It’s April, and all of Team Knollwood is looking forward to the start of show season this month.
Recognizing the horses who got us to where we are today is an important aspect of horsemanship and sportsmanship. The wonderful lesson horses who made us the riders we are as we enter the ring in 2021 may no longer have young bodies, but they have beautiful minds. These legends were patient when you were struggling, forgiving when you were frustrated, taught you the value of perseverance and grit, and always offered a neck to hug and a place to share your secrets.
During April, we honor three of Knollwood’s finest souls who are celebrating birthdays this month.
Hylee’s Red Fox, known around the barn as Eddie, is a pattern legend, and we suspect there are some unicorns hidden in his bloodlines.
This brilliant Morgan came our way when his owner Kellyn went off to college. She and Eddie showed all over, and were quite a team. We are beyond fortunate that Kellyn called us first when Eddie needed a new home.
Eddie can do it all. He’s shown on the ‘A’ circuit when a horse was needed in an Open Pleasure class here and there, and is a stellar academy mount.
Because Eddie has been everywhere and has done everything, nothing really bothers him. His bombproof personality teaches the tiniest of academy riders that they can own the ring in the 8 and under walk and trot division.
Eddie is the king of patterns. With an even stride both ways of the ring, Eddie is a favorite horse all summer at pattern camps. This brilliant horse always does exactly what you tell him, even if it’s not what the pattern calls for.
This mild mannered soul prefers to go out for recess with the older gents, as he doesn’t like to play rough like Heist and the boys in the big playground. Eddie can have whatever he desires.
Eddie’s 21st birthday is coming up on April 26. You can bet that a package from Kellyn will be delivered.
Hawaiian Cat, known to all as Hugo, is one in a million.
This big homegrown Saddlebred was born at Knollwood on April 25, 2007. His large mother was The Hula Dancer, and Daddy was The Cheetah.
Hugo let it be known early on that he interested in being a show horse, and he started his lesson career early.
Hugo was teaching lightly as a four year old, and even attended his first show. He’s been a legend ever since.
As the first saddlebred our students ride, he’s a favorite at Knollwood. The look in little eyes when his neck comes up for the first time after learning on the pony and quarter horses is priceless.
Hugo’s favorite job? Teaching wee ones. He’s happiest when he’s doing his super slow jog trot with about 30 pounds of rider aboard.
Besides giving low stress lessons, Hugo enjoys sleeping in his stall. Time outside is too valuable for naps, as there are lots of friends to wrestle with. He also enjoys pooping in neighbor Picasso’s feed tub every day, and generally being well, a pig in his stall.
Most of all, Hugo likes to play games on horseback. You wouldn’t believe it’s the same horse that moves in super slow-mo in walk and trot lessons if you saw him play relay games or ‘steal the crop.’
Bonnie’s Novel Santoro, known to all as Sundance, is master of the pasture.
He may be retired from lessons, but he’s still in charge out on the playing field.
Sundance arrived at Knollwood 27 years ago, and what a career he’s had. Sundance has taught countless riders the ways of a really smart horse. This handsome fellow taught riders how to read a horse's mind, how to sit when he’d shy at things unknown, and to ride a horse that truly enjoys being a horse.
Sundance attended countless academy shows, and was always a favorite of judges and riders alike.
He was a fixture of advanced camps, and of games on horseback. All the other horses were afraid to cross his path while playing games. In fact, they let him win many, many points rather than get in trouble later in the pasture.
Sundance has retained control of the pasture all these years through his personality of benevolent dictator. If his horses don’t act according to his rules, either he’d pay a visit to correct the behavior, or he’d send one of his lieutenants for a coaching sessions.
Current lieutenants are Tony, Hugo, and Picasso. Although, Hugo is usually off messing around.
We’re so fortunate to have enjoyed Sundance’s lessons for many years.
The grand gentleman turns 30 on April 24.
What’s coming up?
Food Drive Starts April 15
Our food drive to benefit the Food Pantry of Waukesha County starts on April 15. Anyone who donates a minimum of five food kits is eligible to join a team and participate in the Knollwood Olympics on May 15.
Help us help our neighbors in need, and have fun with your barn friends, too!
Knollwood Show Entries Are Due April 25
Entries for the spring show are closing on April 25. Please see your instructor to join in the fun!
IASPHA Spring Show April 17-18
Team Knollwood’s first show of the season! Come cheer us on at Beyond Stable Farm in Woodstock, Illinois.
Street Clean Up May 1
The Knockouts will be cleaning up Oakwood and Nagawicka Roads for the spring. It’s a great way to earn your Knockout service hours for 2021, and spend time with your barn friends.
Knollwood Olympics May 15
You won’t want to miss the finale of the food drive and the celebration! Knollwood Kids of any age who donate a minimum of five food kits will participate in Olympic style contests of ‘skill.’
Knollwood Spring Show May 22-23
It’s back! We’re showing outside, and we can hardly wait!
Please talk to your instructor if you’re interested in volunteering with the event. It takes a large village!
See you at the barn, or at the in-gate!