0 comments / Posted by Ann Wilt

Greetings from Pumpkin the Magnificent, Knollwood’s 2024 School Horse of the Year.

As the horse of the year, my responsibilities include educating Team Knollwood about the lesson horses and their activities.

Our spring recital is coming up this weekend. You may call it a horse show, but to those of us lucky enough to be lesson horses at Knollwood, it’s a chance to show off our brilliance.

It currently looks like the weather will be beautiful for humans. We sturdy lesson horses don’t really mind rain, but those mamby pamby box stall horses get crabby when they get wet. Keep your fingers crossed for sunshine and light.

Should the weather not cooperate, we’ll move the Saturday show inside and start at 1:00 PM, and move the Sunday show inside starting at 2:00 PM.

Our co-workers, the riding instructors, will make contact with everyone should the weather rain on our recital. We wouldn’t want pouty fancy horses, would we?

We could only imagine how Hooper would dress for the rain.

 I'm ready for anything!

On Saturday, spectators should bring chairs and set up either in the west pasture behind the path the horses have worn next to the arena, or in any shady spot they’d like. Please don’t set up in Scott and Carol’s yard, and please don’t hang on the rail. Some of you look scary that close up.


On Sunday, please bring chairs and set up on the north side of the small arena. The maple trees provide great shade. If you prefer sun, you can set up on the east side of the arena.

Please be sure to leave plenty of space for us to come in and out of the ring. The instructors are always looking out  for us, and will move you if you’re in the way of our stage entry.


Please visit the concession stand area which includes gift baskets and other fun things besides food. Is there anything better than food? Really?

Plus, you'll meet lots of my friends who have volunteered to make sure everyone is fed. Tell them Pumpkin sent you!

All the funds raised benefit the Knollwood Knockouts.



Ann wrote the next part:

We’re pleased to welcome Okta as our concession stand sponsor. They’re an international company that provides online security all around the world. They keep us all safe online.




TRIP-LICITY is our coffee bar sponsor for the show.  Come enjoy a coffee and learn more about Kelly’s company that provides fantastic experiences.



I’m back. The fine print is over.


Knollwood’s annual food drive starts on Saturday. We horses are fortunate that we always have the best food available to keep us healthy. We’ve been told that some of our human neighbors aren’t as fortunate as we are, so the humans are gathering food to help their friends in need.

Just collect  food kits and put them in the bins from the Food Pantry of Waukesha County. Be sure to put your name on the bags so you get credit for the donation.  If people don’t like to shop, they can give you a check as well, made out to the Food Pantry of Waukesha County. Each food kit is equivalent to $15.

My friends Eliana and Marin are super organized and already have their kits in. These two will be great competitors in the Olympics, so get your donations in to join them!



If you gather a minimum of five kits or donations of the same, you’ll be put on an Olympic Team to compete with friends on Saturday, June 8 at 6:00 PM. We school horses have the best seats on the farm to watch the games in the big outdoor arena.

If we had thumbs, we’d eat popcorn  and watch the blind buggy race and the blanket race too!



Let me introduce the supporting cast for the weekend. We horses are the stars, of course.

Ainsley Budzinski is judging all three days. While I’m pretty new here and didn’t teach her, she’s legendary to our long serving lesson horses.

A fantastic rider, she won countless championships in both equitation and performance classes, captained the gold medal winning Team USA World Cup team, and has a deep appreciation for horses and riders. I can’t wait to meet her.



Wendy will be announcing Saturday and Sunday. A rider as well as an accomplished vocalist, don’t be shocked if she bursts into song.



Jane will be our concierge (Ann spelled that one) on Sunday. A life long rider and lover of horses, Jane will help our walk and trot riders with back numbers, tie downs, and anything else that comes up at a horse show.  I love Jane.



All of us lesson horses have Monday off after the show. We’ll come in and get to nap or practice yoga while the instructors finalize plans for Knollwood Summer 2024.

All lessons will be credited on June bills.


We’re looking forward to our recital this weekend, and can’t wait to help our riders learn the ways of horse showing. We have a few tips for all of our riders and their friends here to see them.

The whole weekend is about learning. Even though we’re the best lesson horses in the world, showing horses is stressful for riders. They want to do their best, and are all trying really hard.

Showing horses can be unpredictable. That diagonal that seems so easy in lessons is sometimes harder to see under pressure, or a rider may be thinking so hard that they don’t hear that they’re supposed to come to a walk.

While everyone is learning, let’s all remember why we're here. It’s to see us, the school horses do our jobs fantastically.



Ann here

Actually, we’re here to enjoy the best lesson horses in the world as they help our riders learn the ins and outs of horse showing.

Let’s live by our Knollwood horse show mantras:


It’s not the ribbon, it’s the ride.

Love and appreciate your horse.

Clap for everyone.  



Pumpkin back.

I agree.

Let’s have a great show weekend!



See you in the show ring! 




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