0 comments / Posted by Ann Wilt

Team Knollwood’s lesson program prides itself on producing riders who love and understand horses, and have the riding skills to take them wherever they want to go with their equine friends.


With instructors who can teach a three-year-old to post on Pony Frank to our show barn staff who have turned out world and national champion riders time and time again, we truly love what we do.


We need a large ‘staff’ of horses to accomplish all of our goals, and our horse faculty is incredibly diverse. Here are some thoughts on our outstanding group of lesson horses.


First of all, safety is our number one concern.

We’ll never overmount a rider. Period.

We want riders to become confident, so we teach on horses appropriate to each student’s current level. This, of course, may mean that the rider doesn’t get to ride the horse they dream of....yet.

Riders will be successful on our kind, patient beginner horses. These slow moving, forgiving horses can do a number of lessons each day, as they honestly don’t put a lot of physical exertion into their lessons. Their patient walks and slow jog trots make the riders of the future.

These are the first horses riders fall in love with at their weekly lessons and at camp.  They also are a rider’s first show horse at the Knollwood shows.

Primarily quarter horses and grade horses, these horses are the backbone of our lesson program, and they’re worth their weight in gold.



Second, horses, like all living creatures, have a finite amount of time on earth, and have a finite number of years in their working career. We are reminded of this every day.

We are constantly reevaluating our lesson horses.

Our starter level academy show horses teach lessons to our up and coming students who are looking forward to showing away from home.

These horses are Saddlebreds and Morgans who have ‘been there and done that.’ They have a lot of experience being horses, and are kind and pretty unflappable.

They cannot do as many lessons as the beginner horses, as they put more effort into their lessons, teach riders how to ride patterns, and many have some physical shortcomings.

As a result of their years of experience of being a horse, there are usually some physical limitations that they have. We monitor these problems, and address them with corrective shoeing, veterinary maintenance, chiropractics, and limited lesson use.

As a result, these horses are not for everyone, as we carefully guard their finite number of lessons by using them for our riders heading on to showing.


Our main academy horse string is comprised of Saddlebreds, who like our staff, love what they do.

These horses have more energy than the horses their riders have ridden before, and are more educated as well. They also have some quirks that require a rider’s attention and education to improve.

These horses give lessons only to riders currently competing away from home.



Third, horses change over the course of their teaching career. 

A horse that the show barn is working with today may become a fantastic academy horse down the road after the horse has been teaching the show barn riders for a while.

It’s a great opportunity for our most advanced riders to learn techniques from Scott, Carol, and Lin in their lessons which further their riding education, and helps create a more widely useful lesson horse in the future.


Our show barn lesson horses are the top of our pyramid.

They’re a small collection of horses who are either being finished by the show barn lesson instructors and students, are retired lesson horses, or are horses recently purchased that need work from our show barn students and staff.

The most brilliant thing about this operation is the benefits it provides to many members of Team Knollwood.

Show barn instructors get to teach our most advanced students - often the world and national champion riders we produce - how to finish a horse, or how to address the issues they brought with them.


The horses improve and evolve, and usually become more widely used after a season or two. These horses often travel to big shows to serve as Carol’s ‘lesson horse’ at the show, thus giving him or her more exposure to the horse show life.

We are very cautious of who rides these horses as they’re being made into useful lesson horses for students to enjoy.




Fourth, our industry is geared towards showing horses. 

We encourage ALL of our students to show, starting with the in-barn shows that we host three times a year. These small shows allow students to practice their skills in a different situation than their weekly lessons, and to work through some new experiences.

Our academy team travels to about 12 shows a season where they compete against other professionally run lesson programs from the Midwest.

We may be a little biased, but we think we have the best lesson horses in the world, and we have a great time traveling to horse shows with our students and horses.


After years of high level lessons and academy competition, some of our riders move up to lease a show horse or purchase their own. Our riders compete for national and world championships, and are in the Top 10 of the National Equitation Finals every year.

And, we have the horses to get you there.







What’s Coming Up?

ASAW Summer Showcase Show

Join us this weekend at the Ozaukee County Fairgrounds as the Knockouts help ASAW put on an old timey outdoor show.

We have 10 riders making their show ring debuts on Sunday afternoon, too. We’d love to have a cheering section.


Knollwood Entries Due September 1

Be sure to get your entries in so you don’t miss the fun of our Fall show on October 9 and 10.

The show will feature a new ‘elite’ walk and trot division on Saturday, and the Finals of the 2021 Knollwood Challenge, too!



Fall Street Clean Up

Saturday, October 2 at 1:00 PM

Join your Knockout friends as we clean up Oakwood and Nagawicka Roads for Fall



Knollwood Fall Show

Saturday October 9 at 10:00 AM and Sunday October 10 at 9:00 AM

Rain date is the following weekend.

Join us in the great outdoors for two fun days of horse showing.



See you soon at the barn or at the in-gate!




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