• Answers to (most of) Knollwood's FAQs

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    Running a big lesson program,  we’re lucky to field a lot of questions from our customers. 


    Here are a few of the most frequently asked queries.



    I saw on the calendar that Willy is on vacation this week.  What do horses do on vacation?

    Our lesson horses are priceless, and we can’t possibly thank them enough for their cheerful work.  Even horses need breaks, so each of our hard working boys that worked summer camp has enjoyed a ‘spa week.’ For 7 days, they do NO lessons, enjoy a thorough grooming every day, receive plenty of treats, and extra attention from their fans.  Judging from Big Frank’s energy level this week after his vacation, those days off are greatly appreciated.

    After the Knollwood show, the ‘box stall boys’ will start their vacation schedule, so start buying mints now!!!!!!


    How do I get to ride the box stall horses?

    We have a special group of horses that travel to academy shows where our students compete against  horses and riders from other lesson programs.  These very special  ‘academy horses’ are reserved for riders who have made the jump to private lessons and who have decided to compete in the academy division.

    These horses are the best in the business, and teach important lessons to our show ring riders. With horses ranging from Klem to Sadie, these academy stars can take you anywhere you’d like to go.  Please let your instructor know if you’d like more information about our academy show program.


    Why are some lessons done bareback?

    Riding bareback is one of the most valuable tools we have for building leg and core strength in our riders. In addition to strengthening, bareback also enhances balance, communication between horse and rider, and boosts confidence.

    When bareback becomes too easy, our riders enjoy lessons in their saddles with their stirrups removed.  The saddles are a little more slippery, and offer even a greater challenge.

    We embrace the no stirrup lifestyle, and it shows.


    Why does Bengal the cat talk so much?

    We have no idea.  Do you?


    The Knollwood shows offer classes for school horse and saddle seat pleasure. What’s the difference?

    We group our riders into classes based on their levels of experience, and group horses according to their breed, age, and style.

    Our beginner horses are mostly lower headed breeds and travel slowly with their newer riders. We assign them to school horse pleasure classes so they compete against similar horses. Some of our older Saddlebred lesson horses may also be in this division.

    Saddle Seat pleasure classes are for the faster, higher headed Saddlebreds and Morgans.  The riders are more experienced, and have learned to help their horses balance and keep their heads up.


    Why are some horses so difficult to keep going?

    Learning to ride a horse is a process with many lessons learned along the way.  These slower horses allow riders to develop their balance first while they’re learning to post.  Once riders know how to post, and are independent of their ‘personal assistant,’ they learn how to ride the horse.  An important part of this process is learning to follow through to get what you want, and our horses are wonderful teachers.  They teach their students patience, follow through, and confidence.  These slower fellows build riders who are comfortable, and ready to step up to quicker mounts.


    I see other riders wearing Knollwood clothing. Where can I get some?

    We’re putting the finishing touches on our latest line of ‘Woodwear’ for the holiday giving season.  We’ll be offering tee shirts for kids and women, quarter zips in misses sizes, a personalized helmet bag for barn gear, and a fun knit orange hat with a pom pom.  All will feature the Knollwood logo, and the tees will have a fun saying on the back.  Stay tuned!!!


    Please keep asking!!!

    We’re always happy to answer any questions.


    What’s coming up?


    Mane Event Horse Show

    The show horses are in Springfield, Illinois for the Mane Event Horse show, home to the first of the ‘big three’ national equitation finals of the season, the Good Hands. You can watch the show for free here.


    IASPHA Fall Show

    The academy and ‘B’ horses are heading to Gurnee for their last show of the 2019 season on October 26-27. Twenty academy riders and 12 horses for this show means it’s sure to be an adventure. 

    Plus, Klem will be making his costume class debut thanks to Jule and her mom. Please come join us!!



    Knollwood Fall Show

    The grand finale to the academy show season is coming up November 9 and 10 at Knollwood. It’s a big show, and we’d love everyone’s help making it a great one.

    You can sign up here to help in the concession stand, a major fundraiser for the Knollwood Knockouts. We’re also looking for donations to the helper’s gift baskets, and for the silent auction.

    Please consider helping the hardest working youth group around!




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





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  • Fall Adventures Coming Up!

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    The grand finales are coming!


    Let’s start by saying that we had a great time at the UPHA Chapter 10 show last weekend. The academy classes were strong, and the walk and trot classes on Sunday were BIG. Our riders rode well, and learned a lot of lessons that can only be learned in show ring situations. We’re so proud of all of them for the way they rode, and for the sportsmanship they displayed.

