• The Inside View of Pattern Camp

    0 comments / Posted by Ann Wilt

    Here it is, an insider’s view of pattern camp.

    Actual camp participants have written about their experiences at the farm last week. A total immersion into horses produces stories of learning, struggles, and lots of fun.

    Of course, all names have been changed to protect the innocent.

    Read on to learn why Knollwood Academy Kids cherish their annual week of camp with their friends, and the best lesson horses in the world:



    For the first section of this week’s blog, Keep the Change Ma’am and Hylee’s Pink Fox will be covering Monday of pattern camp!

    We all arrived at Knollwood and Instructor #87 told us horse assignments for the day! We all began the process of grooming and tacking our horses. We headed down to the nice cool indoor arena and warmed up.

    When working on a pattern, Hylee’s Pink Fox and Lime Green were fighting over who would get to go fourth because they both wanted to go in the middle of eight patterns.

    In the afternoon, Instructor #87 had an interesting approach to a pattern. Everyone (including the horses) closed their eyes and caught up on some sleep while one lucky horse and rider pair got to do the pattern. Instructor #87 explained the pattern element by element, and we were shocked at the end to see the full pattern we had completed.

    We rounded out the day by taking care of the worlds best lesson horses and going home to AC and our beds!



    While Tuesday was a half day due to the weather, it was still 100% fun!

    We arrived to the barn at 7:15 in the morning to ride at 8:00 and beat the heat! We also had a blast with the best lesson horses in the world! During our ride, we worked on challenging patterns, beginning with a fun clover leaf pattern that featured some no stirrups!

     After we worked on that pattern, we all asked Instructor 87 to let us try pattern 100 of the UPHA pattern book! Not only is this the final pattern of the book, but it is a super fun pattern! It was fun to try it with all the different lesson horses and personalities.

    We then took care of our horses, who were drenched in sweat. They enjoyed nice lukewarm baths to help cool off. During lunch, we drank lots of Gatorade and water to stay hydrated.

    We also sang happy birthday to Way Cool Kiddo!  



    Day three of pattern camp Starts off with better weather than Tuesday. It was warm but not deadly hot.

    The theme of the day was learning to fail/ Not bring afraid to fail. The pattern Campers learned that if they mess up it is okay.

    Then later in the day there were games and the pattern campers had fun doing relays and playing steal the crop. Honey Bee was enjoying herself by being allowed to go fast.

    We finished the day by learning the importance of sunscreen, as many of us went home really burnt.

     Always a blast at pattern camp!




    On Thursday, day 4 of pattern camp, the first  thing we did was do some patterns in the big outdoor.  We challenged ourselves by doing the harder patterns in Instructor 87’s book.

    After we all took care of our horses by giving them baths and drying them. Then we all ate lunch at the picnic tables, worrying about the spiders because one time we all freaked out over one being in Captain Krunch’s hair earlier in the week.

    After we all prepared for the pattern challenge for our next ride. For the pattern challenge we all write our own patterns and a trivia question to go with it. Instructor 87 will pick someone’s pattern and read out the trivia question and whoever gets it right gets to do the pattern.  We complete the patterns and each author got to coach the rider who did the pattern they created. 

     After we put our horses away we all got prepared to go to Lime Green and Hylees Pink Foxes house for a pool party to cool off from hot hot week so far.  But when we were backing out to leave Knollwood we hear honking behind us, then a crash. The trunk was open!! Luckily Lime Greens shiny Freedman saddle didn’t fall out the back!!




    What have I walked into? While instructor 87 traveled for some much

    .needed R and R, I, instructor 8, am spending the day with the campers.

    After some brilliant early morning discussions about the pool party, and a number of topics, it was time to learn all about judging. We divided into 2 groups so everyone had the chance to show and to try their hand at the really difficult job of judging.

    Of course, this was to be an equitation affair, so each judging panel used the early morning to create patterns suitable to the riders in each split.

    After assigning call judges and ringmasters for each group, judging teams were ready.

