Posted by Ann Wilt

Black Friday is fast approaching, marking the start of the holiday season. Here at Knollwood, insiders know it means it’s time for our annual lesson sale. From Friday November 23 through Monday, December 31, all our lessons are 10% off. That’s right, you can purchase private lessons, group lessons, camps, horse shows, and even camps at a discount.

Riding lessons make great gifts for many, many reasons. Here are just a few:

 

Horses build confidence.

Even the smallest riders in our Tiny Tot program for riders between the ages of 3 and 6 can learn how to direct our fabulous lesson horses. All our riders learn that the horses may be big, but they’re very cooperative when you communicate with them so they understand. We love watching our students figure out that they are, in fact, in charge!

 

Horses build patience.

Horses see the world in a very different way than we do, and they don’t communicate with their voices. Very often.

These wonderful creatures teach us to be patient as they try to understand what we’re asking them to do. Riders quickly learn that horses’ minds are not like computer keyboards, and that they need constant communication and help.

 

Horses build compassion.

Horses need care. A lot of it.

Riders quickly learn that horses don’t do much for themselves, and that they’re reliant on us. Horses must be groomed, prepared for lessons, taken care of after lessons, and groomed again. In the summer, we also add baths after working to their spa schedule.

Sometimes, horses don’t feel well and require extra care, and sometimes injuries occur which need care and rehab.

We are happy to add that we keep all of our retired lesson horses at Knollwood, and our senior citizens receive attentive care in their golden years.

 

Horses build resilience.

Things don’t always go your way, and life isn’t fair. It’s just not.

Riders will struggle with a particular horse, or a specific skill. Riders may fall off, and may have a difficult lesson or show. Horses help us realize that we just have to work through the rough parts, and never give up. Learning isn’t always pretty.

 

Horses make you strong.

The core and leg strength developed while riding will make you the envy of your friends. You'll use those muscles the most while directing an 1800 pound horse, and have fun doing it!

Of course, moving saddles, throwing hay, giving leg-ups, and running with new riders will also help your fitness routine!

 

Horses will introduce you to new friends.

Horse people love to talk about horses and riding. At Knollwood, the social time before and after lessons is almost as much fun as the lesson itself.

For our younger riders, having ‘barn friends’ outside of school friends is a good thing. Riders can always come to the barn and be with fellow ‘horse people.’  Of course, this usually involves games of ‘horse show’ in the arena!

We also have an award winning youth group, The Knollwood Knockouts. A member of the American Saddlebred Horse Association's Youth Foundation, the club has been recognized by Saddlebred Rescue (twice) and the American Saddlebred Association of Wisconsin for their contributions.

Knollwood kids gather for service projects, street clean ups, and fun activities. They also staff the concession stands at our 3 in-barn shows as well as at the ASAW Summer Showcase in Cedarburg each August.

Their fundraising supports charitable causes as well as subsidizes their annual awards banquet held each February.

 

 

 

We’re the largest saddle seat lesson program in the area. We work with about 26 stellar lesson horses ranging from our patient beginner horses all the way to advanced horses that can take you into the show ring. The size of our program is a plus because we can offer opportunities that come with a large program.

We have a staff of instructors that works in the lesson program in addition to our owners, Scott and Carol Matton and their staff who work with the show horses. Of course, they also work with riders in the lesson program, and our advanced lesson program students have the opportunity to show the high end lesson horses in the show barn.

Our size allows us to offer both group and private lessons. Many students start in group lessons, and that’s a great way to begin. These 45 minute lessons offer plenty of repetition of basic skills at the beginning, and they are a very social affair with horse lovers coming together to learn.  We offer group lessons from beginners through advanced riders, and even offer an adults-only class on Thursdays at 7:30.

Private lessons are a great way to perfect skills, or to advance your skills very quickly. Since these lessons are half an hour in length, many riders choose to add a group lesson during the week to develop the leg and core strength it takes to succeed. Plus, we are strong believers in riding without stirrups!

Tiny Tot lessons are half hour private lessons for our youngest riders between the ages of 3 and 6. These lessons use a select group of our lesson horses who enjoy tiny riders. Our tiny tot riders learn the same skills on our fabulous older horses, and even get to show at our 3 In Barn Shows each year.

Summer camps are a tradition here at Knollwood. We offer 4 weeks of ‘Classic Camp’ for riders who want to almost live with the lesson horses. Campers learn how to groom and tack before each ride, and how to bathe and take care of them after. Campers also learn about horses through hands on activities and enjoy an afternoon of horsey crafts with our friends from Soul Fire Art Studio.

Our more advanced riders enjoy weeks of camp designed especially for them. These advanced camps focus on show ring skills and strategy with lots of fun thrown in!

We love to show! Our students can compete in 3 In-Barn shows each year. These shows are held in our own arena, and offer competition for our riders on our horses. It’s a wonderful way to introduce riders to the horse show world.

In addition to the In Barn shows, we travel to about 12 academy shows each season where our academy horses and riders compete against other lesson horses in the Midwest. We have so much fun!

In addition to our lesson program, Knollwood Farm offers a full service training facility for champion American Saddlebreds. For riders looking to move up to the world of show horses, there’s nowhere better.

Scott and Carol have produced many, many National and World Champions. This year, a rider who came up through our lesson program won the coveted Triple Crown of Saddle Seat Equitation. Haley became only the 13th rider in history to win the UPHA Challenge Cup National Final, the Good Hands National Final, and the USEF Saddle Seat Medal Final. 

Haley is the third Knollwood rider to achieve this rare feat, with Sarah Thordsen ‘doing the triple’ in 2001, while Nick Maupin rocked it in 2010.

 

Want to join the adventure?

You can purchase lessons online at www.KnollwoodFarmLTD.com and use discount code HOLIDAY2019 to receive 10% off through December 31.

You can also call Ann or Nancy at 262-367-2391, and we’d love to talk about a program that will work for you.

We’d love to meet you, and you’re welcome to come out and visit at any time. If you’d like an official tour, please give a call so we can schedule a  guide to answer all your questions.

 

We love what we do.