• Christmas Wish Lists of the Lesson Horses

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    It's the final countdown to Christmas, so we caught up with the best lesson horses in the world to see what's on the top of their wish lists.  You might find some surprises here!




    Brinkley has a special relationship with Addison, and requests daily spa treatments from his friend who curries him for extended periods of time as he stretches out his neck and makes happy faces. Retirement has its perks!


    Big Frank


    Big Frank would like an interiror designer to provide curtains for his stall to control his anxiety. If he can't see horses going to lessons or outside without him, Frank thinks his anxiety will diminish.



    Duke would like the other lesson horses to stop tearing up his clothes in the pasture. We think Duke should perhaps take a look in the mirror and reflect on his own behaviour that could be causing the antics of others?




    Fred would like a sound machine that will provide soothing ambient music in his stall. Many of his neighbors snore at nap time, disrupting his peace. If that's not a possibility, Fred requests sleep apnea machines for Tony and Hugo at a minimum.




    Hugo is greatly enjoying teaching more advanced beginner lessons, and is requesting more little riders. 




    Jelly, our 'loaner' from our friend Sammy and Rose Tree Farms requests, as anticipated, more food. We're just looking out for his fine physique.




    Leon, one of the newest members of the lesson posse, is enjoying his new life. He's happy as can be, and would like to meet some new little people.



    Lil' Frank

    Little Frank would like us all to stop with the pony jokes.

    But we can't.

    Because he's a pony.




    Mac would like year round summer riding school.





    Mark would like us to post signs to his new stall. He's figured out that Jelly is living in his old stall, but just can't figure it out. After that, and stands motionless in the aisle thinking. Other horses are coming in all around him, of course, and he looks a bit like a pinball.




    Picasso would like more game sessions. He's addicted to 'steal the crop!




    Sparky is so happy with his new sleeping inside at night arrangement, that he doesn't want to ask for anything else.



    The retired legend wants for nothing, and simply wishes that all lesson horses could have had the career he has had. He has given many, many riders their first taste of a saddlebred, and still gives instruction to the lesson horses, as he remains the 'master of the pasture.'




    Thomas would like some memory training so he can remember how to get to his stall. If he could just get the 'turning left first' thing down, it would be a great help.




    Tony would like some Grecian Formula to cover his gray. We think it makes him look even more distinguished than he is, so we vote no.




    Vaughn, proud winner of the 2020 Knollwood Challenge Final, would like a new tradition of a plaque for the winning horse. Mia and Brooklyn got trophies, so why should't their trusty steeds?




    Willy would like 24 hour access to the feed room so he can munch on Equine Senior whenever he's hungry. 




    Baxter seconds the Knollwood challenge plaque idea, but needs  a bigger  wall to showcase his collection.




    Cashew is another very happy camper and only requests more time for outside recess.




    Dexter requests a menu change to more hot bran mashes. With peppermints in it, of course.




    Eddie is wise even beyond his years, and wishes for world peace.




    Heist would like lots of chew toys to keep him busy in his stall.




    Hooper, AKA King of walk trot pattern instruction, would like an updated UPHA pattern book with trickier ones becuase he's memorized the current book.




    Klem would like a sparkly jeweled crown because he's in so many photos. He would also like an open door policy so he can 'clean up' extra hay in stalls.




    Murphy would like a full length mirror in his stall so he can admire himself. 24 hours a day.




    Panic wishes for a video monitor in his stall so he can watch RIchfield Video archives of himself. Racking with Lin.




    Alex can't remember what he wished for.




    Sadie wishes for another mare in the school barn. On second thought, maybe being a queen is OK if she gets to steal Klem's jeweled crown.




    Willis wishes Carol would stop finding all the good riding kids who don't let him be dramatic. He IS feeling better about himself, though.


    What's Coming Up ??

    We're closed for lessons on December 24 and 25 as well as December 31 and January 1.  Please contact your instructor if you'd like to schedule a make up lesson.

    Thanks to everyone for their help in completing our enrollment project. We're so excited to spend more time teaching and less time working on accounting.



    Don't forget that Midwest Saddleseat Consignment is coming to the Hilton Garden Inn in Brookfield on Friday, January 8. Team Knollwood has a private shopping night from 7-9 PM before the sale opens to the public on Saturday.


    We have plenty of spring ideas coming up, so stay tuned.

