• Let's Embrace the Winter to Look Forward to Spring!

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    All the presents have been opened, and our schedules return to usual next week.  Don’t worry, we have plenty of winter fun planned for you at Knollwood to get you all the way to spring!


    Private Academy Shopping Night


    Our friends at Midwest Saddle Seat Consignment have set up a Knollwood shopping night while they’re in town.  They’ll be set up at the Hilton Garden on Pabst Farms Circle in Oconomowoc with a great assortment of shirts, vests, and accessories for the upcoming academy season.  Team Knollwood’s private shopping session is from 8 – 10 PM on Friday, January 5, and we’re looking forward to seeing you there.


    Academy Tailor Appointments


    Carla from the Gilded Lily LLC will be at the farm on Saturday, January 13 from 11-2 to measure riders for their custom academy vests for show season 2018. She can also help select colors, and can even do an initial fitting if you set up your appointment soon.  Please contact Ann or Nancy if you’d like a session with Carla.


    Academy Show Seminar

    We love academy showing! 

    We’re hosting an informational evening on Saturday, January 27 right here at the farm from 6:00 until around 8.  You’ll learn why we love academy showing so much, learn all about the schedule and different shows we attend, and discover the secrets to the perfect horse show bun.  The evening will also include demos from some of our current academy riders who will be happy to answer any questions riders or parents might have.


    Knockout Award Banquet

    On Saturday, February 17, the Knockouts will gather at the Legend at Bristlecone to celebrate the accomplishments of 2017, and take a look forward to the adventures of 2018.

    The evening will feature a delicious buffet dinner, awards for both in-barn and out of barn divisions, enlightening speeches, and a slide show.  We’ll finish the evening with a DJ and dancing.

    Invitations will be mailed to all Knockout members around the first of the year. 

    If you’d like to join us but you’re not yet a member, just talk to your instructor who will help you join the fun.  We’re always looking for new members to to get more involved in all things Knollwood.


    Used Clothing Sale

    On Saturday March 3, we’ll host a used clothing sale in our lounge from 11-3.

    We’ll be selling used jods, shirts, and vests to help our newest academy riders get prepared for the upcoming spring show. Jodi will have her wonderful show accessories for sale, too! We’ll have experienced show moms on hand to help you pick out the perfect outfit from head to toe.

    If you have academy show clothes that the rider in you home has outgrown, please consider donating them to the sale.  All proceeds benefit our retired horse slush fund, and the donations are greatly appreciated.


    Knollwood Spring Academy Show

    Join us the weekend of March 24-25 for our first academy show of the 2018 season. 

    Our walk, trot, and canter riders will show on Saturday, starting at 1:00, and will compete in divisions including equitation, pleasure, and pattern classes. The show will also feature the first qualifying class for the 2018 Knollwood Challenge Final!  Bareback and pairs classes are thrown in for fun, too.

    Sunday, March 25 will showcase our walk and trot riders in many different levels.  We offer leadline classes for our youngest riders, maiden classes for our first time show riders, as well as classes for our more experienced show riders.  Sunday also features one of our favorite divisions, the walk, trot and canter classes for riders 10 and under.

    Both days also feature a great concession stand run by our award winning youth group, the Knollwood Knockouts. 



    We hope you can join us for all the winter fun that will lead us right into spring.

    See you at the barn!



    As you're looking forward to your New Year's celebrations, remember that you have until January 1 to purchase Knollwood gift certificates at 10% off!



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  • Here's To The Knollwood Library

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    Here at Knollwood, we are fortunate beyond compare to enjoy the skills of 25+ lesson horses.


     With this cast of characters that we prefer to call our library, we can take riders from their first lesson to their first show horse, or anywhere in between.

    The size and breadth of our lesson program makes it possible to support all the different horses that teach lessons for us.  They come in all shapes, sizes, and breeds, but they all have great brains, and they love their jobs and all the people they get to work with.

    Here's a brief introduction to the library of Knollwood lesson horses. We have the perfect match for any point in a rider's education.


    The Saints

    Willy, Sparky, Dudley, and Brinkley are priceless.