    The show horses will be leaving early next week for the Mane Event show which runs October 17-20 in Springfield, Illinois. This is the first time we’ll be showing in the newly restored coliseum on the Illinois State Fairgrounds, and we can’t wait.  While the Mid America Horse Show Association did a great job sprucing up another space for shows the last couple of years, the historic brick building is one of a kind, and is one of the best horse show venues in the country.

    Many of the best show horses in the country will be traveling to Illinois, and the best equitation riders will be there as well. Mane Event hosts the first of the ‘big three’ equitation finals which make up the Triple Crown of Saddle Seat Equitation, the Good Hands.

    It’s the oldest final of the big three, and is often an indicator of how the rest of the fall will go. Last year, Knollwood Kid Haley won the Good Hands on her way to winning the triple crown.  She’ll be at the show to hand the 2019 trophy to the winner, and to cheer on all the riders.



    The following weekend, 20 academy riders as well as some ‘B’ horses and a handful of ‘A’ horses will travel to Fields and Fences in Gurnee for the last academy show of the season. The IASPHA shows are some of our favorites, with good competition, a great facility, and fun, fun, fun.

    It’s going to be quite an event both in the show ring and out, as we think we have a winning costume entry for Klem and any Knollwood Kids  who’d like to join the group.  Please talk to Ann or Juliet’s Mom, McKenna if you’d like to join us on Saturday night for class 1313.


    The grand finale of the academy show season is coming up on November 9 and 10 when we celebrate everyone’s accomplishments at the Knollwood fall show. We’re thrilled to have Knollwood Kid and former World’s Grand Champion Equitation rider Kelsey Nicole Farnham back to judge both days of the show, including the finals of the Knollwood Challenge.

    We have several exciting things to remember about the show:

    Entries close this Saturday, October 12.

    The fall show features the helper basket challenge.  That means that the helpers on each night of the week are asking customers and friends to contribute to gift baskets for the show.  Judge Kelsey will pick her favorite basket, and the winning helper team will enjoy a pizza party courtesy of the Knollwood Knockouts.


    The concession stand and gift baskets run on volunteers, and we ask all of our members to donate a minimum of 2 hours a year in support of the Knockouts. Here’s the link to sign up for concession stand, show set up, and basket set up assistance.





    The show horses will finish their season at the UPHA National Championship American Royal Show November 11-16.

    It's a biggie, with National Championships at stake, an the last 2 jewels in the triple crown up for grabs, the UPHA Challenge Cup National Finals, and the USEF Medal Final.

    Team Knollwood will be in the thick of the competition, and we'll post webcast information as it becomes available.


    What else is coming up?

    Street Clean up is this Saturday at 1:00. Please be sure to have a signed permission slip from the City of Delafield, which is available in the school barn lounge.

    Join us back at the barn for a 2:30 Knockout meeting.



    Halloween on Horseback is sold out on Friday, October 18, and feel free to come in costume and watch the festivities.  You can bring an appetizer to share, and join the ‘after party!’




    We’re putting the finishing touches on our Knollwood merchandise offerings for holiday giving.  We’re working on both apparel and a gifty item, so please keep your eyes peeled for more information.


    It seems like a long way away, but save these dates now…


    The Knockout holiday party is Saturday, December 14 at 6:00.

    It features a scavenger hunt, pizza, a club meeting, and election everyone can get behind.  The party finishes with an optional gift exchange.

    All members are welcome, and we always love meeting new members!





    The Knockout Awards Banquet celebrating the 2019 show season is Saturday, February 8 2020,  at the Legends at Bristlecone.  All members are welcome, and if you’re not yet a member, we’d love to have you! Talk to your instructor for more information.




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

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  • We Love What We Do

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    It’s one of the busiest times of the horse year, and that’s a great reason take a breath and reflect on why we love what we do.

    Here are our top 5 reasons:


    We get to work with horses every day.

    Sure they’re a lot of work, they require many staff members, they can be incredibly frustrating and they require constant clean up, but look at them. Spend any amount of time with your favorite horse, and we know you’ll get it.



    We get to work outdoors.  All year round.

    We know we live in Wisconsin and that the weather is incredibly creative, but that’s half the fun of it. We work with screens open spring, summer, and fall, get to watch some amazing storms roll in, and watch the snow fall on the pretty farm.