    Classes were, shall we say, spirited, and competition was fierce. I will say that the second split consisting of Hylee’s Pink Fox, Way Cool Kiddo, Captain Crunch, and He Sings the EMO Tunes provided all of us with a most creative interpretation of a center point. Even master counselors M and H were scratching their heads. This does not happen very often.

    After taking care of the best lesson horses in the world, we met in the cool of the lounge to discuss placings and opinions. This, of course, led to a brilliant discussion of sportsmanship, being kind and inclusive to everyone, and what Knollwood Kids can do when they encounter mean girls. They have no home with these ladies. Trust me.

    After a lovely lunch in the shady café area, it was time for games on the school horses while the academy horses rested.

    Fred gave it his all in a thrilling game of ‘fastest trot,’ and almost won!! He showed great improvement over last season when his enthusiasm got the better of him and he showed his cantering skills, much to the delight of Captain Crunch.

    We finished our week with popsicles, and watching Baxter, Murphy, and Sport walk onto the rig and head to Oshkosh to join the other horses for the Saturday academy performance.


    What’s coming up?

    July 4 Holiday

    We’re closed on Monday July 4. All lessons will be credited.



    ASAW Summerfun Horse Show

    July 7-10

    Wisconsin State Fair Park

    All lessons are cancelled on Saturday, July 9 so all of Team Knollwood can travel to the show and cheer for each other at the 11:00 academy session. Lessons will be credited to your account.

    The Friday night finales of the show features the UPHA Horsemanship Challenge, pitting riders from participating barns against each other on horses new to them in a winner-take-all test of horsemanship.

    Each barn is limited to three riders, and Allison, Margit, and Richie will be representing Team Knollwood.

    It’s a blast to watch!


    Lexington Junior League Horse Show

    July 11-16

    Team Knollwood will be competing at Rolex Stadium in the Kentucky Horse Park. You can watch the livestream on Richfield Video!



    Knollwood Knockouts Car Wash and Brat Bash

    July 17

    Fox Brother’s Piggly Wiggly in Hartland

    All club members are asked to sign up for a shift or two to help the club in their biggest fundraiser of the year. You can sign up here, or in the school barn lounge.



    Knollwood Summer Show August 19-21

    Knollwood Summer Entries continue through July 15.

    You won’t want to miss the event of the summer.




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



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  • Midwest and So Much More

    0 comments / Posted by Ann Wilt

    Team Knollwood has returned from the heat of Springfield, Illinois, and they appear to have  brought the summer weather back with them. 

    Fans, water, and great customers with talented horses made it a wonderful week. The competition was intense with many exhibitors calling this year’s Midwest Charity a ‘mini Louisville.’ It sure was great preparation for upcoming trips to Lexington and Louisville.

    We have a few stories to share



    This child was most definitely a very game horse in a former life. Payton beams as she goes around the ring even in the crazy summer heat.

    In addition to finishing 3rd in a deep Medal qualifier, 6th in the Good Hands qualifier, Reserve Champion in the senior pleasure equitation final and second in the pleasure equitation qualifier, she pulled off back to back classes on one of the hottest morning of the show.

    Payton showed beautiful Gigi, officially known as Isn’t She Something to a brilliant second place finish in their pleasure qualifier. That was class 48.

    Payton trotted back into class 49 to show Thaylee, officially known as Choo Choo Dakota to a great 3rd place finish in the Open English Pleasure qualifier.

    Rumor has it that her coat had to be hung in the tackroom with several fans blowing to get it ready for the rest of the show.

    Thaylee is the Duerr’s latest rescue project, and Payton rode her brilliantly. These two even ended up Reserve Grand Champions of the division on Friday!

    Great thanks to the Duerrs for saving these souls. You may remember Rescue Riddle from the past couple of seasons. You’ll hear more about him shortly.


    The Rookies

    Four of last year’s academy stars have moved up to the show divisions this season, and they’re making names for themselves already.

