Photo by Hanna Agathen
The Easter Bunny has appeared, the grass is greening up, and the barn doors are open!
We’re out of Wisconsin hibernation, and the questions have been pouring in.
We know that the horse world can be confusing, and we really appreciate your questions.
Let’s take a few minutes to answer your new batch of queries.
Why don’t all the small riders learn on ponies?
While we all adore Pony Frank, he is an unusual pony. Frank is patient, and follows even the tiniest rider’s directions. Most of the time.
Many ponies have minds of their own, and are, shall we say, sassy?
Because of their short legs, ponies take really little strides, making posting tough for our newest, smallest riders.
You just can’t beat the beautiful jog trots of Sparky, Bilbo, Fred, and Hugo. They trot like equine metronomes, allowing even the tiniest of riders to get the posting rhythm.
Their soft mouths make steering a breeze for our small riders, and their brains are absolutely trustworthy.
Are there any openings for Summer Riding School?
We have a few spots in our new 3 day session from July 5-7. This shorter session is designed for new riders and will offer a good base for riders new to Knollwood.
If you have any friends who’d like to try riding for a few days, please let them know about this special session. It’s only $450, and it can be purchased online or by calling the school barn.
Why do some horses shy at the show barn or screen doors?
Horses see really differently than we do.
With their eyes on the sides of their heads, and being animals of prey, horses ‘see’ the world very differently than we do.
As riders progress in their education, it’s important that they progress with their horse teachers. These quirks teach the rider how a horse thinks, and how to help the horse pay attention to the rider instead of the perceived danger.
Riders learn quickly that the door can look fine for 10 passes, but on the 11th a door might be scary. Or, the horse might see something shiny on the ground, or there might be light coming from behind a door, or someone might drop some light colored shavings on the ground…
You get it, if it’s different, horses might think it’s a concern. Riding is a mental activity as well as a physical one, and our horses are pros at teaching riders the way through a horse,s brain.
The reward is true teamwork.
The rider in my house just turned 10. When can they become a helper?
Becoming a Knollwood helper is a privilege earned, and it requires much more than being 10 years old.
Helpers are, under supervision, responsible for grooming and tacking horses for lessons, running with beginners, performing barn chores, and representing Knollwood to customers and fellow workers.
If your rider wants to be a helper, talk to their instructor and make arrangements to come early and learn to prep your own horse for lessons. Then be sure you leave time to take care of your horse after lessons. Prep and aftercare will take a minimum of 30 minutes each.
It really helps if the helper hopeful attends summer riding school where the Knollwood Kids learn all about horse care with lots of chance to practice skills.
While we don’t have any currently scheduled, Brenda runs helper training sessions throughout the year. We’re currently well staffed for helpers and are not looking to add to our roster.
We’re proud of our helper crew. If you’d like to help in the future, take great care of your lesson horse, offer to help others, and be kind to everyone you meet.
Why do some horses wear boots or wraps on their legs? Are they hurt?
Horses wear leg protection for a couple of reasons, but rest assured these horses aren’t injured.
Some of our horses have been horses for a while, and they’ve had some injuries in their past, or need some support because they’re not put together perfectly. You’ll see polo wraps on these horses to prevent aggravating old injuries, or to support aging muscles.
As you know, our horses and instructors love to teach patterns. When riders are learning, turns can sometimes be a little, shall we say, less than perfect. Many of our pattern teachers wear boots to prevent legs hitting each other while guiding the newest show ring stars.
Do you ever lease horses so my child can always ride the same horse?
We keep a large string of lesson horses so our riders always have a challenge awaiting them. Our focus is on progression of skills. We want our riders to learn from as many of our horses as possible as they improve their riding.
Even our show horse customers who own their own horses ride the lesson horses during weekly lessons to keep progressing.
Saddlebreds are so pretty. Why aren’t all of the lesson horses saddlebreds?
The first reason is simple: Supply and demand.
We’re always on the lookout for more horses like Hugo, Thomas, and Dear, Sweet, Leon. Unfortunately, they’re really hard to find.
Other breeds of horses fulfill important roles in our lesson program.
Sparky and Bilbo and the other beginner lesson horses possess a really slow trot, and an unflappable temperament that is special to them.
Pony Frank makes even the smallest rider feel comfortable.
Superman Pumpkin teaches riders to stay back in the saddle and keep a horse’s head up like no one else.
Picasso and Jelly can carry large adults.
While we love saddlebreds, we love all of our lesson horses and appreciate all they do for our riders.
What’s Coming Up?
IASPHA Spring Show
We’re off to show season 2023!
Come visit and cheer us on at Beyond Stable Farm in Woodstock, Illinois.
Come wish Hugo a happy 16th birthday!
Bring a Friend Day
Have you always wanted to show a friend why you love riding so much?
You can help your friend get a lesson horse ready, and then be their helper for a group lesson.
Participants are required to take care of their horse both before and after the lesson.
It’s only $45, please sign up in the school barn lounge. Payment will be billed to your ICP account.
Our academy horses and riders are back to Woodstock for the UPHA Spring show.
Please consider a road trip to hang out and cheer us on!
Food Drive 2023
Starts May 10
Start bringing your food kits for the Food Pantry of Waukesha County, and earn a coveted spot on a Knollwood Olympic team.
Just collect a minimum of 5 food kits, and you’re eligible for the games on June 10. Donations are due June 3.
FASH Horse Show
St Paul, Minnesota
The show horses are off!
Knollwood will make their 2023 show debut with many of its stars traveling to St Paul.
Who’s up for a road trip?
Knollwood Spring Show
Our lesson program stars will take over the arenas to show off their progress made in the off season.
We’re looking forward to a fabulous weekend of friends, new adventures, and the best lesson horses in the world.
It takes a medium sized volunteer army to pull off a 3 day show.
Please consider donating to a gift basket in the school barn.
Please consider sponsoring a class or 2
Please consider volunteering some of your time here.
Our in barn shows are the biggest fundraisers of the season for the Knockouts, and are the major source of funding for the annual awards banquet. Your support is so appreciated.
Photo by Hanna Agathen
May School Horse Birthdays
May 6 Murphy
May 7 Nacho
May 11 Duke
May 16 Dexter
See you at the barn!