    Team Knollwood wishes you the happiest of holidays.

    See you soon at the barn!







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  • Making Lemonade Out Of 2020's Lemons

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    Sure, 2020 has been an experience none of us would like to repeat. 

    Let’s forget about all the ruckus of this year, and instead focus on some of the positive changes Team Knollwood made when we had a little extra time to think.

    Almost three months of quarantine afforded us some time to look at our businesses and make some positive changes going forward. Of course,  we would much rather have been teaching and traveling, but we made lemonade out of a lemony situation, and we’re all benefitting from the positive attitude we embraced.




    First of all, the night before we closed for the shutdown, we welcomed Leon (Keep the Change, Sir) to our lesson horse string. He had plenty of time to work with instructors and get used to Knollwood before he officially started his new job. A natural camera hog, Leon was a star in our Facebook Live pasture broadcasts throughout the spring.

    And now? He’s just perfect.


    Outdoor In-Barn Shows

    The shutdown required the cancellation of our spring show, but we refused to give up on our entire in-barn season. SO, we moved it outside!

    We put on two shows for our academy riders using both our little outdoor ring for the walk and trot stars, and the really big outdoor ring for our walk, trot, and canter riders.

    Riders loved it, parents loved it, and horses loved it so much that we’re going to make outdoor shows the plan for the future.


    Enrollment Program

    We looked at our academy program and searched for ways to work smarter.  After much research, we created our cool new enrollment program for 2021.

    While customers will now pay monthly and include add ons to their tuition, we have freed up a few days each week on the bookkeeping end. We’re happy to say that our enrollment project is complete, and we’re looking forward to spending more time in lessons, and less time playing accountant.



    New Products

    We also looked for new ways to introduce customers to Team Knollwood.  We launched two popular programs for our new customers, mini camps, and Welcome to Knollwood mini groups. We’ve had a blast watching new Knollwood Kids fall in love with riding and the best lesson horses in the world.


    More Private Instruction

    We’ve met many, many new friends coming out of these new programs, and out of our summer riding schools. As a result, we’re teaching more lessons than ever before, and almost all of them are private instruction. These lessons make it easy  to social distance, AND our new riders are progressing so fast before our very eyes.  We couldn’t be happier with the great strides these riders are making.

    We plan on using group lessons strategically to help riders continue in their riding education, and to keep up that leg strength that is a hallmark of Knollwood riders.

    The saddle-no-stirrup lifestyle is alive and well.


    More Investment

    Our riders learning in private lessons are much more invested in their riding, as well.  They’re already asking for camp and show schedules for this spring and summer!  (We’ll provide all that information as soon as we receive horse show dates for 2021!)

    And, we’re having to expand our academy stirrup wall as more Knollwood Kids are receiving their own irons and leathers for the holidays!



    Wonderful Show Season

    Our show horses benefitted from extra time with their trainers during their shutdown months. But boy, did they miss their people. They looked like total rock stars when they hit the ring at Summerfun.

    With limited shows this season, the shows we DID attend featured deep competition and lots of enthusiasm. We’re proud to say that ALL of our equitation riders finished in the top 10 of at least one of the national finals.

    Our academy riders were stars as well. We only made it to seven academy shows instead of our usual 12, but the excitement was contagious. The first local association published their academy high point awards today, and Knollwood is well represented.


    We can’t wait for this year to be over so we can start fresh in 2021.

    We’re glad that all of our Team Knollwood members stuck with us through this crazy year.


    What’s coming up?


    Holiday Closures

    We’ll be closed for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve, and New Year's Day.  Please contact your instructor if you’d like to schedule make ups, or we’ll credit your account for the missed lessons.


    Midwest Saddleseat Consignment Shopping

    Looking to update your show ring attire? Join us Friday, January 8th at the Brookfield Hilton Garden Inn. Team Knollwood has private shopping hours from 7 PM to 9 PM before the sale opens to the public on January 9th.


    Academy Show Meetings

    Instructors will be meeting with academy show riders in February to plan shows for the  2021 show season. These meetings are a great chance to discuss where your rider wants to go, and to devise a plan to get there. We can hardly wait, but we must wait for show dates from the hosting organizations.


    Knollwood Election 2020


    The polls close on December 31, unless Richmond the Poll Watcher sleeps through the deadline. Be sure to pay your Knockout dues and vote!