    Are there days when we’d just like the rain to stop, or for the temperature to drop about 30 degrees? You bet, but it sure beats working in a cubicle.


    Horses Progress.

    The show barn revels in the progress of their horses, and this year has been a tremendous year of growth.


    Home bred Willow, now officially known as Dance Party, has gone from romping in the pastures with her mom to winning the Wisconsin Futurity Three Year OId Incentive Park Pleasure class in her first outing at her very first horse show.


     She has a bright future ahead of her!




    Riders Progress.

    We are privileged to watch our riders progress as the year goes on as well.

    Our show riders turned in fantastic rides in St Louis last weekend, and were rewarded with some high placings. A few of our riders really stood out at the show with the experience of the season kicking in at the show.

    Bella and Richie were the pair to beat in the Juvenile Country Pleasure division.  Bella and Garfield (Far Away Garfield) won the grand championship and were reserve to Richie and Tink (Miss Mheirry Mac) in the qualifier. Team TInk finished reserve in the grand championship, too! 

    Richie and Sophie (CH-EQ Royal Tryst) won the 13 and under UPHA Challenge Cup at the show, qualifying this team for finals at the Royal in November.



    Our academy riders have progressed incredibly this season as well.

    We’ve helped kids enjoy their first ride on a horse, introduced others to diagonals, cantering, and had many show for the first time at the Knollwood shows.

    Through the Wisconsin Futurity Horse Festival, our academy stars have won 26 Grand Championships, and 17 Reserve Grand Championships as well as 58 Championships and 37 Reserve Championships, Our riders also hold the champion and reserve titles in both divisions of the State Academy Championships.

    The best part of our riders? They love and respect their horses, and frequently end rides with a pat or a hug, and enjoy just looking into those big brown horse eyes.



    Team Knollwood.

    We are beyond fortunate to be surrounded by an amazing group of customers and friends. 

    Team Knollwood cheers on each and every member,  horse show moms are versatile, and everyone pitches in to do what they do best.

    Some folks help out early mornings putting buns in for those busy academy sessions, some plan parties, some serve as ringmasters and announcers at in-barn shows, some help run concession stands, some create fundraising opportunities for our youth group, some serve as mentors for our youth club officers and board, some help in the barn.  Oh, and those are just the ‘grown ups.’

    Knollwood Kids are the backbone of the farm.  They’re always busy, taking care of the best lesson horses in the world. Whether they’re prepping horses for lessons, helping new riders learn the ways of Knollwood,  bleaching tanks, putting up horses, giving spa treatments to our retired horses or helping with lessons and summer camp. 

    Our show barn riders are the best mentors an academy rider could ever have.  They offer a unique perspective to our upcoming stars, and are super supportive. (At the Summer Fun Show, Laney, Finn, and Payton were being recruited to be baby sitters by our youngest stars. The riders were very disappointed to learn that those three live out of state …)


    Knollwood Kids are some of the best ambassadors we have , and we’re fortunate to have so many of them in our program.




    What’s Next?


    Street Clean Up

    October 12 at 1:00 p.m.

    Join your fellow Knockouts next Saturday as we clean up Nagawicka and Oakwood Roads.  The clean up teams will meet up at the farm at 2:30 p.m. for a Knockout meeting!


    Halloween on Horseback

    Friday, October 18 at 6:00 p.m.

    It’s time to get creative and make a costume for your favorite lesson horse.  For only $40, you get to dress yourself and your horse for costume judging which begins at 6:00 p.m..  Then we’ll play games on horses, and enjoy a potluck dinner in the lounge.

    You can register with your instructor, and be sure to sign up to bring an appetizer or dessert.  Adults, feel free to BYOB.


    IASPHA Fall Show

    October 26-27

    Come watch our final out of barn academy show at Fields and Fences in Gurnee, Illinois. We’ll have 20+ academy riders at the show, and are entering the Saturday night costume class.  We’d love a big cheering section!


    Knollwood Fall Show

    November 9-10

    Entries close October 12!

    Join us for the last academy show of the season!

    Walk, trot, and canter classes are at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, and walk and trot classes are at noon on Sunday.  The show offers classes for everyone, and features the Finals of the Knollwood Challenge!

    We’re offering the entertaining games division on Saturday, and are featuring the Helper Basket Challenge to see which night of the week can create the best gift basket.

    You won’t want to miss the weekend of fun!


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





    (And a whole lot of fun!)




