The farm is a little quieter these days after six Knollwood Kids have headed off to college for their freshman years.
Team Knollwood is always proud of our high school graduates, and this year we have a particularly big group of Knollwood Kids heading off to higher education. These ladies are Knollwood Kids through and through, having almost grown up at the farm.
These riders were super active with the Knockouts, some helped with lessons and camps, and all of them were instrumental in helping the next generation of Knollwood Kids through their example.
Knollwood Kids always come back, and we can’t wait to see our latest grads in center ring at Thanksgiving break.
Here, in alphabetical order by last name, are Knollwood’s latest group of college girls!
Hanna’s horse loving mom Abbie put her on a horse at the age of 18 months, and the rest is history. Hanna started her Knollwood story at a summer camp at the age of 7, and has been taking lessons ever since.
Hanna’s first ever Knollwood horse was Brinkley, and she rode legendary Sparky in her first Knollwood show.
Her favorite Knollwood memories were the Knockout activities that introduced her to all her horse friends. She adds, ‘Being a Knollwood Kid was valuable to me in that I learned how to work towards my goals, advocate for myself, and build lifelong relationships.’
Hanna credits having horses and friends at the barn to help her through high school. ‘Knollwood helped me get through high school because it gave me a safe haven to go to when life got crazy. After a long day, I knew the barn was always there waiting for me.’
Mom Abbie will miss the gatherings at her house that she refers to as ‘Saddle Club Sundays’ when the horse girls took over her barn.
Hanna is attending the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee at Waukesha where she’s pursuing a degree in business. (She’s already running her saddle cleaning and photography businesses!)
She said she’ll miss being a little less involved at Knollwood during the school year.
Tori became a Knollwood Kid at age 7 after attending an Open House back in 2012.
Tori started riding in group lessons at the time, and proceeded to privates and showing before eventually getting her very own horse.
Tori has had the pleasure of bonding with her two mares. But honestly, ALL animals love Tori. Just ask Hazel for her thoughts about her!
She’s currently showing her beautiful mare Stella’s Stilettos in the Country Pleasure division.
Mark was the first lesson horse Tori ever rode at Knollwood, and she had the pleasure of showing Dudley in her first Knollwood show.
Tori’s favorite activities growing up at the barn were pattern camps and hanging out with friends and horses at shows.
Mom Tracy will miss seeing Tori’s joy in just being at the farm. 'Whether it was the quiet times she spent bonding with her horses after lessons, walking Hazel on the bridle path or playing with the cats in the school barn, Knollwood has always been her reset button. No matter what was going on in other parts of her life, time spent at Knollwood always brought her joy.'
She adds, ‘I know I have said this before, but I want to stress that the best things about this sport of showing horses is not found at the in-gate or the ribbons coming out. Your time with your child is precious and short, so make sure to put the focus on the memories you make on this journey together, centering around the love of horses.’
Tori is attending the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and is studying Animal Science-Equine with a pre-vet emphasis.
Emilie became a Knollwood Kid at the age of 10 when she signed up for group lessons through Sussex Park and Rec. She rode Willy in her first lesson, and showed Eddie at her first academy show.
Emilie’s favorite Knollwood memory is pattern camp summers. ‘Besides getting to learn a ton and practice a bunch of patterns, we also tried a bunch of fun games and rode in pairs. I got closer with all of the riders that week and made a bunch of new friendships because of it.’
Mom Anna credits Knollwood for teaching Emilie how to work towards a goal and accomplish it, even when it’s difficult.
‘When Emilie was in middle school, she wanted to start competing in out of barn shows. We made a deal with her that we could pay half of the entry free but she had to pay the rest. That year, Emilie started ‘E-Making Creations’ and used her Cricut to make personalized Christmas ornaments. She sold enough the first year to do two shows, and her business grew over the years thanks to many opportunities through Knollwood. She wanted to ride, and found a way to do it!’
Emily is attending UW-Platteville and is studying mechanical engineering. Emilie would like to work in product development and eventually become an engineering project manager.
Sofia became a Knollwood Kid at age 11 when she started riding with us. Living in Oshkosh has made for lots of bonding time spent in the car with mom Julia.
