes 5 participants!


    Stay Tuned For:


    Academy Palooza

    May 3-4

    Beyond Stable Farm, Woodstock Illinois

    Our academy team is headed to our favorite venue to compete at a fun, friendly academy show.  Come join us!


    Knollwood Spring Show

    May 10-12

    It’s show time!

    Join Team Knollwood as we celebrate our academy riders as they enter friendly competition. Come and watch future stars, admire the best lesson horses in the world, and enjoy some delicious food from the concession stand. All proceeds benefit our youth group, the Knollwood Knockouts.



    Food Drive thru May 30

    To benefit the Food Pantry of Waukesha County

    The food collection barrels will be in the show barn lounge ready for your donations. Each member of Team Knollwood who collects a minimum of 5 food kits, or a minimum of $75 cash or check made out to the Food Pantry of Waukesha County earns the right to compete in the Knollwood Olympics on  Saturday, June 8.

    Please be sure to put your name on your food kits so we know who gets the credit for the donation!



    Horses’ Day Off

    No lessons on Monday, May 13.

    The horses will enjoy a day off after show weekend. Monday riders will receive a credit on their account.



    Madison Classic Horse Show

    May 23-26

    New Holland Pavilion, Madison

    It’s going to be a heck of a horse show. Our show barn will be almost empty, with 28 horses heading to Madison to compete.  Other barns are coming from near and far, and the classes are going to be spectacular.


    Madison Academy Classes

    May 25

    Our academy riders will compete Saturday morning at 10:00.



    Food Drive Ends

    May 30

    Be sure to have your food kits in by today to join an Olympic team!



    Prairie State Classic

    May 31 – June 2

    Beyond Stable Farm, Woodstock IL

    We’re showing outside in the beautiful covered arena!

    Prairie State is a favorite show , and we have many, many academy riders making the trip.

    Please join us!


    Knollwood Olympics

    Saturday, June 8 at 6:00 PM

    Please join our celebration of service to our neighbors in need as we compete in ridiculous events.



    Camp Starts

    June 10

    Knollwood Summer 2024 kicks off with a Tiny Tot Camp.

    Classic Summer Riding School starts the following week.



    83rd Annual Midwest Charity Horse Show

    June 11-15

    Illinois State Fairgrounds, Springfield, IL

    Our show horses and equitation riders will be competing against the best in the country in arguably the most beautiful arena in the country.

    Stay tuned for schedules and webcasting information.




    Knockout Car Wash

    June 23

    Hartland Piggly Wiggly

    The Knockouts will be washing cars and selling food at the brat shack.

    All Knockouts are asked to volunteer for a 2 hour shift to help the club raise funds for the banquet, and for activities.

    It’s a blast!



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




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  • 16 Days and Counting

    0 comments / Posted by Ann Wilt

    Our first in-barn show of 2024 is coming up in sixteen days!

    The show will take over the farm from May 10-12, and we can hardly wait.

    Here are a few things to accomplish before the big weekend



    Collect Your Show Bag.

    Your bag with shirt, back number, and personalized schedule will be at the barn this afternoon.

    Please pick it up at your next lesson so you can arrive at the show ready to roll.



    Make Sure Your Jods, Boots, and Gloves Fit Well.

    AND, make sure you’re all set with tie downs!

    Part of showing horses is making sure your appearance is neat and clean, and jods running up your leg don’t create a look of organization.



    Make Sure to Help the Show!

    We’re still looking for help at the concession stand, and would love to have your assistance. We have almost 100 riders participating on show weekend, and it takes a village to support ours. You can sign up here or in person at the farm.

    Bins are now set up in the show barn lounge for your gift basket donations.



    Show Prep Classes Are Available.

    We’re offering WT pattern classes on Saturday, April 27 at 5:30, and on Monday, May 6 at 6:30.

    We’re holding a WTC pattern class this Friday the 26th at 7:30.

    And, we’re hosting a show prep class on Monday April 29 at 6:30 to practice strategies for rail work in the show ring.

    All classes are $50 each, payable by cash, check, or credit card. Please talk to your instructor or admin to join the show preparation.


    Remember the Knollwood rules of horse showing:

    It’s not the ribbon, it’s the ride.

    Love and thank your horse.

    Clap for Everyone!!




    What’s Coming Up?

    Street Clean Up and Meeting

    The Knockouts are hosting their spring street clean up, and will follow the event with a club meeting immediately following.

    Join us at 1:00 at the farm, and be sure to have a signed release form from the City of Delafield that you can pick up in the school barn.

    It's a rain or shine event, so keep your fingers crossed about Wisconsin spring!



    Academy Palooza

    The academy team is heading to Woodstock next weekend for the Academy Palooza show. Please come down and cheer us on at the Friday night and Saturday afternoon show.



    Knollwood Food Drive

    Our food drive for the Food Pantry of Waukesha County on May 10, and runs through the 30th.  Ask your friends and neighbors to donate a food kit or 2, and every Knollwood Kid who collects a minimum of 5 food kits will be eligible to join an Olympic team and compete on June 8.



