0 comments / Posted by Ann Wilt

It’s question and answer blog day!

But first, let’s check in on the goings on at Knollwood …

The Knockouts hosted a festive holiday party last Saturday night. The messy weather didn’t stop 60+ Knockouts from running all over the farm on the annual scavenger hunt.

The pizza dinner from the Picnic Basket was....well, pretty much devoured before the campaign speeches and election for 2023 Knockout board members.

While the votes were tabulated, the 2022 Knockout officers ran a wild gift exchange with some really great gifts, including a beach towel with pics of Knollwood lesson horses.


When the election results were final, we announced the Knockout team for 2023.

Adrienne and Thea are co-presidents

Brooklyn is secretary.

Board members are:






Our fantastic 2022 team will officially pass leadership to the new team at the Knockout banquet on February 18.

Be sure to contact any officer or board member with ideas for Knockout activities or fundraisers for next year.


On to the questions!

We get lots of inquiries from students and their families about all things Knollwood. Many of the questions are pretty much universal, so let’s share some good information!


Why are some of the horses so difficult to keep going?

It's by design.

When riders are starting their education, they need slow steady horses and a header. Many of our beginner horses will trot along with the instructor alongside as riders learn to post the trot and steer. We hope you can admire the steady speed of the trot, which we sometimes refer to as the ‘metronome’ to allow the rookie to post consistently.

Once the rider is somewhat independent, it’s time to learn to keep the horse going on its own. Riding consists of both physical and mental work. Riders learn to listen to their horse’s movements and mannerisms to feel when their trusty steed is slowing down and needs a reminder to continue.

Riders learn persistence in keeping the professional starter model horses engaged with them and trotting around the arena while learning to trot, stop, and steer.

These horses are priceless, as they build skills and confidence to let riders advance to some of our more energetic teachers.


What are the jog carts used for?

They’re a vital part of our horse training operation.

Because Scott, Carol, and Lin work the show horses before regular lesson hours, many riding school customers never get to see jogging and other training activities.

Horses are driven for physical stamina, balance, and an overall workout without weight on their backs. The length and intensity of the workout depends on each individual horse, and where they are in their development.

It’s also a teaching tool, as all of our young horses spend countless driving hours before they’re ever ridden.




Why does Richmond come into the arena?

We're not really sure, but our best guess is he thinks he runs the place.



Why do students ride bareback or in a saddle without their stirrups?


Riding is a challenging sport in which you try to control a large animal’s thoughts and physical movements. The strength gained without stirrups is invaluable for a rider’s success.



How do Knollwood Kids become helpers in the lesson program?

First and foremost, take great care of your horse before and after your lessons. We look for riders who respect their horse every lesson and treat them like they would like to be treated. This means bathing and grooming after lessons in the summer, toweling and drying in the winter, and making sure your horse is perfect before you take his halter off and turn him loose.

We also look for riders who reach out and help other, less experienced riders who need assistance with their horses.

Most importantly, we look for riders who are kind to all of their barnmates.



Why do you have two Hafflinger horses for lessons?

We love Jelly, and when another of these wonderful souls became available, we snatched him up.

And, it confuses people to have two horses that look so much alike. It’s fun!


What is academy showing, and who’s eligible?

Academy showing is when we take our riders and lesson horses away from home to compete against riders in other professionally run lesson programs. We’re traveling to 11 shows this season in Wisconsin and Illinois, and we love it almost as much as the horses do.

Anyone who has competed in Knollwood shows is eligible.

Please talk to your instructor if you’d like to hear more about the process.


Why do some horses go out at night, and some live in box stalls?

Our tried and true beginner and advanced beginner horses go out at night. They live a great life of eating all the hay they’d like out there, although some horses like Fred also enjoy sleeping in the giant round bales. They boys also enjoy recess out there, chasing each other and playing on their hind legs.

All this activity helps them pay attention in their lessons.

The box stall horses are our academy horses who travel with us, are show barn lesson horses, or our retirees.

Our academy horses and retirees go out for recess during the day when the weather is good. Because the academy horses have a lighter lesson load and they don’t teach beginners, they don’t need as much time out.



Actually, what is an academy horse?

Simply put, academy horses are those who travel to shows with us. Our team is an incredible group of Saddlebreds and Morgans who teach our riders how to show.

Riders who have the privilege of riding these gents have committed to showing at the academy level and to learning the many lessons these souls have to teach.

Within the academy horse group, we have quite a breadth of different teachers, from Klem to Nacho. They’re all experienced in the show ring themselves, and do a wonderful job of teaching and challenging our academy rider team. They’re priceless.



Why does Klem talk to much?

He just has a lot to say. Oh, and the treats …



What are the Knollwood Knockouts?

They’re our award winning youth group, part of the American Saddlebred Horse and Breeders Association Youth Program.

They perform service projects, like adopting families for Christmas, hosting a big food drive each May, and cleaning up Oakwood and Nagawicka Roads two times a year.

They have meetings at the farm, and run the concession stand at the in-barn shows, and host fundraisers for the club, such as our annual car wash at Piggly Wiggly in Hartland.

Parents Night Out, and fun outings like bowling and mini golf are all part of the fun.

Membership is only $5 a year for riders under 17, and is $10 for adults.

Members enjoy the holiday party free of charge, and receive an invitation to the annual awards banquet which is being held on Saturday, February 18.

Parent involvement is always welcomed, too!




Does Hazel love everyone in the world?

Yes, yes she does.  Especially little people.


Please keep your questions coming! We know some things about horses seem mysterious at first, but there are no secrets. We’d love to help you understand why we love doing what we do!



Coming Up?

Enrollment Sale

Through December 31

You can purchase any amount of lessons and receive 10% off. Your payment will be applied to your account.

New riders can purchase a gift card of any amount and receive 10% of their purchase using promo code Holiday2023 at checkout.


Horse of the Year Election

Through December 31

Knockouts, renew your membership for 2023 and receive a ballot to vote for 2022’s lesson horse of the year.

Not yet a member? We’d love to have you. Your instructor or office admin can help you join the fun.



Holiday Closures

December 24, 25, 31 and January 1

Knollwood will take a few days off for the holidays. We’ll credit accounts for the missed lessons.



Midwest Saddleseat Consignment

January 6 

Jen is coming to town with all of her consignment goods. Whether you’re looking for your first academy outfit, or are looking to update your look, it’s a great collection, and Jen offers fabulous customer service.

Jen will be set up at the Hilton Garden Inn at Pabst Farms in Oconomowoc.

We have a private shopping session on Friday night, January 6 from 7-9 PM, before her store opens to the public on Saturday. 



Scott’s Lesson

January 28 at 6:00 PM

The winning bidders who paid $450 for the priviledge of giving Scott a riding lesson will offer their expertise on January 28 at 6:00 PM.

If you’d like to watch the extravaganza, we’re offering the chance to audit the lesson for $5 a person. All proceeds will benefit the Knockouts.



Knockout Banquet

February 18 at 6:30 PM

All Knockouts are invited to join us at the Legend at Merrill Hills for our awards banquet.

Invitations will be mailed early in 2023.



IASPHA Spring Show

February 15-16

Our first academy show of the 2023 season!




See you soon at the barn!


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