Posted by Ann Wilt

Sure, 2020 has been an experience none of us would like to repeat. 

Let’s forget about all the ruckus of this year, and instead focus on some of the positive changes Team Knollwood made when we had a little extra time to think.

Almost three months of quarantine afforded us some time to look at our businesses and make some positive changes going forward. Of course,  we would much rather have been teaching and traveling, but we made lemonade out of a lemony situation, and we’re all benefitting from the positive attitude we embraced.

 

 

Leon

First of all, the night before we closed for the shutdown, we welcomed Leon (Keep the Change, Sir) to our lesson horse string. He had plenty of time to work with instructors and get used to Knollwood before he officially started his new job. A natural camera hog, Leon was a star in our Facebook Live pasture broadcasts throughout the spring.

And now? He’s just perfect.

 

Outdoor In-Barn Shows

The shutdown required the cancellation of our spring show, but we refused to give up on our entire in-barn season. SO, we moved it outside!

We put on two shows for our academy riders using both our little outdoor ring for the walk and trot stars, and the really big outdoor ring for our walk, trot, and canter riders.

Riders loved it, parents loved it, and horses loved it so much that we’re going to make outdoor shows the plan for the future.

 

Enrollment Program

We looked at our academy program and searched for ways to work smarter.  After much research, we created our cool new enrollment program for 2021.

While customers will now pay monthly and include add ons to their tuition, we have freed up a few days each week on the bookkeeping end. We’re happy to say that our enrollment project is complete, and we’re looking forward to spending more time in lessons, and less time playing accountant.

 

 

New Products

We also looked for new ways to introduce customers to Team Knollwood.  We launched two popular programs for our new customers, mini camps, and Welcome to Knollwood mini groups. We’ve had a blast watching new Knollwood Kids fall in love with riding and the best lesson horses in the world.

 

More Private Instruction

We’ve met many, many new friends coming out of these new programs, and out of our summer riding schools. As a result, we’re teaching more lessons than ever before, and almost all of them are private instruction. These lessons make it easy  to social distance, AND our new riders are progressing so fast before our very eyes.  We couldn’t be happier with the great strides these riders are making.

We plan on using group lessons strategically to help riders continue in their riding education, and to keep up that leg strength that is a hallmark of Knollwood riders.

The saddle-no-stirrup lifestyle is alive and well.

 

More Investment

Our riders learning in private lessons are much more invested in their riding, as well.  They’re already asking for camp and show schedules for this spring and summer!  (We’ll provide all that information as soon as we receive horse show dates for 2021!)

And, we’re having to expand our academy stirrup wall as more Knollwood Kids are receiving their own irons and leathers for the holidays!

 

 

Wonderful Show Season

Our show horses benefitted from extra time with their trainers during their shutdown months. But boy, did they miss their people. They looked like total rock stars when they hit the ring at Summerfun.

With limited shows this season, the shows we DID attend featured deep competition and lots of enthusiasm. We’re proud to say that ALL of our equitation riders finished in the top 10 of at least one of the national finals.

Our academy riders were stars as well. We only made it to seven academy shows instead of our usual 12, but the excitement was contagious. The first local association published their academy high point awards today, and Knollwood is well represented.

 

We can’t wait for this year to be over so we can start fresh in 2021.

We’re glad that all of our Team Knollwood members stuck with us through this crazy year.

 

What’s coming up?

 

Holiday Closures

We’ll be closed for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve, and New Year's Day.  Please contact your instructor if you’d like to schedule make ups, or we’ll credit your account for the missed lessons.

 

Midwest Saddleseat Consignment Shopping

Looking to update your show ring attire? Join us Friday, January 8th at the Brookfield Hilton Garden Inn. Team Knollwood has private shopping hours from 7 PM to 9 PM before the sale opens to the public on January 9th.

 

Academy Show Meetings

Instructors will be meeting with academy show riders in February to plan shows for the  2021 show season. These meetings are a great chance to discuss where your rider wants to go, and to devise a plan to get there. We can hardly wait, but we must wait for show dates from the hosting organizations.

 

Knollwood Election 2020

 

The polls close on December 31, unless Richmond the Poll Watcher sleeps through the deadline. Be sure to pay your Knockout dues and vote!

 

Knollwood on Sale!

 

Here’s your chance to get gift certificates and prepayment of enrollment fees all at 10% off. Simply use the promo code HOLIDAY2021 on our website, or talk to your instructor. We’re happy to help!

 

 

See you at the barn.

Masked, of course!