    Alexa is showing Aaron in senior pleasure equitation, and her poise and elegance earned them a second place finish in the Saddle and Bridle Medallion qualifier, and a 7th place finish in the senior pleasure equitation championship!

    Amelia is teaming with beautiful Ava this season in the junior pleasure equitation division. This personality plus duo turned in nice rides, and pulled off a 3rd place finish in the Saddle and Bridle Medallion qualifier, and a brilliant 3rd place finish in the junior pleasure equitation championship.

    Brooklyn and her family are the proud new owners of charismatic Gamora. This firey mare and firey on the inside Brooklyn make a very compelling picture, especially because Brooklyn looks cool as a cucumber in the ring. These two finished second in the UPHA Challenge Cup for riders 13 and under.

    Maiya is fortunate to be teamed with Rescue Riddle, officially known as Who’s on First. He’s big, beautiful, and loves his job. We owe huge thanks to the Duerr family for saving his kind soul.

    Maiya hit the ring ready to go, finishing second in the pleasure equitation challenge cup qualifier, 5th in the Good Hands qualifier which is for junior AND senior riders, and finished the reserve grand champin of the 13 and under pleasure equitation division on Saturday.


    Tori's New Adventure

    Tori and new partner, Stella, who’s officially known as Stella’s Stilettos, hade a wonderful show as they got to know each other better. Tori and Stella are a mutual admiration society, and it shows in the ring.


    Knollwood Horsemanship and Friendship


    Haley and Erika have known each other for a long time, and they had the chance to compete against each other at Midwest.

    Triple Crown of Equitation winner Haley is in great demand as a catch rider for other trainers. She showed a horse for Richmond DeHart at Midwest, winning both her qualifier and champonship.

    Hard working Erika showed Trust Fund Blues, known around the barn as Frito. This 4 year old was born at Knollwood, and belongs to Scott and Carol.  Erika has been helping him gain experience and confidence, and her hard work paid off at Midwest, finished second in a big championship. 

    All their lessons paid off as these two displayed horsemanship, friendship, and sportsmanship in the ring.

    We're so proud of our Knollwood Kids' achievements both in the ring and in life.



    Meanwhile at the home office…

    We’re accepting entries for the Knollwood Summer Show on August 19-21, and entries close on July 15.

    We’ve inserted a handy graphic to help with your show prep. Please contact your instructor with any questions you may have.

    Please be sure you’re a Knollwood Knockout member so we can accumulate your show point towards year end awards.

    We have some back numbers missing from the spring show. Please check and make sure you’ve returned yours to stay off ‘the list.’


    Camps are in full swing, and we couldn’t be happier. Midwest week and this week are full of pattern campers, and our favorite, Tiny Tot campers. Knollwood Summer 2022 if in high gear!


    What’s Coming Up?

    Oshkosh Charity Show

    Show horses left for Oshkosh on Tuesday, and the show starts on Thursday. Academy horses will stay home until Friday afternoon so they can finish their work at pattern camp.

    The schedule will be posted soon, and unfortunately, there’s no webcast. It’s worth a trip to the show to watch in the beautiful facility.


    ASAW Summerfun Show

    Our ‘home show’ will be held at State Fair Park on July 7-10 with the academy performance on Saturday. The facility and hospitality is fantastic, and we love the big Knollwood cheering section. Please join us!!


    Lexington Junior League Horse Show

    Lexington runs July 11-16, so we have some pretty fancy logistics happening.

    It’s one of the BIG at the Kentucky Horse Park’s Rolex Arena, and it’s an event that been around since 1937. Southern atmosphere and tradition abounds at this one.

    It will be webcast on Richfield Video, and it’s SO worth the subscription to watch!


    Knollwood Knockout Car Wash

    Sunday, July 17

    All Knockout members and parents are asked to join us at the Fox Brothers Piggle Wiggly in Hartland for a day of fundraising and soaking fun.

    We’ll take over the brat shack and wash cars. All the proceeds go to the Knockouts, and it’s one of our biggest club fundraisers of the year. It takes a lot of hands to carry this off, and it’s a really fun way to earn your club service hours.