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  • On The Road Again

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    After lots of adventures at the Wisconsin Futurity Horse Festival last weekend, the show horses are all set up in St Louis and start showing tonight at the St Louis National Charity Horse Show.

    First things first …



    Futurity was a relatively quiet show for Team Knollwood. With horses leaving Monday morning for St Louis, many were busy prepping for the events in Missouri.  Horses that attended the home show turned in some great performances, and some even tried different divisions.

    Payton and Eli (Undulata’s Crystal Illusionist) returned to the 3 gaited division with great success, winning both their qualifier and championship classes.  Richie and Sophie also crossed over and tried the three gaited division at the show to get some more classes in.

    Scott showed home grown Willow (Dance Party) for the first time, and they won the Wisconsin Futurity Three Year OId Incentive Park Pleasure class. 

    Willow looked fabulous in her show ring debut.


    Our 15 academy riders were stars of the Saturday morning performance. 

    The walk, trot, and canter riders shone on the rail, and really showed their skills on the championship pattern. The sandwich serpentine with a straight line through the middle was executed with precision by Maddie, Erika, Zada, and Lauren who worked hard to make the cut.

    After pattern work, Maddie was the unanimous winner on Panic, and Erika was unanimously second on JD.  Zada was third on Alex, and Lauren was fifth on Murphy.

    Our walk and trot riders were stars as well. Showing at only her third show, Alexa dove into the deep end at Futurity, and rode really well in an experienced field of riders aged 11-13.

    Our 10 and under riders were rock stars in some really big classes. 

    The classes for riders aged 9-10 had 12-15 riders entered, and our riders shone in the deep traffic. Those big group lessons and pattern camp sessions really showed as Mia, Maiya, and Juliet managed their ring placements like pros.


    Amelia rode her way through a strong division for riders aged 8 and under, winning both her equitation and horsemanship classes.  She and Eddie made bright passes, and looked like they were both having a ball.


    The Tuesday Amigos made the pattern cut in the championship, and went on to finish 1-2-3. Mia was the champion, Maiya was reserve, and Amelia finished third.


    We are so proud of all of our academy riders.  And huge thanks to Jeni, Anna, Payton, Heather, Richie, and Maria who helped prep horses and offered their expertise and support to all 15 riders.

    Biggest thanks to the best lesson horses in the world who were, as usual, fabulous.



    So the horses went home on Sunday, and left for St Louis on Monday.

    A favorite of trainers and exhibitors alike, the show features wonderful facilities and hospitality. It’s home to the Shatner Western Finals, the Hunt Seat Finals, the American Saddlebred Horse Association’s National Championship of Pleasure Equitation, and the Saddle and Bridle Pleasure Equitation Medallion Finals for both junior (13 and under) and senior (14-17) riders.

    Team Knollwood is there with quite a few horses, and we’re looking forward to a great week!

    Some highlights?

    After a highly successful season, Kerry and Rudy (Sir Don Juan) will be competing in the Shatner western finals.

    It’s a mother daughter weekend for the Schuh’s while Allison shows Eva and Kim shows Maddie in St Louis.

    Country pleasure stars Garfield and TInk will be competing at the show, Gabby will be looking to continue her dream season with Charlie, Haley is showing Gwen, Finn and Leila are there for equitation adventures, Richie and Sophie will be enjoying the show, and Kerry will show Hershey in show pleasure.


    Heather and Laney will be representing Knollwood in the ASHA pleasure equitation championship. The class is judged 50% on railwork, and 50% on pattern, and all participants will perform the workout.

    Railwork will take place Thursday morning, and the workouts will be Thursday at 5:00.

    The Saddle and Bridle Pleasure Equitation Medallion final is split into two age groups and they’re judged the same way. Riders will compete on the rail first, and judges will pick 12-14 riders in each age group to complete pattern work. After cut downs, the Top 10 will be announced, and then placings will be awarded in reverse order.


    Payton and Dos will represent Knollwood in the Junior Division, while Heather will show Tucker and Laney will show Robert in the Senior Division.

    You can watch all the action free here.


    What’s Next?



    This weekend, we’re hosting photo shoots by Emma Utoft as she’s coming up to photograph our academy show stars.  We still have several times open if you’re interested in professional pics with your favorite horse.


    Next Wednesday, October 2, the Hartland Culvers is donating a % of all sales made between 5 and 8 PM to the Knollwood Knockouts. Be sure to stop by and enjoy some deliciousness and support our hard working youth group.