    They enjoy beginner lessons whether in a group or private.  Their patience knows no limits, and they sometimes seem to be mind readers. Nothing throws them off their game in the arena, and even adjust their stride to keep their rookie riders in balance. Willy can actually work a group lesson with no one on his back.  Trust us, we’ve tried it, he did a class wearing just a bareback pad!

    These four grand geldings are very different shapes and sizes, but they all have hearts of gold.  Willy will be celebrating a milestone birthday in 2018, and has been with us for 27 years.  Our other three beginner experts have been with us a long time, and love hanging out with small riders. Their kind eyes will bring a smile to anyone’s face.


    The Tiny Tot Experts

    The Saints are all great at tiny tot lessons, and we have a couple more fellows who enjoy the relaxation of our program for the youngest riders.  Mark has the smoothest trotting stride in the land, and Pony Frank’s small size puts some of the smallest riders at ease. While he’s a pony through and through, under the watchful eyes of an instructor, he’s just the right size for the littlest riders.



    The Initial Challengers

    Once riders are comfortable posting on these four ‘furry metronomes,’ they’re ready to move up the next set of horses, who will test their resolve a little. Tony, Picasso, Fred, and Frank the Pony (not to be confused with Big Frank, for obvious reasons) are not quite as willing to listen to the instructor in the middle of the ring, or may just not really feel like trotting at the moment. These four will help riders advance their education and their confidence by teaching them to stick to their guns, and not let the horses decide what they’d like to do, or not like to do.

    Riders are also introduced to some really nice horses who have real personalities at this point, too. Forest has a terrific sense of humor, and he lives in a paddock with Frank the Pony at night.  He would also like to spend time with Frank in the arena, so he sometimes suggests to riders that they should be close to Frank during the lesson.  He will teach a rider to pay attention and keep his mind occupied.

    Bo has never figured out the value of doing anything slowly, and is always ready to go while Pony Frank would like to take frequent breaks if he feels he can.

    Tony and Picasso are wise beyond compare, and use their brains to suggest walking turns when they should be trotting, and to suggest that their lives would be easier if they could just cheat the corners a little at first …


    It's Saddlebred Time!

    Once riders have worked their way up through these teachers and are looking to making their debut at an in-barn show, they’ll move up to our starter saddlebreds, Sundance, Big Frank, Amos, and Hugo.  These 4 breed ambassadors give riders a huge smile when they trot down the rail with their heads up. 



    The Academy Starter Models

    For our riders who want to continue their private lessons to the academy show division, we have a whole additional set of lesson horses to start show ring experiences.  Walk and trot show ring stars Dexter, Klem, and  Hooper, will challenge our future stars a little while they learn how to use the arena like a pro and start patterns.  There may not be a better pattern teacher around that Hula Hooper.  If there is, we’d love to meet him!



    The Academy Sports Models

    After confidence building on these 4 riders work their way up to Baxter and Eddie, who have a little more energy and original thought.  They offer more energy, and more enthusiasm in the show ring. Eddie is one of those great Morgans that is SO good at patterns that he likes to offer options to his riders, but only after looking the instructor in the eye and letting them know that it’s testing time.



    The Academy Rock Stars

    As riders continue, they can work their way up to some of our horses who compete on the ‘B’ circuit in the area, and some who are still more challenging.  They’ll progress to Joey, JD, Heist, Panic, and Murphy for additional educational opportunities. These horses offer a real show horse experience for riders in the academy division.



    Beyond Academy,

    The Ultimate Lesson Challengers

    For riders looking to go above and beyond the academy division, we have still another layer of lesson horses to get them there.  Scott and Carol have their own string of horses to challenge the most advanced riders and who are leased to show on the 'A' circuit during the season.   Our most advanced riders have the opportunity to ride Cashew, Alex, Maddie, Felix, Smith, and Sadie to name a few. This string of horses offers challenges that only a real show horse can, and help even the strongest of riders progress to the top of the show horse world.



    We love all our lesson horses, and know you'll appreciate them too! 

    The library of equine teachers can help any rider achieve their personal goals, and we'd love to set up a program for you.  Please call Ann or Nancy at 262-367-2391 to set up a tour or to discuss the possibilities.


