0 comments / Posted by Ann Wilt

Horse assignments for the spring show will be posted by this weekend, and we’re so grateful that some brilliant scientist discovered fuzzy logic back in the 1960’s to help with the multi-layered process.

If you’re interested in learning more about fuzzy logic, you can read about it here.

It may appear that we take the roughly 100 entry blanks, throw them in the air, and see where they land to assign horses.

If only …


Here’s a little inside info on the actual fuzzy process of assigning horses for 94 riders competing in a total of 60 classes over three days on 12 walk trot canter horses and 18 walk trot horses.

First of all, we need to divide the entries into divisions, such as 11-17 walk trot and canter. This helps us decide how many splits we’ll need for each division.

On Saturdays in the big outdoor ring, the class size is limited only by the number of eligible horses, except you have to plan in case the show is forced inside if the weather decides not to cooperate. So, we keep the classes under 10.

On walk trot Sunday in the small outdoor ring with less experienced riders, we keep the classes to six riders or less, except for our new division for riders aged six and under, which we’re limiting to four riders in a split.

The next step is creating class splits based on rider experience and age. We try very hard to keep the classes level in terms of show experience. We also try to keep the level of horses similar in each split.

Then, we look at the horse choices on each of the 94 entry blanks. Each rider should have written in four horse choices of horses they’ve ridden in lessons.  A few notes on entry blanks:

  • Not everyone can show Pumpkin, Vaughn, and Hugo.

  • Writing only one horse on the form doesn’t mean you’ll get that horse. Probably, quite the opposite will happen in fairness to everyone.

  • In-barn shows create some great opportunities to show horses who usually don’t leave home. Some of the WTC riders have gone way off the map in their selections, which makes the show even more fun. Let’s face it, you’ll probably never have the chance to show Jelly or Bee away from home!


We assign horses as best we can on the first pass, using our brain to keep track of horse workloads. Of course, this is just the first pass.

After horses are assigned initially, we take out a group chart and tally up how much each horse is working each day. This is usually pretty eye opening, as we’re not rocket scientists on the first round.

We want each horse to have a fair workload, so we go back to the entry blanks to make changes to the assignments to even out the schedule.

After recalculating, we go back and make sure the schedule is workable for each horse. Since the schedule works with riders showing their three classes in a row, we make sure no horse is working 3 sets in a row if at all possible. This is where it gets tricky.

Next up, we talk to individual instructors to see if we can change horse selections to make sure each horse works at an appropriate level. Often, riders forget about some of the newer horses.

Then we look at it all again.

We look again for safety, which is the most important part of assigning horses. Like people, some horses get more aware and excited on show day, and we want to make sure riders will be safe riding each horse in their own ‘show mindset.’


Riding outside is different from riding inside, especially with all the show ‘hoopla’ going on around the show arenas. While some of our newer show riders may feel they can handle ‘more horse,’ we’re looking out for both horses and riders. We don’t want to scare anyone, or create any more horse or people stress in an already exciting weekend.



The fuzzy logic continues to our selection of judges for these events.


This spring, we’re thrilled to welcome Ainsley Budzinski to preside over the weekend.

Ainsley is a Knollwood Kid for life.


She started riding at age five after watching her sister Sydney’s lessons from center ring. Ainsley is a beautiful, and highly skilled rider who can ride anything, and best of all, can explain anything to all levels of riders.


Plus, she grew up around the farm, moving up through the academy program to become a champion in the show horse world.


A few of her many accomplishments include:

  • UPHA National Champion 10 and Under Walk and Trot Final

  • UPHA National Champion 13 and Under WTC Final

  • Reserve World Champion 13 and Under Equitation

  • National Champion 13 and Under Equitation

  • Captain, Gold Medal Winning World Cup 5 Gaited Team USA



Being a Knollwood Kid, Ainsley understands in barn shows through and through. They’re opportunities for each rider to learn about horses, riding, and sportsmanship.


We can hardly wait to celebrate the weekend with all our riders.



What's Coming Up?

Parents' Night Out

This Saturday at 6:00 PM!

It's a fun night at the farm with the Knockout officers and board members.

If you'd like to join us, please sign up and pay your $25 with your instructor or admin.



Bridlespur Society Horse Show

St. Louis

April 11-13

The show horses are off to Missouri for their first show of the season. We'll post schedules soon.


IASPHA Spring Show

April 13-14

Our first academy show of 2024 is coming up soon. Please join us at Beyond Stable Farm to cheer us on!


Street Clean Up

April 27

The Knockouts are headed out in the neighborhood to clean up Oakwood and Nagawicka Roads, and they'd love lots of members to join their service project.

Please sign up in the school barn lounge, and fill out a release form from the City of Delafield.

Be sure to stay for the Knockout meeting right after the cleanup!



Academy Palooza

May 3-4

The Academy Team is heading back to Beyond Stable Farm for the UPHA academy show!



Food Drive Begins

May 10

Our annual food drive supporting the Food Pantry of Waukesha County runs through May 31. If you bring in five food kits, you're eligible to participate in the fun filled Knollwood Olympics on June 8 at 6:00 PM.

All of Team Knollwood is invited to join our service project and fun finale.



Knollwood Olympics

June 8 at 6:00 PM

Rain or shine, our food kit contributors will join teams to compete in hilarious 'games of skill.'

Be sure to get your donations in by May 31 to join the fun.

ALL members are welcome to donate and join us. Show barn, school barn, parents...



Knollwood Spring Show

May 10-12

Please plan on joining us for the most fun weekend of spring. The competition is fabulous, and all the activity surrounding the show is spectacular, too.

We're looking for volunteers to help us out in the concession stand, set up, and all sorts of things that probably never crossed your mind.





Photo by Hanna Agathen Photography


See you soon at the Barn!







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