0 comments / Posted by Ann Wilt

Team Knollwood has held three in-barn academy shows for many moons, and we were starting to feel like we were stuck in a rut. We asked questions, put our brains together, and came up with a new and improved show. We had a blast last weekend with more riders, more classes, and many, many laughs.

What did we change?


We relaxed the atmosphere.

 Instead of full academy dress, all our riders wore long sleeved tees designed by our friends at Wild Impact Marketing.  It kept the tension down, and brought everyone together.

Besides the relaxed attire, our fabulous hair salon ladies braided hair, created some new show looks, and put some traditional buns in.


All riders advanced to their championship.

You get better by doing, so all riders had a chance to ride in a championship, and try to make the workout.  Sammy worked as many riders as time would allow so the riders could get used to going to the rail alone. Our tiniest riders even got to ‘work out’ in the line up.


We added the

‘Open Gaming Division!’

Our show barn riders always help in the barn and concessions, so we gave them a way to participate in the show as well. They could enter Saturday’s finale, the gaming division. Academy and show riders alike competed in a challenging bareback class, a ‘slowest canter’ class, and the highlight of the games, a highly competitive game of ‘Ride a $5.’

Several of our show ring stars said they had a hard time getting out of bed on Sunday after the bareback and the intense battle in Ride a $5. We finally made Amanda drop her last $5 after a few laps of posting 3 steps and change your diagonal in the air.


We highlighted the academy journey in our demos.

While we usually showcase Saddlebred show horses in our demos, we chose to highlight the academy process for this show. First up, Erika and Mia rode in wearing full academy show attire and demonstrated how experienced academy stars show and use the ring.

Later in the performance, Haley rode a demonstration of where academy showing can take you. Haley showed her award winning equitation skills while piloting An Irish Victory around the arena.



We have many thanks:

Great thanks to Sammy Jo for giving up a weekend during show season to help our academy riders. Sammy’s a favorite for her ability to judge each class individually, and to offer words of encouragement when a rider has a pretty clean ride and makes an error that changes the outcome of the class. She also let lots of riders complete workouts, and really got into the spirit of the show during the game division.


Our personal assistants were once again rock stars. These experienced riders from school and show barns serve as mentors to our walk and trot riders and take great care of the best lesson horses in the world.

And, our streak is alive!  No riders went into the wrong class for yet another show!


We are beyond fortunate to have an army of volunteers who gather silent auction items, put gift baskets together, run a busy concession stand, keep riders safe in the arena, announce the show, style hair, and act as experienced ‘show moms’ to our newest riders. We couldn’t do it without you!



Coming Up?

Our show horses are in St Paul, Minnesota for the FASH Show.  It’s a big show at a beautiful facility, but unfortunately, it’s not webcast.  Good luck to everyone showing, and we’ll update results as we get them!

Our semi annual street clean-up is coming up this Saturday at 1:00 PM.  Help us clean up Oakwood and Nagawicka Roads, and then return to the farm for a Knockout meeting at 2:30.

Our annual food drive for the Food Pantry of Waukesha County is underway, and continues until the first week of June. Each rider who gathers up 5 food kits from family and friends is eligible to participate in our first ever Video Scavenger Hunt on June 8.

Team Tuesday is currently in the lead, and there’s a special prize for the team with the most food kits donated.



See you at the barn!


Leave a comment

All blog comments are checked prior to publishing