    See you at the barn!

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  • We Have The Perfect Gift!

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    The holidays are upon us, and we have the perfect gift for the horse lover in your house. 

    From now through January 1, 2018, Gift Certificates for Knollwood Farm are 10% off, too!



    Riding lessons are always in style.

    There’s no need to worry about the current fashions because riding is always stylish.  Knollwood Farm has been in operation since 1978, and we love what we do.  Our award winning riding program offers group and private lessons as well as summer camps.



    Riding is a Sport for Life.

    We offer lessons for riders aged three and up, starting with   our Tiny Tot program.  These young riders learn in half hour private lessons on a select group of our lesson horses.  We offer these lessons after school hours during the week and on Saturdays between 10 and 3.

    For riders aged 7 and up, riders can enjoy group or private lessons. Group lessons introduce riders to the joys and challenges of riding with others, and are a great way to meet other horse crazy kids.  Private lessons are a great way to advance your skills faster, or to work on specific skills.  Many riders even participate in both! 

    While most of our riders are between the ages of 6  and 17, as also love teaching adults.  Whether you rode as a kid, or if riding is something you’ve always wanted to do, we can help you out.  We offer private or group lessons, and even have a special adults only group on Thursday nights at 7:30.




    Kids and Horses, A Perfect Match

    Most of our students are kids, and we believe that horses and kids are a perfect match.  Horses teach responsibility as they can’t do much for themselves.  Riders learn to follow through to make their horse understand what they’re asking, to respect their horse’s size and feelings, and to take care of these fantastic animals.  Riders create strong bonds with their horses and fellow students as they spend time in the barn.




    What Weather?

    Here at Knollwood, riding is a sport you can enjoy year round.  Our barns and arena are heated, so the weather rarely stops us.  Group lessons are usually a little smaller in the winter, so it’s a great time to start your riding adventure.



    We Love Horse Showing!

    We host three academy shows here at Knollwood, and our academy riders traveled to 11 shows away from home last season.  Team Knollwood competed against riders from other lesson programs throughout the midwest at venues in both Illinois and Wisconsin.

    Our show horses competed at the biggest shows in the country, traveling much further from home.  From Kentucky to Missouri, Team Knollwood was in the thick of the competition all season.



    We Can Take You Wherever You'd Like To Go

    Whether you're a new rider looking to take a few lessons to become acquainted with horses, a current customer looking to enter the show ring, or if you're not sure where the adventure will take you, we can help you meet any goal.

    We've produced lots of recreational riders, and we're really proud of all the champions that Knollwood has taught.  We've had 2 riders win the ultimate in our discipline, the Triple Crown of Saddle Seat Equitation.  We've had many World and  National Champions, and currently have 2 riders competing for Team USA in the Saddle Seat World Cup.  Most of these riders started in our own lesson program.



    We’d love to get you started with your riding experience.  You can purchase gift certificates on our website. www.KnollwoodFarmLTD.com and use Promo Code HOLIDAY2017FB to receive 10% off.

    You can also call Ann or Nancy at 262-367-2391 and we can answer any questions, arrange a tour, or help design a program to get you or the horse lover in your house started.



    The horses are waiting!

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  • Here's Your Guide to the Knockouts Holiday Extravaganza!

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    The snow is on the ground and the holidays are here!  The Knollwood Knockouts are looking forward to celebrating the season with their friends this Saturday.  Here's everything you need to know about the big event.



    Forest has been working a few extra lessons this week to make sure his bells, lights, and bows fit for his caroling outing with Dudley and friends.  

    Carolers should meet in the school barn at 5:30 pm.  Please be sure to wear warm clothes, as we'll be walking up to Horseshoe Bend to greet our neighbors.  You'll also want to be properly attired with a  flashlight and a Santa hat.  If you have any musical instruments you'd like to bring, please do.  In the past, we've enjoyed everything from triangles to violins, and all noisemakers are welcome!


    When we return to the barn, your warm clothes will come in handy again as we'll form teams for a scavenger hunt.  The event will take place ALL OVER the farm, so you'll really enjoy your toasty jacket!

