Posted by Ann Wilt

Valentines Day is coming up this weekend, so we thought we’d talk to the lesson horses about their views.  We asked them who their Valentines were, but being the lady and gentlemen that they are, most declined to name an individual person.  Rather, most of the best lesson horses in the world named groups of people, or inanimate objects.

Here, in mostly alphabetical order, are the lesson horses’ Valentines for 2021.


Big Frank, occupant of the first stall on the right, is in love with his stall location.  It allows him to see all the comings and goings of the barn, and allows him to become personally invested in said events.

Duke loves playing games. While he’s usually, well, slow beyond belief in lessons, he becomes a different horse as soon as games start. He has been known to score all of a team’s points in games of ‘Steal the Crop,’ which is more than amazing if you’ve ever seen him in a lesson.

Fred loves round bales, especially for napping when the sun is out.


Hugo loves his new role as a walk trot star. Our gentle giant loves his slow trots and small children best of all.

Jelly loves Laser Sheen, his favorite hair polish which keeps his long flowing locks free of dreaded tangles.


Leon couldn’t name a single thing that he loves the most. Our ‘dear, sweet Leon’ loves all his people, loves giving lessons, and loves being a Knollwood lesson horse.


Little Frank loves warm weather, when the frightening arena heater isn’t making all that noise. (All the other lesson horses wish that the pony would just get over it.’)

Mac loves his farrier Scott, who makes sure he always has ‘happy feet’ for his lessons.


Mark loves small children. In case you don’t know, Mark is less than brilliant. We wonder if he even knows he’s carrying a rider, or if he thinks he’s just getting his steps in.


Picasso is in love with early afternoon naps. What’s better than a nap after lunch?


Sparky loves staying in at night. It keeps his energy up in the arena, and gives him quality discussion time with senior greats Willy and Brinkley.

Sundance may be retired from lessons, but he loves spending time in the pasture with his crew. He still holds the title of ‘Master of the Pasture.’

Thomas loves the Knollwood lesson horse medical plan. As an employment benefit, he feels super comfy after spring joint injections. He’s looking forward to show season 2021!

Tony seconds Thomas’ choice. After a tendon injury this winter, Tony is enjoying stall rest in the stall that everyone must pass on their way into the barn. He’s happy to nicker at EVERYONE who passes, hoping for some quality time with his peeps, or a snack, or another spa treatment.

Vaughn is still a growing boy, and really loves naps. He also loves teaching some of our smaller, up and coming riders.

Willy loves winter recess in the arena with his retired friend Brinkley.


Brinkley loves spending his retirement with best friend Willy.


Baxter loves his corner office, and loves greeting everyone who gets a tour of Knollwood.

Cashew loves stall visitors, especially those who arrive to give him a spa treatment.

Dexter is in love with introducing fierce small riders to Saddlebreds. He gives them their first ride on a high headed horse that aims to please.

Eddie loves recess time outside with wise men Willy and Brinkley. He also loves pattern camps where he shows off his second to none pattern teaching skills.

Heist loves Laura.


Hooper loves his personal assistants who understand his fear of ‘over-the-head’ blankets.


Klem loves showing small new academy stars the ways of a savvy, highly intelligent Morgan who keeps them safe and challenged. A little.

Murphy loves Nancy because she always tells him that he’s beautiful.

Panic loves Holly. He also loves the Knollwood Kids who have developed a need for speed. The looks on their faces after hitting Panic’s second trotting gear is fantastic.

Alex responded by asking for a definition of Valentine.

Sadie loves being the only mare among the grand geldings of the Knollwood lesson horses.

Sport loves Carol and her advanced riders who are teaching him the ways of a Knollwood academy star.

Willis loves Richie for helping him win a Monarch National Championship.





Upcoming events

Used Academy Clothing Sale

Saturday, March 13

11:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Join us in the show barn lounge to shop our selection of used academy clothing!



Patchwork Pony Road Show

Saturday, March 20

8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Comfort Suites Johnson Creek Conference Center

Shop Patchwork Pony's expansive collection of academy clothing, and enjoy personal shopping help as well. Knollwood's own Sue Berget, mom of our 2018 Triple Crown winner, and clothing expert will be at the sale from 8:30 AM - 10:30 AM to help Knollwood Kids with selection and fit.

Please let Ann know if you'd like to meet Sue at the sale.



Knockout's 25th Award Banquet, Virtually!

Saturday, February 27

7:00 PM

Facebook Live

Tune in to Facebook Live to experience our unique 2021 awards banquet. 

We'll announce award winners, including counting down the Top 10 vote getters in the School Horse of the Year election.

We'll premiere the slide show, and enjoy Scott's annual 'State of the Farm' address as well.


Banquet News

The seat auction is going strong!

For a minimum of $50 donation to the Knockouts, you can win one of the 20 seats available to watch the banquet in person. Attendees will be eligible to help with the horse countdown, and with the reading of the award winners.

Place your bids in the school barn lounge until 6:00 PM on February 20.


Banquet swag bags!

For only $10, Kids can purchase a swag bag which includes a choice of drink, popcorn, a school horse of the year magnet, and a noisemaker.

For only $15, Knockout parents can purchase theirs which includes wine, cheese and chocolate, as well as the coveted magnet and noisemaker.

Orders are available in the school barn lounge, and are due at 1:00 PM on February 21.




Academy Meeting

Saturday, March 6

7:00 PM

Possibly interested in academy showing? Join us in the arena for an evening of demonstrations, information, and clarification. We'll  have parents of academy show riders as well as riders themselves to answer all your questions.

We'll schedule individual meetings after this event to work out individual plans for each rider.



IASPHA Spring Show

April 17-18

Beyond Stable Farm in Woodstock, Illinois

Join us at our first academy show of 2021, and one of our favorites as well. Walk trot and canter riders will show Saturday afternoon, while walk and trot stars, including riders making their show ring debuts will show on Sunday afternoon.

We can hardly wait!


Fill the Question Box!

What have you always wanted to know about horses or Knollwood? Put your question in the tin in the show barn lounge, and we'll answer it in an upcoming blog.



We hope you can join us for all the fun we have planned.

See you soon at the barn!