    Madison Classic Horse Show

    Madison Classic is going to be a huge show, and Knollwood will be there in numbers. The show runs Thursday May 23 through Sunday May 26, and features a three judge panel.

    Knollwood’s academy riders will be showing on Saturday morning, and the show horses will compete all four days.



    Prairie State Classic

    The academy team hits the road again May 31-June 2 when they return to Beyond Stable Farm in Woodstock to compete at the Prairie State Classic Show.

    We have several riders making their academy debuts, and would love a big cheering section. Please join us!



    Knollwood Olympics

    Any Team Knollwood member who collects a minimum of 5 food kits will be entered on an Olympic Team to compete on Saturday, June 8 at 6:00.

    Teams will compete in ‘games of skill,’ and many laughs are guaranteed.





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



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  • What A Way To Start The Season!

    0 comments / Posted by Ann Wilt

    Margit, Alivia, and Alexa


    Last weekend, Team Knollwood started the 2024 show season in two states while the home office kept up it's usual schedule.

    Show horses traveled to the National Equestrian Center in St. Louis, Missouri, for the 81st annual Bridlespur Charity Horse Show.

    Shaye and Teddy



    This friendly show was the perfect place to start the season for new teams and seasoned duos.

    After watching and cheering for daughter Allison, Kim showed her very own horse for the first time at Bridlespur. She and Jaydee, officially known as Take Back the Night, look like they’d been together forever, winning their single bit qualifier, and finishing reserve in the championship. Best of all, Allison and new baby Hayden were on hand to watch and cheer!

     Margit and Charlie picked up right where they finished last year. At Bridlespur, gaited pleasure classes were a combination of Junior Exhibitors and Adult Amateurs, so Margit was in with the grownups. She and Charlie did their thing, racking and smiling through the classes. They won both their qualifier and championship.

    Alexa and Scott after championship win

    Alexa and Joe had a great show, too, winning their 3 gaited show pleasure qualifier and championship.

    All of our equitation riders enjoyed the trip, got back into the swing of things, and qualified for some finals early.




    Walk trot canter academy kids

    Meanwhile, the academy team and ‘B’ horses traveled to the sold out IASPHA Spring show in Woodstock, Illinois. Almost all of the academy classes were so big that they split, with some championships splitting three ways.

    Some highlights?

    In her final season before she heads off to college, Taylor and Baxter were the team to beat. They won their horsemanship, equitation, and championship classes.

    Walk trot academy stars

    Our walk and trot riders showed some tougher horses at IASPHA, and made us proud. Maddie showed Sport for the first time, and earned the opportunity to ride not just one, but two victory passes.

    Sophie, Kali, and Kylie with show techs extraordinaire Natalie and Adrienne

    Kali showed Murphy for the first time, and rode like a star, earning top ribbons while keeping his brain in order.

    Sport also proved himself a stand out in the Monarch Single Bit division with Mary, earning 4th place ribbons in very large competitive classes.




    Next Up?

    The academy horses are off to Academy Palooza on May 3 and 4, while the show horses are working at home until the Madison Classic show May 23-26. The academy team will be joining them in Madison as well.


    What’s Coming Up?


    Photo by Hanna Agathen


    Extra Prep Classes

    We’ve added 4 opportunities for extra practice before the Knollwood Spring Show. Each class is $50, and must be paid for at the time of sign up.


    Friday, April 26

    7:30 PM

    WTC Pattern Class


    Saturday, April 27

    5:30 PM

    WT Pattern Class


    Monday, April 29

    6:30 PM

    Horse Show Basics


    Monday, May 6

    6:30 PM

    WT Pattern Class



    Street Clean Up and Knockout Meeting

    Saturda PMy, April 27


    Join your Knockout friends as everyone joins to clean up Oakwood and Nagawicka Roads for the spring.

    You can sign up in the school barn lounge, or online here. All participants must have a completed release form, which is available in the school barn.




    Knollwood Spring Show

    May 10-12

    It’s almost here!

    Horses are assigned, and class rosters are up on the school barn wall.

    Show bags with your shirt, back number, and personal schedule will be available for pick up starting Wednesday, April 24.

    We’re hoping all of Team Knollwood will assist with our big spring show.  You can contribute to gift baskets by signing up in the school barn, or sign up to donate your time to the concession stand or to assist with set up and/or teardown. You can sign up online here, or in person in the school barn.



    Food Drive

    May 10-30

    It’s time to help our neighbors in need by collecting donations for the Food Pantry of Waukesha County. The food barrels will be in place from May 10-30, and we’d like to fill them many times over.

    Every Knollwood Kid who collects a minimum of five food kits is eligible to join an Olympic team to compete in the Knollwood Olympics on June 8.

    The Olympics are games of skill that mimic some of the skills you need in the barn. We have garbage relay races to the dumpster, blind buggy races, helmet tosses, and more.

    You won’t want to miss the fun!




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



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