    You can sign up here, or in the school barn lounge.


    Knollwood Summer Show

    August 19-21

    It’s coming!

    We’ll do ALL patterns including both KF Challenge classes, including walk and trot patterns on Friday night starting at 6:00 PM, which is half an hour earlier than in the past.

    We’re happy to report that Jane will be judging the pattern section on Friday.

    Saturday will feature the addition of the Premier Walk and Trot division. All walk and trot stars who have shown away from home will have the chance to show in the big arena against others who have show out of barn.

    Sunday will start with our leadline competitors and then continue to maiden riders, and then our 8-10 year olds.

    We can hardly wait!



    See you soon at the barn, or at the ingate!

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  • Tips For Knollwood Summer 2022

    0 comments / Posted by Ann Wilt

    Now that school is out, summer is a great time to spend more time at the barn. It’s also a really busy time at Knollwood, with a busy show travel schedule and oodles of lessons and camps at home.

    Riders can improve their skills by following these steps. Time spent in your horse’s stall is invaluable in learning how he thinks and reacts to things. It’s also a chance to take fantastic care of your riding partner in the warm weather. Horses can’t give themselves baths, brush themselves up, or fill their own water bucket. It’s up to us to take care of our priceless lesson horses.

    Here are ways to be a great Knollwood Kid this summer and beyond!


    Be on Time


    You’ll want to arrive at the barn 30 minutes before your lesson to get your horse ready for your lesson. After you check the lesson chart, you can get your tack and spend some quality time with your horse getting him ready for the lesson.

    This timing will let you head to the arena 5 minutes before the start of your lesson.


    Be Ready to Ride

    Make sure you’re wearing your jods and boots, a fitted tucked in shirt, helmet, gloves, and long hair pulled back off your face.

    Remember, once you’ve been enrolled for 3 months, correct riding clothing is required. Proper equipment contributes to safety, and helps riders progress quickly.


    Be Ready to Mentally Contribute to Your Lesson

    Learning to ride is a cooperative process. You’ll want to be focused to you can ask questions about what you’re learning, and be ready to try your best.


    Be Ready to Take Care of Your Horse

    Summer is warm, and horses require extra care in the heat.

    Start by untacking your horse and removing any boots or leg wraps.

    It’s bath time! If there isn’t already warm bath water on the driveway, make a bucket and take your horse out for a bath using an entire bucket of water. Pay special attention to places that tack touches, and in-between your horses legs.

    Towel him dry, and then a full grooming is due.

    After your horse is cool, dry, and shiny, it’s time to put tack away, hang up your horse’s halter, and thank him for the lesson.


    Be Helpful

    Help other riders.

    Pick up poop.

    Brush up horses for upcoming lessons.

    Ask instructors or barn manager how you can help.


    What’s coming up?


    Midwest Charity

      Team Knollwood is competing at Midwest this week. The 2022 show is a fantastic, sold-out show, and the competition is amazing. You show is being livestreamed on Richfield Video TV.



    KF Summer Show Entries

    We're taking entries for the Knollwood Summer show through July 15. Please check with your instructor to see which classes are best for you!




    Oshkosh Charity

      The Oshkosh Charity show is coming up June 23-26 at beautiful Sunnyview Expo. The grounds are park like, and the atmosphere is relaxed.

      We’ll he heading them there with show horses and academy riders. It’s a short road trip if you’d like to enjoy the hospitality of the show.



    Closed July 4

    We’ve cancelled lessons on Monday, July 4 in honor of Independence Day. Your account will be credited for the missed lesson.





    Team Knollwood’s ‘home show’ is coming up at Wisconsin State Fair Park on July -10. We’ll be there with lots of horses and academy riders. Please come cheer us on!


    Closed July 9

    We’ve cancelled lessons on Saturday, July 9 so everyone can attend Summerfun. We’ll credit your account for the missed lesson.


