0 comments / Posted by Ann Wilt

The 2020 show season is fast approaching, and we’ve had some time to reflect on the last year's campaign.  You’ve probably heard many, many times that we love academy showing, and wish that all of our riders had the chance to experience all that it has to offer.  After some thinking, it all boils down to the power it instills in our riders who compete on the academy level.  Here are some reflections on how the 12 academy shows each year empower our riders.


The Power of Friendship  


Traveling to horse shows with other Knollwood families helps you meet new friends, and strengthen existing friendships.  Early mornings in the hair salon, time spent as spectators, watching and supporting friends as they show and hanging out after the show are all important parts of the experience.


Heck, this year two of our walk and trot academy riders even had fun with a policeman after their moms locked keys in the car.  That police officer now knows ALL ABOUT Knollwood, its academy horses, and what showing is all about.

You just never know what friend you’ll make on a given day!


The Power of Teamwork

Knollwood is known for its team mentality, and it shows at academy shows. Forgot something in your kaboodle? Another rider will lend you what you need.  Ripped your jods at the last minute? A show mom will make repairs.  Forgot your saddle? We’ll find one for you  to use.  Need a pep talk after a tough go? Riders and families are always there for you. You’re never alone.


The Power of Goal Setting

One of the great things about academy showing is that there are many levels of competition.  Our newest show stars might set a goal of a clean ride with correct diagonals throughout their class.  A more experienced rider might ride a tougher horse in a harder division and try to keep him in alignment throughout the class.

Goals will constantly evolve as riders progress in their riding education. Our riders are all on different places in their education, and have many different long term goals.  Some want to dabble in showing while others want to make it to the show horse division as quickly as possible.  We’re there to help take you wherever you’d like to go.


The Power of Resilience

As in life, horse showing isn’t always pretty.  Learning and showing are challenges, and horses quickly teach us to pick up and try again.


We like to call it ‘broadening the base.’

There will be missed diagonals and leads, forgotten patterns, and well, things that don’t go as well as we’d like. These imperfect moments will teach riders a lot.  They learn to stay collected, fix the problem, and go on like nothing went awry.


The Power of Mental Organization

Imagine riding into an arena by yourself and performing a pattern with your horse when everyone’s eyes are focused on you.  That’s what we ask of our horses and riders when they perform individual work, or compete in a pattern classes.

We LOVE those classes.  Nothing builds confidence better than keeping your composure and thoughts about you than these moments.  Add race cars outside the arena, champagne corks popping while you’re trying to keep you horse halted, or wee ones screaming and crunching nacho trays.

Our riders are known for their mental fortitude and their ability to think like a horse at these moments. And several of our riders who have gone on to great professions have credited these skills for success in their chosen fields.


The Power of the Best Lesson Horses In The World

OK, we may be a little biased, but we really think we have the best academy horses around. From Klem to Panic, these fellows really love their jobs. They just about run onto the trailer, and are all ‘ears up’ at the show.

Our starter models like Klem and Dexter will guide the least experienced riders even if they pretty much forget everything they know at the first show. Our mid level academy horses like Eddie and Baxter will challenge riders a little, and add some speed.  Panic and his friends will give riders their first taste of a show horse, and the show barn’s lesson horses like Sadie will give riders a real thrill and education second to none.

Even better, riders get to spend quality time taking care of these wonderful horses at the shows, and to bond with them over the weekend.

  These horses are truly spectacular.


The Power of Fun

Sure, we all work hard and love what we do, but we all like to goof off, too. Last year at the Fall IASPHA Show, we dressed Klem as a zookeeper while some of our riders dressed as animals, our riders competed in a killer water balloon fight at the Mid America Signature Show, and we enjoyed lots of laughs before performances, at the hotels, and at our annual aisle party at the ASAW Summerfun Show.



We’re looking forward to another season , and are hosting a seminar at the barn on Saturday, January 18 at 6:00.  We’ll offer information and demonstrations, and you’ll have the chance to ask lots of questions of instructors and experienced academy riders as well.

Please sign up in the school barn lounge if you can join us.  We want to have enough information packets available for everyone.  Of course, food and refreshments will be provided!

We love academy showing, and it shows!




What’s Coming Up Next?

Knollwood Knockout Banquet

Saturday. February 8 at 6:30

The Legend at Bristlecone

Invitations went out last week, and all Knockouts are invited to enjoy our annual celebration of all things Knollwood.  Social time, a wonderful buffet dinner, awards, a slide show, a DJ, AND the announcement of the 2019 School Horse of the Year will all make for an unforgettable evening.

If you’re not yet a member, we’d love to have you.  Please talk to your instructor about joining the fun!


Parents Night Out

Friday, February 14 at 5:00

Knollwood Kids, join us from 5-8 for barn fun with the Knockout officers and board members.  For only $10, you can enjoy crafts, dinner, and games with your barn friends. Parents can enjoy a night out while we entertain the kids!


Barn Clean Up Days

Friday February 28 and Saturday, February 29 from 4-6 PM

Join us in our first ever spring clean up! We’ll clean all the school barn tack, wash some walls, and who knows what else. Please use the Sign Up Genius to let us know if you can make it.


Parents’ Meeting

Saturday, March 7 at 6 PM

Parents, are you interested in helping out the Knockouts, but aren’t sure how to get involved? Join us for an informal session in the show barn lounge. We’ll introduce lots of ways to work with this fabulous group of kids.


Knockout Meeting

Saturday, March 14 at 2:30

We look forward to seeing members in the show barn lounge to put finishing touches on the Knollwood Spring Show, and to hear about creating the perfect show caboodle from some of our experienced riders.


Knollwood Spring Show

Saturday, March 21 and Sunday March 22

Academy show season will start at home for Knollwood Kids. Entry blanks will be available soon!




See you at the barn!


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