0 comments / Posted by Ann Wilt

We've welcomed a number of new riders to our lesson program recently, and we're thrilled to have a large number of riders joining our academy team this season.

With all this learning going on, we've been receiving many, many questions.

Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked. Please reach out to your instructor with any questions.  The most common questions will be answered in a future blog.



When Can I Sign Up For Summer Riding School?

We’re really looking forward to Knollwood Summer 2024.

Our currently enrolled students can pick their sessions starting on February 1. We offer ‘classic’ summer riding school sessions for our newest enrolled riders, Knollwood Show Prep sessions for our students showing at the summer Knollwood show, and Pattern Camps for our riders showing away from home in the academy division.

We’ll open camps up to the public on March 1, so enrolled students, please make sure you select your week by February 25.

Camps will be billed on your March statement.


Why are Some Lesson Horses Difficult to Keep Trotting?

It’s by design.

Riders are taught from the beginning that horses are living, breathing creatures, and that we must provide information to them so they know what we need them to do.

Our beginner horses are geniuses at teaching a rider to follow through with their directions. A big part of riding is to follow through with your horse until he does what you’re asking, and changes what he’s doing.

Our patient, methodical beginner horses also keep new riders safe with their patience and wisdom.



What's With All the Bareback Pads?

Knollwood is known for producing riders with beautiful, functional leg positions. Much of that position comes from the strength that is developed through bareback riding.

Riding bareback teaches balance, as a rider stays in the middle of the bareback pad without stirrups. It also strengthens core and leg muscles as a rider works to stay back on the pad and posts the trot without moving forward.

It’s really a great workout. And it’s fun!



What’s the Difference Between the Horses that Live in the Slip Stalls, and the Ones Who Live in Box Stalls?

The horses who live in the slip stalls do our beginner lessons, and most of our advanced beginner lessons. They enjoy going outside at night, and get pretty restless inside if they have to stay in too long.

During the recent cold snap, we gave them extra hay to munch on while they stayed in for some long days.

If these horses didn’t go out for ‘recess’ at night, they’d have too much energy to teach beginners in the arena.


The horses that live in the box stalls are our horses for intermediate and advanced riders. Most of them travel to academy shows with us, and many of them have shoes on. Because they don’t teach beginners, they don’t need to blow off as much steam every day, as their experienced riders have learned to handle a little energy.                      

These horses don’t enjoy being outside at night. They don’t handle extreme weather well, and don’t tolerate flies in the summer either.

They go out for ‘recess’ during the day, and return to their stalls for dinner and sleep.



What are Those Carts in the Arena For?

Those are jog carts, and they’re used for training the show horses.

The horses in the show barn are worked every day except Mondays, and are trained in different ways throughout the week.

Using the jog carts is an important part of show horse training. The horse can will build endurance without weight on his back while jogging for miles on the soft arena footing. It also reinforces carriage and attention to the bridle and balance.



Who Won the Horse of the Year Election?

Oh, we know, but that’s classified information. Come to the banquet on February 24 to find out!




When Can I Be a Helper?

Helpers are often the first contact a new rider makes in the barn, so we’re very selective about who gets to become a helper.

First of all, you must be taking care of your own horse before and after your lessons.

Helpers must be kind to all riders, answer some questions from riders, run with beginners and help explain what the instructor is saying, must interact with the rider they’re helping, and must take great care of our lesson horses.

Being a helper is a BIG responsibility, and we invite the best Knollwood Kids to be mentors to the next group of riders.



When Are the 2024 Knollwood Shows?

Our spring show is on May 10-12, our summer show is on August 16-18, and our fall show is on October 18-20.

We’re planning the same format, with pattern classes inside on Friday night, walk trot canter, 11 and over walk trot, and premier walk trot classes on Saturday, and will finish up with leadline, maiden walk trot, and 10 and under walk and trot classes on Sunday.



Who’s the Leader of the School Horses in the Pasture?

Believe it or not, Hugo runs the herd. Maybe he’s slow in lessons because he’s saving up his energy for being the sheriff of the pasture at night.


Please keep asking questions, and we’ll answer them in future blogs.


What’s coming up?

 February 1

In-house enrollment for 2024 Summer Riding School begins for currently enrolled students. Preferred enrollment continues through February 25, and camps will become available to the public on March 1.



February 10

10:00 AM

In House Consignment Sale at Knollwood.

Please have donations to Knollwood by February 3.

All clothing should be marked with your name, cell number, approximate size, and price.

For shoppers, we’ll have experienced show moms to help you shop, and Jodi will be there with her fantastic ties and accessories to complete your look.



February 24

Our academy tailor will be at the barn in the morning until early afternoon. All of the time spots are full, so we’ll plan an additional day. Please talk to Ann is you’d like an appointment!



Also February 24

Knollwood Knockout Banquet


The Legend at Merrill Hills

Please join us for our annual celebration of all things Knollwood. All Knockouts will receive an invitation in the mail, and we hope to send them out next week.

Remember, help us celebrate our winners in style by following the venue’s dress code:

-No denim of any kind

-Men’s shirts must have collars and be tucked in


March 16

Academy Kick Off Night

6:00 PM

All academy parents and riders are invited to join us for a get together to learn how to create the perfect tie knot for your rider, and how to create a prefect show ring bun, and how to apply age appropriate make up for your rider.



April 13-14

IASPHA Spring Show

Beyond Stable Farm

Our first academy show of the year!



May 8-10

Knollwood Spring Show

Our first In-Barn show of the year!




See you at the barn!!



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