    July 17 Car Wash and Brat Bash

    Fun, Fun, Fun!

    The Knockouts’ wettest fundraiser of the year is coming up on Sunday, July 17.

    We’ll be washing cars and manning the brat shack at the Fox Brothers Piggly Wiggly in Hartland. Please sign up to work a shift or 2, as this is one of the club’s biggest fundraiser of the year. Plus, it’s so much fun!!



    KF Summer Show August 19-21

    It’s coming up!

    Once again, it’s a three day show, and we’ve made a few changes to the schedule.

    Friday evening will begin at 6:00 PM, and we’ll hold ALL of the pattern classes at the Friday performance. Both walk trot canter and walk trot patterns will follow the Knollwood Challenge qualifiers on Friday evening.

    The Saturday schedule marks the return of our Premier Walk and Trot Division! Walk and trot riders who have shown away from home will compete against others who have shown as well.

    This division gives our academy kids the chance to show in the BIG outdoor ring, to show against riders of similar experience, and to open up the Sunday walk and trot classes to our up and coming riders.



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

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  • Prairie State Stories!

    0 comments / Posted by Ann Wilt

    Knollwood’s academy team headed to Woodstock, Illinois for a favorite show of the season. What started out as a Morgan show sponsored by the Mid-State Morgan Club, has grown into a show featuring Morgans, Saddlebreds, and two big academy performances.

    The show is held in the beautiful, new covered outdoor arena at Beyond Stable Farm.  Built with horse shows in mind, the facility features covered warm ups, an outdoor arena which keeps the sun out and the breeze in, and beautiful new stabling.

    The farm also features great facilities, and an attentive staff who all own a quirky sense of humor.

    The show itself is beautifully organized with responsive, horse friendly management. Plus, the food truck and exhibitor parties are pretty great.

    The 2022 show was a sell out, complete with temporary stalls in the indoor arena.

    And the weather? It was pretty perfect.

    Being an academy-only show for Team Knollwood, our riders enjoyed the complete spotlight.

    Cecilia started us out on Saturday with beautiful performances in the walk, trot, and canter division. It’s her first year in this division, and she turned in wonderful performances in the novice section. Cecilia and Baxter looked like they were having the most fun of anyone in the ring, and the team won their equitation qualifier, championship, and their pattern class.

    Sunday afternoon brought the academy walk and trot performance with six Knollwood riders participating. Baxter, Dexter, Eddie, and Thomas lit up the ring on the beautiful afternoon. Dexter LOVES showing outside, and thought he was in heaven.

    Our riders learned so many lessons, as the show offers five classes for the walk and trot show stars. Each of our students improved with every class, and we couldn’t be more proud of them.

    We’re grateful for Amy and her staff, to Kristen and the show office, and to all the volunteers who made the show such an enjoyable experience for all the riders.

    Team Knollwood is looking forward to coming back to the facility at the end of July for the IASPHA summer show.


    What’s coming up?

    Libby’s Memorial Walk for Life Striders

    Saturday, June 11

    10:00 AM

    Join Team Knollwood as we honor the memory of Libby with a walk on our bridle path to benefit her favorite charity, Lifestriders. If you can’t join us, please pledge your favorite walker to help out our local therapeutic riding center.


    Knollwood Knockouts Adopt a Street

    Saturday, June  11

    1:00 PM

    Please join the Knockouts as they clean up Oakwood and Nagawicka Roads for the summer. We’ll break into teams to get our neighborhood ready for summer 2022.

    It’s a great way to meet other Knockout members, and to complete your club service hours for 2022.


    June 13

    Camp Season Begins!

    We kick off the season with a Tiny Tot Camp and a Pattern Camp.



    Midwest Charity Horse Show

    June 14-18

    Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, Illinois

    The best show horses and equitation riders will meet in the most beautiful arena in the country for the 81st annual Midwest Charity Horse Show.

    Team Knollwood will be there with 19 show horses, and will be in the thick of the competition.

    If you can’t make it to Springfield, you can watch the livestream on Richfield Video.


