1 comment / Posted by Ann Wilt

Thank you for all the follow up questions this week after our Q and A blog last Wednesday.

Please keep the questions coming. We love what we do, and enjoy sharing the 'Why' of it all with horse lovers at Knollwood. 


Why do some horses wear shoes?

Most of our ‘outside’ lesson horses who enjoy time at the round bale each night don’t wear shoes because they just don’t need them. A couple of the boys need some extra protection or support, so they wear shoes on their front feet. It’s important that the ‘outside boys’ only wear front shoes, as they could hurt their playmates if they kicked out with shod back feet.

Most of our academy show level horses wear shoes of some sort to protect their feet and legs, or to help them with balance in their stride, or to correct a problem.

Shoeing is an art and a science, and we’re lucky to have master shoer Scott to take care of the lesson horses. If the lights are on in the small barn at night, you know it’s Scott shoeing away.

Someone also asked when Scott shoes horses. Anytime he can.


Why do the box stall horses get late hay at night?

In nature, horses are constantly grazing, thus keeping some food in their stomach. Horses today often spend lots of time inside, and can’t continually graze, leading to empty stomachs.

Horses are prone to stomach ulcers, and empty stomachs can lead to problems. The inside school horses get some hay before we close the barn at night to keep some food in their fragile digestive systems.


Why do the show horses often wear ‘those things over their eyes’ while working?

Great question.

Those are called blinkers, and they help to keep horses focused. When wearing these, the horse can see what’s in front of him, but he can’t see everything around him.

Because a horse’s eyes are on the side of their head, they have almost a panoramic view of the world. Blinkers help them pay attention to the rider or driver, and not be distracted by their friend across the arena, or what’s happening in the middle of the ring.

Horses always wear blinkers while driving. Without the aid, horses would think the cart was chasing them, leading to very bad consequences.



Who is the current school horse of the year?

It’s perfect Baxter, who’s officially known as A Champagne Toast. His Daddy, Heir to Champagne, was a world champion as was his mom, Lady Luck.

He’s the ultimate gentleman, loves his job, and really loves going to academy shows. He’s taught countless riders the joy of riding a Saddlebred, and as such, enjoys living in the corner office.

Please don’t vote for him in this year’s election! A horse can only win the title once in their lifetime, so Baxter and Sparky are ineligible.

Don’t forget to vote for your favorite by December 31 when you renew your Knockout dues.


Why does Fred snore?

We suspect it might have something to do with his ample girth size.




Why do horses have their own bridles, but not their own saddles?

Each lesson horses has their own bridle because each one of the boys is unique. Their heads range in size from Pony Frank to Pumpkin, and the bits in their mouths vary a lot. Many of the horses have very soft mouths and enjoy smooth bits, while some of the more energetic horses need a little more help containing their enthusiasm, so their bits are a little different.

Each horse has his bridle designed just for him to help him work his best.


Saddles are based on a rider’s size, and they fit all horses. We’re generous with saddle pads to make sure horses are comfortable whether they’re sporting a park tiny tot saddle or a 22 incher.

Riders will outgrow saddles and move up to bigger sizes as they mature, too.



How many lives has Richmond used up?

At last count, everyone’s favorite yellow and white cat had used up three lives. We’ll have to check with his personal vet and medical record to be sure it’s correct.



Where do you find lesson horses?

Anywhere we can.

Many of our horses come from other lesson programs who have too many horses, or too many horses of the same level. Poppy, Sport, and Bilbo came to us this way.

Some horses come from keeping our eyes on instructor Facebook groups. Pumpkin and Leon came to us through instructor networking.

Some horses are actually born and bred Knollwood horses. Hugo, Dexter, Hooper, and Vaughn were all born at the farm and decided they had no interest in being show horses.

We’re fortunate to have these home grown  professionally started horses coming into our program, which allows the most advanced students to work on finishing these horses out for lesson use.

We’re always looking for good thinking horse teachers!



Was Hazel Belle Boxer Matton a model in a former life?

We were thinking the same thing. We're not sure how to verify her employment in former lives, but we're pretty sure she was the supermodel of her time.



What’s Coming Up?


Holiday Closures

We’ll be closed for the holidays on December 24, 25, 31, and January 1.

All lessons will be credited to your accounts.



Enrollment Sale Through 12/31

Current riders can prepay enrollment for any amount and receive 10% off their purchase. You can make your purchase on the website using promo code Holiday2023, or your instructor or office admin would be happy to help.



The Election Continues Thru 12/31!

Knockouts, be sure to pay your 2023 dues by December 31 to receive your ballot for the School Horse of the Year election. It’s a tight race right now, so be sure to cast your ballot.



Midwest Saddleseat Consignment

Friday, January 6 from 7-9 PM

Hilton Garden Inn in Oconomowoc

Whether you’re looking for a complete outfit, or just want to change it up a little, please join our private shopping time on Friday night, January 6th before the sale opens to the public on Saturday.



In-House Academy Clothing Sale

Saturday, February 4

11 AM to 2 PM

Join us in the show barn lounge to shop Knollwood’s used clothing collection. We’ll have academy parents on hand to help with fit and outfit creation.

Have clothes you’ve outgrown at home? Please bring them to the farm by January 28.

We ask that they be on a hanger, and be tagged with your name, phone number, email, and price for each item.



Knollwood Knockout Banquet

Saturday, February 18

6:30 PM

The Legend at Merrill Hills

All Knockouts are invited to our first in-person banquet since 2020!

Awards, dinner, slide show, and dancing all in one night.

Invitations will go out at the beginning of January.




Academy Vest Measuring

Saturday, February 25

Time TBA

We’re so excited to be working with our tailor Trish for the 2023 season to create custom vests.

We’ll make appointments for vest measurement and fabric selection for custom vests and shirts.

Please talk to Ann if you’re interested in an appointment.



IASPHA Spring Show

April 15-16, 2023

Beyond Stable Farm, Woodstock IL

Our first show of the season!



See you at the barn!






  • Posted On March 24, 2023 by jane

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