Last weekend’s IASPHA Fall show marked the end of Knollwood's academy show season. We traveled to 12 shows through Wisconsin and Illinois, we showed inside and outside and we were at shows that ranged from all-academy shows to big ‘A’ shows. It all gave our 46 academy stars, including eight new competitors, many, many great experiences and adventures. We learned many things, and would like to share some of them.
First of all, we had fun. A ton of fun.
We shared prep time while doing hair and makeup, and walking patterns.
We kidnapped a kitten in hopes of a large ransom payoff....but it didn’t work.
We spent quality time with Hazel and Izzy.
We made friends with riders from other barns.
We became better friends with our teammates.
We Perfected Sportsmanship.
We cheered each other on, no matter who won.
We included others in the process, just ask Owen from Woodwind.
We made friends from other barns and asked them to join our celebrations. Just ask Payton from Rose Tree.
We ran victory passes in pattern classes without our horses, and when Team Knollwood didn’t win, we met the victor at the gate to offer congratulations.
We Practiced Resilience.
We’ve changed our schedule on a dime and our riders made it work.
We introduced Pumpkin the Magnificent to the academy world in short order. Riders who had to change horses at the last minute relished the chance to show the newbie, and even won some classes.
We had to learn patterns in a hurry and welcomed the challenge.
We didn’t always have the rides or results we hoped for, and realized those were learning moments that build better character.
We Are A Team.
Knollwood is known for its teamwork.
At academy shows, someone always forgets pins, hair supplies, or a belt. There’s always someone there happy to help out and donate what’s missing.
At shows where both the show and academy riders compete at the same venue, our show riders love to help out the academy riders. It’s a real confidence boost to be helped by your champion teammates.
Our academy riders in turn are on hand to cheer on their mentors when the show classes are competing.
Respect is All.
Riders quickly learn that many hands go into a successful horse show.
Most of all, riders learn to respect their horses who work for them with ears up.
They respect the judge’s decision.
They respect other riders’ successes.
They respect teammates’ successes.
They respect the show staff.
They respect the process.
Mentors Keep It All Going
Our show mentors for this season have been rock stars. Hanna and Natalie have been there taking great care of the best academy horses in the world, making sure riders are ready for their classes, and running tack changes like the efficiency experts they are. Heck, at the IASPHA Fall show, they did a timed tack change in 23 seconds!
Even more importantly, these ladies support riders while they prepare to show. Hanna is a master hair bun designer, and she and Natalie straighten numbers, tape boots and gloves, ‘poof’ ties, and make sure the total look is ‘Knollwood ready.’
Our mentors are seasoned show riders, so they can offer support and advice to the riders in-between classes while the instructors are coaching other riders.
Education is Continuous.
Riders learn something every time they come in contact with a horse.
Over the course of a show season, riders learn about ring position, checking for diagonals and leads, and finishing rails.
Riders will learn from their missteps in order to learn a new lesson next time.
Our academy riders build confidence through the season of learning. Even our riders new to the ring in 2023 looked like seasoned pros at our show last weekend.
We couldn’t be more proud of their progress!
If you think your rider might be interested in joining our academy team for 2024, please plan on attending our parent meeting on Saturday, November 18 at 6:00 PM.
We’ll discuss the whole process from schedules, lesson requirements, clothing, costs and benefits, and what the process can do for your rider.
Because we’re discussing the details, including finances, we ask that only parents attend this meeting.
We’re hosting a kid friendly meeting on Saturday, December 2 at 6:00 PM. Riders and parents are asked to join us in the arena to see current academy riders in their show gear. We’ll also have some experienced show parents on hand to answer questions.
Please sign up in the school barn lounge if you can join us on the 18th. Each attendee will receive a folder of information, and we want to make sure to have enough folders for everyone.
We hope to see you there!
What’s Coming Up?
UPHA National Championship American Royal Horse Show
It’s time for the grand finale!
The best in the country will gather in Kansas City to compete for national championships. The show also features the UPHA Challenge Cup National Finals and the biggie, the USEF Medal Final.
Team Knollwood will be there in numbers, and we’ll keep you updated.
Woodwear Orders Due
Don’t miss out on the perfect gifts!
The signature jacket and the new backpack are wonderful presents for your Knollwood Kid, and their names are embroidered on both!
Academy Parents Meeting
Parents’ join us to learn all about our fantastic academy showing program and all it has to offer our riders both in and out of the ring. Please sign up in the school barn lounge.
Your instructor will be in touch to schedule a makeup.
Parents Night Out
All Knockouts are invited to join us for a festive night as we enjoy dinner and games. The main event of the evening is wrapping gifts for our adopted families. Gifts will be delivered to our families for the holiday season.
Not yet a member, we’d love to have you. Please talk to your instructor or office admin for help.
The event is $25, and can be paid in cash or by a check made out to the Knollwood Knockouts.
Please sign up and pay in the school barn lounge.
Polls Open for School Horse of the Year Election
The best election is starting!
Pay your 2024 Knockout dues, and receive a ballot for School Horse of the Year. The winner will be announced at the banquet on February 24 at Merrill Hills.
Stirrup Orders Due to Ann
Stirrup leathers and irons make the perfect holiday gift!
Let Ann know you'd like to purchase them by December 1, and she'll order the appropriate sizes for your rider. You'll get the best equipment out there from Freedmans, the same brand used by our show barn competitors.
Friendly reminder that all academy show riders need their own stirrup leathers and irons.
Academy Demo Night
Parents and riders are invited to join us in the arena for an evening of demos and fun. Experienced academy parents will be there to answer questions as well.
Knockout Holiday Party and Election
All Knockouts are invited to join our annual holiday celebration. It’s a real gala with pizza, a scavenger hunt, campaign speeches, an election for officers and board members for 2024, and even an optional gift exchange.
If you’re not a Knockout member, it’s a great time to join. Just talk to your instructor or office admin.
Christmas Eve and Day
December 24 and 25
Your instructor will be in contact to schedule a makeup
New Year’s Eve and Day
December 31 and January 1
Happy New Year!!
See you soon at the barn, or at the in-gate!