Sofia was fortunate to ride Sundance for her first Knollwood lesson, and had the privilege to show Klem in both her first Knollwood and academy show.
Sofia’s most valuable lessons learned at Knollwood? ‘I was able to find a community that I fit into really well. Plus, I know I’ll be a part of this community for a long time. I learned how to be scrappy and how to assert myself. Those are only some of the skills that I’ve learned that make me a much more confident person. Being confident has helped me in every aspect of my life.’
Julia credits Knollwood for raising Sofia’s confidence. ‘She has learned that hard work pays off and patience, as sometimes the payoff takes time. She learned about how to be a mentor and the skills associated with leadership roles. She learned about respect, respect for a 1200 pound animal and what they are capable of; respect for the instructors; respect for fellow riders and her own respect.’
Sofia says she’s literally counting down the days until she can be at the barn again to see all her favorite people and horses.
Sofia is settled in at Macalester College where she’s studying Spanish and English. She hopes to go into publishing and editing, and to do some Spanish translation work.
Emma came to Knollwood when she signed up for a group lesson package through Hartland Park and Rec. She had the pleasure of riding Mark at her first lesson.
Emma was a leader in the Knockouts and a camp counselor and even did some lessons for us.
After her academy days, Emma’s parents leased Fergie for her to show. Emma credits Fergie for teaching her many, many lessons.
She appreciates the friendships she made, saying that her favorite memories were working on Tuesday nights with Heather and Margit. 'Working on Tuesdays with them gave me my best friends that I will have for the rest of my life. Another great memory is the morning before academy shows. Everyone is there supporting each other and willing to help everyone and the environment is just overall very positive.’
Emma credits Knollwood for helping her get through high school. ‘It gave me a safe space that I felt like I could always come and hang out with people who were there or just simply come and hang out with the horses. Knollwood also gave me the valuable life skills that helped me get through my coursework in high school, to never give up and to keep working hard’
Emma’s mom Pam adds ‘From the sweater vest academy era to suit, there are so many great memories that have been made.’
Emma is attending the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point where she’s double majoring in early childhood and elementary education. She’s also on the track team at Stevens Point.
She hopes to become a teacher for kindergarten through third grade. Emma is going to be certified in preschool through 9th grade in case she changes her mind later.
Maddie became a Knollwood Kid at age 7 when she signed up for beginner lessons through the Hartland Park and Rec department. Willy was the first horse she rode at Knollwood, and Skipper was her trusty steed at her first in-barn show.
Maddie’s favorite memories of growing up a Knollwood Kid include summer pattern camps with friends, the ASAW Summerfun Show, which we consider our home show, and award banquets.
Maddie’s riding career didn’t run on a straight line, as most don’t. She suffered two serious knee injuries on the basketball court, only a year apart.
Her mom Sara says, ‘Knollwood has had this hold on Maddie’s heart from the very beginning. It has been the one special place in her life that allows the other parts of her life to just pass by. It is her retreat, her time away from both of her ACL recoveries of 10 months each. Knollwood has taught Maddie how to love an animal that will truly love you back, that hard work pays off, perseverance, patience, and that when you love something, just do it!’
Maddie will ‘miss the community and the people that build everyone up and make riding at Knollwood a blessing. I will miss show days and weekends that bring so much joy into my life, and I will miss the horses that make riding the best part of the week.’
Sara adds, ‘There are lots of things that I will miss about Knollwood. I actually had the chance to miss them twice before when Maddie was out with her injury and they just made me appreciate them so much more. I will miss Ann tremendously. Her kindness to Maddie, her patience. I will miss the horse shavings in my washer, the smell of the barn in my car, and the incredible smile that riding brings to Maddie. Riding puts Maddie on cloud 9, it’s her retreat , her way away from the outside world of school and sports.’
Maddie is attending the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay where she’s studying Sports Marketing. She’s also a member of the soccer team.
What’s Coming Up?
UPHA Chapter 10 Academy Show
Mid America Mane Event
Knollwood Fall Show
Street Clean Up
Halloween on Horseback
IASPHA Fall Show
UPHA American Royal National Championship Horse Show
Academy Info Meeting for Parents
Parents’ Night Out
Academy Demo Meeting for All
Knockout Holiday Party