    Pizza, water and soda  will be served after the hunt is completed.  Parents are welcome and are encouraged to bring their own adult beverages to enjoy during the scavenger hunt, unless you'd like to join the hunt.  

    We'll be available to write up those popular gift certificates which are 10% off through January 1.  We're good at being sneaky, so while the kids are out running around, we can help with your shopping!

    After everyone has refueled, the Knockouts will hold their club meeting and election of officers for 2018.  Co-presidents for 2017, Emma and Jordan, will run the event and turn over the reins to the winner of the election.


    Following the election, we're hosting an optional gift exchange.  If you'd like to participate, please bring a wrapped gift valued at $25.  Knockout members are mostly girls between the ages of 7 and 13.



    Our drive for Puerto Rico hurricane relief concludes at the party.  We're grateful for those who have supported the Knockouts in their holiday charity drive.  Please being your donations and place them in the blue bin.  

    Requested items include packaged tuna or salmon, energy bars, infant formula, diapers, or tarps.  You can find a full list in both the school or show barn lounge.

    We're requesting packaged food instead of cans.  All relief supplies will be shipped by air, and we'd like to keep the boxes as light as possible.

    If you don't have time to shop at this crazy time of year, we're also collecting checks for the Hispanic Federation's Unidos Fund, which is sending 100% of money received to hurricane relief in Puerto Rico.



    We're looking forward to a great evening of fun with the Knockouts. 

    We hope you can join us!


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  • Here's To The Helpers!

    Posted by Ann Wilt



    At this time of the year, our thoughts often turn to what we’re grateful for in the previous year.  We think everyone at Knollwood can agree that we are fortunate to have an unbelievable crew of helpers who make the lesson program run at a level of excellence that it could never do without these cheerful souls.


    Helpers are one of the first Knollwood contacts made by riders new to our program.  At their initial lesson, new customers are assisted in helmet fitting and leading a horse to the arena.  Throughout the first couple of lessons, riders will be assisted by a select group of riders chosen for this extra responsibility.


    Helpers serve as role models to students in our lesson program.  They are friendly, helpful, and hard working, even when it’s really hot, really cold, raining like it’s monsoon season in Wisconsin, or the pasture is three feet deep in snow. You won’t find them staring at the chart, or playing with their phones. (If you do see this, please let an instructor know!)


    Helping is a privilege, not a right.  These riders have earned the respect of their fellow riders and their instructors by setting a good example with their conduct, their work ethic, their love of horses, and their people skills. Many of our show barn riders remain as helpers in the lesson program long after their academy careers have concluded. Our goal oriented, experienced show riders serve as terrific mentors to our younger riders coming up.



    Helpers spend their days filling tanks, watering horses, tacking horses, untacking horses, grooming horses, putting horses up, helping in lessons, or training the next batch of younger helpers.

    While performing all these tasks, our helpers are learning some very important lessons. Perhaps most importantly, they learn how to prioritize. At Knollwood, we live by the saying, ‘Horses first, the rest later.’ This means that horse care comes first, and that cleaning, throwing hay, rolling up leg wraps, or putting tack away must wait until after horses are cared for, especially when they’re hot after a lesson.



    Helpers learn a lot about horse care while they’re working.  They spend hours grooming and tacking, so they get to know our horses as unique personalities.  Helpers soon learn that Willy likes to trot out of his night time box stall to get to the food in his slip stall, and that Forest is a master of escaping from his stall without getting the back chain down. Fred doesn’t like his girth too tight, and Sparky loves being rubbed with towels just out of the dryer when it’s really cold. And Klem?  He thinks he's never has enough to eat, and isn't bashful about letting everyone know.

    Our experienced helpers continue to learn as they teach the younger helpers how things are done safely.  If you really want to learn something well, try teaching it to enthusiastic young horse lovers who want to do everything at once.

    Our helpers offer a unique perspective to our riders.  They’re close in age to our riders, and can offer extra encouragement and their own recent experiences with our lessons and programs.  It means a lot when a helper tells a young rider struggling with diagonals that they had the same problem when they were younger, and that they figured it out.