    The following weekend, academy and ‘B’ horses are off to Woodstock, Illinois for the UPHA Chapter 10 Fall Show.


    Adopt a Street is coming up at 1:00 PM on Saturday, October 12.  Join the Knockouts as we clean up Oakwood and Nagawicka Road, and stay for the club meeting at 2:30!


    Knollwood Fall show entries are due on October 12 for the event on November 9 and 10.



    Halloween on Horseback is coming up at 6:00 on Friday, October 18. 

    We’ll start taking entries and payments on October 1, so start planning your costume for your favorite horse!


    Our final academy show is coming up on October 26-27 when we’ll travel to Gurnee for the IASPHA Fall show. 

    We’re excited to have a creative entry for the costume class starring Klem, and all riders showing are invited to participate.



    We hope you’ll join us for all the fun we have planned.

    See you at the barn, or at the ingate!

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  • It's A Home Show!!!

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    The Wisconsin Futurity Horse Festival is starting tomorrow, and we can hardly wait.

    Held at State Fair Park in West Allis, we consider it a ‘home show’ because we feel like we’re showing with a home field advantage.


    We’re asking all of Team Knollwood to join us at the fabulous event.  We think it’s so exciting that we’re even cancelling lessons on Saturday because so many of our horses and employees are involved in the event.





    Why should you come to the show?



    The horses are beautiful,

    and their riders are pretty great, too.

    With classes ranging from equitation where the rider’s skill is evaluated to Open Jackpot classes where professional trainers show the most exciting horses, there’s always something to watch.


    Young Horses are A Blast to Watch.

    Futurity showcases the youngest horses shown, and you haven’t lived until you watch a class of weanlings being led in the arena.  They’re vocal, they’re beautiful, and they’re frequently opinionated about the whole thing.

    The big Weanling Open Championship is Sunday morning at 9:30, and it’s the best.



    It’s An Academy Showcase.

    Futurity features the state championships for the academy division, ad Team Knollwood will be there with 15 riders ready to compete for the titles.

    Academy riders will be treated to a 3 judge panel evaluating their skills, so there will be trained eyes all over the arena.  Great thanks to show management for giving the riders this great opportunity.

    Team Knollwood will be represented by 10 riders in the walk, trot and canter classes, and 5 competitors in walk and trot categories.

    Please join us at 9 AM Saturday morning to watch the fun and cheer on all our stars.



    What’s Next?

    On to St Louis.

    Show horses will return home Sunday night, and head south on Monday for the St Louis National Horse Show.  Home to the Saddle and Bridle Pleasure Equitation Medallion National Final as well as the National Championship of Pleasure Equitation, St Louis is a favorite of exhibitors and spectators alike.

    Held at the National Equestrian Center, the National is also home to finals for the Shatner Western Division, and the Hunt Seat Classics.

    Team Knollwood will be in the thick of the action, and we’ll update with webcast info as it becomes available.


    It’s Time for the Knollwood Show!


    The grand finale of the 2019 academy show is coming up November 9 and 10 at the Knollwood fall show.  We’re taking entries through October 12, and are looking forward to a big show celebrating the accomplishments of all of our riders.

    From our competitive lead line division to the finals of the Knollwood Challenge, it promises to be a heck of a weekend.


    Save the dates to support Team Knollwood with the concession stand.

    The show features a silent auction, and we’re looking for donations to help the Knockouts.  Please contact Nancy or Ann with donations.

    The November show is also home to the helper basket challenge. Our helpers will be soliciting donations to the baskets for their day of the week, and the judge will pick her favorite entry.  The winning team receives a pizza party courtesy of the Knockouts.



    Academy Photo Shoot

    Clearly, it's time to update our photo.

    All of our academy show riders will gather at the farm on Saturday, September 28 for a photo shoot for a National Horseman ad.

    Professional equine photographer Emma Utoft will be on hand to capture our stars and has time for some individual sessions as well.  If you’re interested in a ½ hour session for your family, you and your favorite horse, or a holiday card shot, please contact Ann at the barn.  Spaces are limited, so act quickly!



    Fall at Knollwood is beautiful, so be sure to spend some time watching Agnes and Ruby out playing, the lesson horses enjoying their round bales, kids riding outside, and show horses working in the clear fall air. 


    Or, 'do a Hazel' and catch up with a friend on the deck while watching all the goings-on.




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



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