    June 15

    Entries open for the Knollwood Summer Show, which is coming up on August 19-21.



    Knockouts Car Wash and Brat Bash

    Sunday, July 17

    Fox Brothers Piggly Wiggly in Hartland

    Our favorite club fundraiser of the year, we’ll be washing cars and selling brats at Piggly Wiggly. It takes a lot of people to make this a success, and we’re asking all Knockouts to take a  shift or two to help the club.



    Knollwood Summer Show

    August 19-21

    We’ll celebrate summer with a weekend academy show featuring levels for all of our riders. You won’t want to miss it!



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


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  • Our Summer Adventures Continue!

    0 comments / Posted by Ann Wilt

    Team Knollwood is back home after a very successful Madison Classic Horse Show. With 25 show horses competing and seven lesson horses joining the fun on Saturday, it was a full weekend of friendships, adventures....and brats, as the show shared the grounds with the World’s Largest Brat Festival!

    Our newest show riders did fantastic jobs with Brooklyn and Amelia gaining plenty of experience at their second shows. They learned many lessons, and improved with each ride.

    Maiya also made her show horse debut on the one and only Riddle. It’s quite a jump from the academy ring, and she did a great job in her debut.


    Bella joined us from Pennsylvania to show her expressive stars, Garfield and Tyler.  Bella and Garfield were unstoppable in the Country Pleasure division, winning both their qualifier and championship, and athletic Tyler was a force to be reckoned with, winning their amateur qualifier and finishing reserve in the championship.


    Jane and Willis changed divisions and showed in the Country Pleasure division for the first time at Madison.  This team has worked so very hard over the off season, and boy did it show in the ring.

    Team Willis won a class at their first show in their new division, and the look on both of their faces was sheer delight. Great thanks to Jon McCarthy for capturing the story.


    Our academy riders were stars at a well attended session. We’re fortunate to compete in an area where the academy riders are among the best in the country.

    Knollwood’s fantastic lesson horses enjoy the wide open ring in Madison, and looked like they were loving the whole performance.

    A couple of academy highlights:

    Emilie showed at Madison for the first time, and completed a precise work out to earn a reserve championship.

    Maddie lit up the ring with the one and only Nacho, and won all three of her classes.

    Leighton made her ‘big’ show debut with Baxter, Tess had wonderful rides with Sport and won a couple of classes, and Mia helped Willow continue her education, even winning a class.


    This weekend, the Academy Team is off to Beyond Stable Farm for the Prairie State Classic horse show, and weather permitting, it will be held in the beautiful covered outdoor arena.

    The show barn will be at home prepping for the big Midwest Charity show in Springfield, Illinois June 14-18.




    Saturday, June 11 is a big day for the Knockouts.

    They’re holding their Memorial Walk in memory of Libby at 10:00 AM. All pledges will go directly to Lifestriders, a therapeutic riding program in Waukesha where Libby volunteered. Please gather your pledges and join us on the bridle path.

    At 1:00 PM, the Knockouts are holding their semi-annual Street Clean Up.  It’s a great way to earn your club service hours and meet some new Knockout friends. We’re also looking for adult volunteers to help with our crews.


    Midwest Charity starts on June 14!

    It’s the first really big show of the year where we meet the Kentucky barns and other southern barns for the first time of the season, and Team Knollwood will be there with big numbers.

    If you can’t make it to the show, you can cheer from home as the entire show will be webcast on Richfield Video!



    Knockout Brat Bash

    Members, save the date of July 17 for our annual brat bash and car wash at the Fox Brothers Piggly Wiggly in Hartland.

    It’s one of our most successful fundraisers of the year, and it’s a blast.

    It takes a lot of members to make this work, so please join us for the fun. Of course, parents are needed too!


    Knollwood Summer Show is coming up August 19-21.

    We’ll start taking entries on June 15, and will accept them until July 15.

    The shirt color for the summer show is lime green!




    See you at the barn, or at the ingate!

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