    Helpers are fabulous even when we travel to horse shows.  These experienced riders encourage our newer show riders, and can offer examples from their own recent history to encourage the younger riders coming up through the ranks.  


    Our helpers develop great people skills.  These special riders interact with kids of many ages, and often chat with parents as well.  They learn to communicate in different styles with different ages and abilities, and in different situations.  Birthday parties are very different than regular structured group lessons, and taking the time to train new helpers is very different than doing chores yourself.


    Helpers learn to have fun and still keep working.  The chatter in the barn is really entertaining as the helpers talk about school, sports activities, horse shows, and their families.  Many helpers stay on the same night for many, many years, so deep friendships are formed over time.  It’s great to have barn friends that share a love of horses but don’t go to the same school.


    Helpers are willing to go above and beyond.  They commit to coming on a particular day of the week each and every week.  Of course, school always comes first and our helpers are great students.  Many of our helpers have received college scholarships from local and national saddlebred associations partially as a result in their involvement in the sport.  This past summer,  the American Saddlebred Association of Wisconsin awarded scholarships to Sarah who is now studying  at Canisius University in Buffalo, and to Jess who is studying at University of Wisconsin.



    In addition to their weekly shift, helpers also work camps in the summer.  Some of our most experienced helpers even serve as camp counselors, and work with our rising show ring stars at pattern camps.


     Our helpers also have a charitable streak.  For the last six years, helpers have hosted a 'friendly' competition to collect food and funds for the Food Pantry of Waukesha County.  Each year, they've collected more than 1000 pounds of food while having fun competing against each other in 'Olympic' events.



     We'd like to offer heartfelt thanks to the helpers who make Knollwood the welcoming place it is for so many. Our school horses are shiny and happy partially because of the care they receive from the helpers. 

    Thanks, too, to the parents of these great kids who promote hard work, responsibility, and kindness in all things.  We say that good horses come from good parents, and kids are certainly the same.

    If you're a young rider and would like to be a helper some day, the path is steep. 

    Take great care of your horse before and after your ride, take care of your equipment, make sure your horse's blankets are up front in the warm tackroom during your lesson,  pick up manure or sweep the lounge when it needs attention, offer to help a younger rider with their horse, or offer words of encouragement to a young rider.  You can always ask your instructor or an older helper what you could do to help, too! 


    What's Coming Up?


    Gift certificates are 10% off through January 1.  We'd love to help you design a plan for whatever you'd like to do next year.  You can purchase lessons, camps. even horse shows, all at 10% off!

    Please contact Ann or Nancy at the barn, and we can have your certificates ready and waiting for you.  We're great at keeping secrets, and can hand off envelopes in a very secretive fashion!



    Knockouts Holiday Party

    Join us at 5:30 pm on Saturday, December 16 for caroling followed by the Knockout party,  We'll meet in the school barn, and please dress warmly, bringing a flashlight, a Santa hat, and your singing voice!  Dudley and Forest will be joining us, too.

    We'll return to the farm for a team scavenger hunt, so those warm clothes will come in handy again as teams travel from barns to pastures, and back again.  Following the hunt, Knockout members will enjoy pizza, and then get to the business of electing club officers for the 2018 year.

    We'll finish the night with an optional gift exchange.  If you'd like to participate, please bring a wrapped gift valued at $25. Most of our members are girls between the ages of 7 and 13.



    The Knockouts' holiday charity project for Puerto Rican hurricane relief continues through the party.  Please place your donations in the blue bin in the show barn lounge.  We'll get the donations on their way next week.



    Our annual awards banquet is set for Saturday, February 16 at Bristlecone Pines. 

    Our celebration of all things Knollwood is a favorite event of the year. We'll enjoy a tasty buffet dinner, high point awards, recognition of our ASHA academy award winners, a slide show, and Scott's year in review.

    All Knockouts will receive an invitation shortly after the first of the year.  If you're not a member and would like to join the fun, we'd love to have you.  You can talk to your instructor, or fill out a membership envelope in the school barn lounge.  Annual dues are only $5 for kids, and only require two hours of club service per year to be considered for high point awards.




    See you soon at the barn!

    And be sure to thank the next helper you see!


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