Let’s face it, Team Knollwood has been fortunate to have had some of the best lesson horses ever.
Looking back, we can identify the characteristics that made them grand, as well as some traits that we appreciate, but are not required.
If you watch many beginner or tiny tot lessons, you’ll start to believe that Sparky and Pony Frank were saints in their former lives.
They take beginner hands and posting without even thinking about it. They wait for extended periods while riders learn to switch crops, lengthen and shorten reins, and work through transitions.
After a beginner lesson, their next one may be teaching a rider’s first bareback lesson, or teaching a rookie how to trot a circle or a serpentine.
They enjoy their work, as evidenced by their ‘ears up’ in the arena, and their eyes on their instructor.
Wish List #1
While some lesson horses are physically quite beautiful, most of them are a little plain on the outside and very, very beautiful on the inside.
In our eyes, they're all beautiful.
Great lesson horses love people.
We’ve all seen it, a little rider getting off their horse and immediately starting a conversation with their horse. The horse usually acts quite interested, and probably is.
Watch riders while they’re performing patterns, and you’ll often see them pet their horse after a difficult section, and you can actually see the horse soften and appreciate the rider.
Lesson horses love their people.
While at horse shows, these horses are constantly trying to touch riders or show techs in the warm up ring.
Wish List #2
How a horse is put together is important to his movement, and even his ageing process. Since the physical demands of a lesson horse are quite different than for a top line show horse, our lesson horses can have some flaws.
Have you ever noticed the length of Baxter’s short front legs? Have you noticed Leon’s straight shoulders and knees? Nope, because they do their jobs so happily.
Great lesson horses must be able to teach a number of lessons to different levels of riders.
Jelly may be lazy at times, but he loves tiny tots, has a perfect jog to teach posting, and can also execute a precise pattern, and LOVES games at pattern camps.
You’ll see him teaching riders from 3 to 73, in privates, groups, and camps.
Wish List #3
A nifty color
Sure, 'horses of a different color' are interesting to look at, and we have some representatives at the moment. With the two Hafflingers, Mac, and the grays of Earl and Sparky, Knollwood is kind of a colorful place.
While it makes the arena a little more exciting to look at, you truly can't beat the sight of chestnut Fred serpentining with a 5 year old, or of chestnut Beau teaching a little show rider how to keep his head up.
A Unique Lesson
Every great lesson horse finds his ‘niche’ lesson.
Knollwood has many lesson horses, and we call them the ‘library.’
Need to teach a rider to canter? Go get Leon or Hugo
Need to teach a sitting trot? Go get Sparky or Bilbo
Need to teach keeping heads up? Go get Pumpkin or Jelly
Need to teach patience on leads? Go get Thomas or Poppy
Need to teach sitting and slowing? Go get Bee
We’ve had some legendary lesson horses, and continue to develop more all the time,
Soon you’ll have your chance to vote for Knollwood’s Lesson Horse of the Year!
Starting on December 1, you’ll receive a ballot for the election when you pay your 2024 Knockout dues.
Polls will stay open until 12/31, and results will be announced at the Knockout banquet on February 24.
What’s Coming Up?
Last chance for Woodwear orders!
Parent Meeting for New Academy Riders
Join us at 6:00 PM in the show barn lounge to learn about Knollwood’s academy show program.
We’ll talk about schedules, clothing, costs and commitments, and all that can be learned from academy showing.
Please sign up in the school barn lounge so we know how many info folders to prepare.
No lessons, your instructor will schedule a makeup.
Holiday Sale starts!
Get 10% off any enrollment payments.
Our promo runs through December 31.
Parents Night Out
All Knockouts are invited to join fellow members as they hang out with the Knockout officers and board members. Partiers will eat dinner, play games, and wrap gifts for our adopted families.
If you’re not yet a member, we’d be happy to have you join! You can sign up with your instructor or admin.
PNO participants, please sign up and pay your $25 fee in the school barn lounge.
The school horse of the year election begins at 8:00 AM.
Pay your 2024 Knockout dues, and place your vote!
The winner will be announced at the club banquet on February 24.
Stirrup orders due to Ann
They’re the perfect holiday gift!
We’ll place your order for Freedman’s irons and leathers, our supplier for all of our show riders. We’ll get the correct iron size and stirrup leather length for your rider.
Remember, all academy riders must own their own stirrups.
Academy Demo Night
Join us in the arena to watch some of our academy stars in all their show ring finery. They’ll be there with their parents to answer questions for kids and parents alike.
Please sign up in the school barn lounge so we’ll have enough handouts and snacks.
Knockout Holiday Party and Knockout Election
All Knockouts are invited to join the holiday party. Wear layers so you’ll be ready for the scavenger hunt, which can take you all over the farm!
We’ll elect new officers after dinner, and even host an optional gift exchange.
If you haven’t yet joined the Knockouts, please do! You’ll find membership envelopes in the school barn, and your instructor or admin is happy to help.
December 24 and 25
December 31, January 1
Happy New Year!
Knockout Award Banquet
Merrill Hills CC
See you soon at the barn, or at the in-gate!