Knollwood Families and Students,
As we all know, these are unprecedented times. Many of us are experiencing a pandemic for the first time in our lives and are just doing what we can to keep our families, friends, selves, and animals safe by following recommendations from experts. This has put many people out of work, out of childcare, and out of their routines.
Here at Knollwood we've done what we could to keep every sense of normalcy possible while being safe. That did sadly mean closing our doors to our beloved customers who are the lifeblood of our community here at Knollwood. While Knollwood is a strong business, there is no denying that horses don't eat less or require less care just because lessons aren't currently happening.... I mean we've all seen Klem right? He's not dieting.... All joking aside, we had, had a few clients reach out early on to see if there is a way they might be able to help by "adopting" a school horse entirely on their own and out of the generosity of their own hearts.
These amazing people had decided come together to donate to the Knollwood feed bill with Merton Feed and have made gracious contributions to care for the crew of the best school horses in the world. This gesture has brought tears into the eyes of all of us who know what it means for hard working people to donate their money to ease the burden of these trying times on small businesses like Knollwood and truly speaks to what kind of community we are blessed to find ourselves in. We hope to show our gratitude by offering special donor programming once our doors are open; more info to come on that!
Knollwood is more than just a barn. It is more than just a place off the highway that is here to entertain your kids. It is a family and we now feel that more than we ever have, though we always knew this to be true. We are unspeakably grateful to the generosity of our clients that came up with this and are continuing to donate to the Knollwood feed bills with Merton Feed to take care of these amazing school horses.
If you would like to donate as well, please call Merton Feed at 262-538-1250, or send a check with a note on it for Knollwood to
Merton Feed Co
PO Box 465
Merton, WI. 53056
Special thanks to the following people who have already donated in support of our amazing horses and barn:
The Anderson-Penglase Family
The Ball Family
The Becker Family
The Dallen Family
The Looysen Family
The Rhode Family
Catherine and Claude Scher
The Schuh Family
The Traeger Family
The Wenzel Family
We Are Knollwood.
Hello again Knollwood Families and Students!
It is Saddlebred Saturday here at Knollwood Farm, and the barn is eerily quiet save for the knickers of all the school horses as they await their turn for a spa treatment and some candies. While we hate that the hustle and bustle of our usual Saddlebred Saturday is missing, we are determined to keep you, our students in riding shape so when we open our doors back up, no one has missed a beat and we can get right back to work preparing for show season 2020!
Every Saturday, we will be coming out with a series of workouts that are focused on developing muscles and balance skills that we utilize every time we are in the saddle. Be sure to properly warm up and cool down with some light stretching before and after you do this workout. We wouldn't want anyone to end up with an injury that would prevent your prompt return!
Exercise 1 - Squat Jumps - 10 reps
This movement is an explosive, continuous movement that gets your large muscles pumping and therefore really works to kick up your heart rate. Cardio fitness as well as strength in your lower body and core is extremely important for riding. While many think that riding is just sitting on a horse as you go around in circles, we all know differently! Feet hips width distance apart come into a 90 degree squat as if you were sitting down in a chair. Then swing your arms up and come into a jump! As you land come straight back down into a squat and repeat 10 times.
Exercise 2 - 1 Legged Bridges - 10 reps alternating legs, hold each for 5 breaths
This movement is a slow and focused exercise the centers on your core, back and glutes; all muscle groups that help develop your seat, balance, and independence in the saddle. Laying on your back, place your heels just behind your glutes. Lifting one leg straight up toward the ceiling, slowly step into your foot on the group and lift your hips toward the ceiling as if you're trying to stamp your foot print up there! Breathe in slowly and out slowly for 5 breaths, slowly lower back down, switch legs and repeat.
Exercise 3 - Burpees- 10 reps
Burpees are quite possibly the most hated exercise in fitness by everyone except trainers and coaches. This full body movement helps strengthen every part of your major muscle groups at once. Like squat jumps they are another controlled continuous and explosive series of movements that require focus and control. Much like posting at a trot, though we aren't exploding out of the saddle and jumping into the air, we are using our core, leg muscles and balancing skills to control and smooth out a continuous up and down movement while traveling around the ring on a 1200 lb animal! From a standing position, squat down to touch your hands on the ground, jumpy your feet out behind you to come to a plank position, execute a push up, jump your feet back inbetween your hands and jump straight up into the air reaching toward the sky. Ask you come down from your jump go straight into another burpee.
Exercise 4 - Warrior 3 Pose - 6 reps alternating legs, hold each for 5 breaths
Warrior 3 pose is another slow focused movement that takes a lot of gentle focus and core strength to maintain your balance. Much like if you're looking around in the lounge or checking out what other horses are in the arena, rather than paying attention to your horse, it can be really hard to keep your balance and fluid movements on your horse. From a standing position, begin to bring your weight into one foot. Choose a spot on the ground in front of you to focus on, then slowly bend forward, letting your free leg to float up until your body is making a capital T shape. You can have your hands at your side pointing back toward your leg, out to the side or stretched out in front of you. All three of these hand positions offer different levels of challenges for your balance. Once in this position, breathe in slowly, out slowly, for 5 breaths, then slowly lower your leg and stand up, switch feet and repeat! If you are an at home yogi and have yoga blocks to help your balance, feel free to use them. If you don't have yoga blocks and feel like you could use a little extra support in this movement, utilize a table or counter for some extra balance aid.
Exercise 5 - Lateral Squat Jump Burpees - 10 reps
This movement combines our first two cardio/strengthening movements into one frankenexercise that will truly get your blood pumping. The only difference is this time, between each burpee, you will perform a squat jump to the side as if you were jumping over a broom.
Exercise 6 - Lotus Pose - 5 reps, hold each for 3 breaths
For a final strengthening pose to calm things down after the torture that is a Lateral Squat Jump Burpee, come to your mat or floor on your stomach with your forehead on the ground and your arms at your sides, palms facing down. Utilizing your core and back muscles only. Lift your head, chest and arms of the ground and then your legs. Breathe in slowly and out slowly for 3 breaths, then slowly lower back down to the floor/mat and repeat.
Again please be sure to do some light stretching after you've completed this workout! You can do this workout daily, or a few times a week and even combine it with next week's circuit to continually challenge yourself!
Happy exercising, Equestrians!
Knollwood Families and Students,
As of 8:00am Wednesday March 24th the state of Wisconsin, along with so many other states struggling to contain their COVID-19 out breaks, has gone into a state of semi-lockdown. According to Governor Evers, this Safer at Home ordinance will be in place for 30 days and therefore in effect until Friday, April 24th. As an agricultural business, the way we are currently operating will not change. Our full time staff will still be there on their regular schedules caring for the show horses and school horses as they always do.
This does unfortunately cause Knollwood Farm to extend our closure for another three weeks and two days. While it truly pains us and our entire staff (equine included) to not see all of your horse crazy faces for an even longer period than initially anticipated, we are committed to our social responsibility as a center of gathering for our community and have your and our staff's safety at the top of our priority list.
While we are social distancing, we will continue to stay connected through our blogs and Facebook posts. Most recently, we've launched our imitate a school horse video competition! You can find details here. Make sure you submit a video via the comments section of the Facebook post. There are more fun virtual activities to come and we hope to see you all soon!
Hey, all you new learn at home Knollwood Kids of all ages, it's time for film class!
We're holding a school horse video contest with YOU being the lesson horse of your choice. Simply video yourself imitating your favorite, or most dramatic school horse in your choice of category.
You can choose from:
In the stall
In the arena
In the pasture
You build the set, you write the script, (if there's speaking involved, and we KNOW some of these horses talk...) and you play the part. Family members and pets are welcomed as supporting actors.
Last Tuesday, our last day open to the public, we enlisted the help of some riders to get the ball rolling. This acting company made a few videos to get you started:
This is one of our favorites, with Emme and Maiya demonstrating Big Frank's unique skill of ALMOST being caught before he manages to escape. Every time.
We're accepting entries through April 1.
Please submit your entries in the comments of the Facebook post, and we'll award prizes in each of the three divisions: stall, pasture, and arena. Please add a description of the horse you're portraying, and the situation involved.
We can't wait to see all your creative videos!
We can't wait to see you all in person again.
The horses miss you!
Hi Everyone, Sundance here, AKA the Master of the Pasture.
First of all, we all miss you already. The barn is way too quiet, even with Klem talking. Nonstop.
I hope you're all studying hard in your online courses. I was caught unprepared for the current situation, so I am allowing the best lesson horses in the world to study a topic that is especially interesting to them.
I'm listing in alphabetical order each of my staff's study topics. Some of their choices may shock you, but I'm guessing that most of them won't. You all know these fellows pretty well.
Baxter will enjoy his corner office with 2 windows, and research the effects of sunlight on the psyche of horses.
Big Frank will study equine anatomy to further his skills of getting away from humans trying to catch him in the pasture.
Cashew will research new ways to crib even with his collar on.
Dexter will practice Tai Chi in his stall to remain calm in these uncertain times.
Dudley will read up on the history of the Canadian Mounties, as he’s named after one. He will also lead group exercise classes in the pasture.
Duke will re-write the book on strategies for Steal the Crop.
Eddie will rewrite the UPHA pattern book.
Fred will study the science and benefits of sleep.
Hooper will read up on the history of nudism to see if he can find a location where he can live free of clothing.
Hugo will try to get out of school by lying down and pretending to not be in his stall.
Joey is too sad to study well without his Monday visits from Whitney and Rachel, but he'll try so soldier on with his anger management courses.
Klem will learn about investing so he can make lots of $$ when this is all over. He's especially interested in investing in the food industry.
Leon will study up on the history of Knollwood so he get a feel for the place, and for all of the fantastic lesson horses who have come before him.
Little Frank will study the works of Houdini in the hope of perfecting his stall escape act.
Mark is excused from further learning.
Murphy will study the history of the beauty pageant system.
Panic will study Richfield Video Archives to find past performances of great gaited horses.
Picasso will study the history of the American west so he can better understand his people.
Sparky will earn his PhD in child psychology and continue his meditation practice.
Sundance? I shall continue my studies of group psychology and coaching while I keep my herd in line.
Thomas will serve as as social director for Leon as he slowly is introduced to the rest of the Knollwood gang.
Tony will work on his physics so he can pull on his bridle with more precision to teach his students how to properly operate his bridle.
As the youngest lesson horse, Vaughn is looking to his future and will start his studies in management in the hopes of one day leading the herd.
Willy will read up on locksmithing so he can find his way into the feed room and snack whenever he wishes.
As a life long learner, Brinkley will continue to further his education even in his retirement. Because he misses his spa treatments from Addison, he'll study up and offer spa treatments to his fellow lesson horses.
I hope your studies are going well, and we all look forward to seeing you soon!!