    Knollwood on Sale!


    Here’s your chance to get gift certificates and prepayment of enrollment fees all at 10% off. Simply use the promo code HOLIDAY2021 on our website, or talk to your instructor. We’re happy to help!



    See you at the barn.

    Masked, of course!

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  • We're Knollwood, And We Approved This Message.

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    Last week, we came to you with news about the School Horse of the Year election for 2020, and ballots are pouring in.  Thanks to all the Knockout members who have renewed their memberships and voted already.

    For those of you undecided voters out there, we're providing a little more information about the club members who are running for offices.

    Each candidate supplied a brief statement, and then we added some inside information about each Knockout to of course, help you make an informed decision.



    Your Knockout Co-Presidents for 2021 

    Emma and Heather  

    (pictured with their friend, Margit)

    You just can't separate Tuesday night helpers!

    Collectively Heather and I have been riding at Knollwood for over 10 years, we have also been a part of the Knockouts for the majority of our time here.  We are both looking forward to an amazing year with the Knockouts and can’t wait to see what 2021 has in store for us.  Please make sure to vote and find us at the barn to give us any of your new ideas!


    Did you know:

    Emma and Heather have been Tuesday helpers forever.

    Heather loves Pony Frank, and once rode him in the park tiny tot saddle just to experience it.

    Emma shows off her great sense of humor by wearing fruit print jods while counseling at camp.



    Running For Knockout Secretary:




    My name is Maya and I have been riding for about 8 years, 5 of which with Knollwood Farms.  I’m hoping to become your secretary for the year 2021 for many reasons, one of which being I never shy from hard work, and I love being put to the test.  Riding and working for this amazing barn has been my passion for quite some time now, when I become secretary I would push to make the knockouts the best team we could be doing fun activities and building up the community as a whole.  Please consider me for secretary of the Knollwood Knockouts.  


    Did you know:

    Maya had the first scheduled lesson after quarantine ended.

    Maya fits in the laundry shopping cart, so she rides in it. A lot.



    My name is Addison and I would absolutely love to be the secretary for the year 2021.  I was on the board this past year and it was a blast.  I think we should do as many outdoorsy activities so we can to keep social distancing.  One of those activities would be a painting project where we could get a ton of stencils of horses and Knollwood Knockout logos and we could paint them on wood.  Another outdoor activity we could do would be a scavenger hunt or an obstacle course just like the Helper Olympics.  I also think it would be a lot of fun to create a buddy system within the Knockouts so that older kids could “adopt” a group of younger kids during the show.  I think I should have the role of the secretary because I have a lot of new ideas and I really like being involved in the Knollwood Knockouts.   


    Did you know: 

    Addison is the life of the party. All the time. 

    Addison is a neat freak, and cleans the arena bench every Saturday. 



    Running For The Board 



    Hi, my name is Jules, and last year was my first year on the Knockouts board.  I was really nervous at first but then learned that I have so many friends and people to help me along the way.  I started riding when I was three and it was a big part of my life.  I love not only the horses but all the people here too.  They have helped me so much and have made me feel good about myself.  Joining the board was a very good decision because I learned about other people and I got new friends along with it! The Knockouts are also a big part of this place, it’s our family.  I have been a part of the Knockouts for about 5 years now and it has been really fun each year.  This past year we continued our car wash and brat shack, our street clean up, even our parent’s night out! There is so much more we look forward to doing with all of you! Thank you for being a Knollwood Knockout!


    Did you know:

    Jules has been riding forever, and moved to the WTC division this year at the age of 10.

    Jules has never met a horse she didn’t love.





    My name is Mia , I have been riding for 8 years, and have been a Knollwood Knockout for around 6 years.  I want to be on the board because I think it would be a great goal to achieve, I will contribute my time and effort into making 2021 a great year for the Knockouts.  I would be sure to come up with more fun activities for the Knockouts to get involved in.  Please consider me for the board of the Knollwood Knockouts!


    Did you know:

    With her long legs, Mia has been knocking cones over from the backs of horses since 2018. 

    Mia has won both Knollwood Challenge Finals, and is now retired from future competition. And she’s only 11.





    I have been riding for about 8 years and I’ve been a part of the Knockouts for 4 years, and a board member this past year.  This year I was able to help with most activities and contribute new ideas as much as I could especially with the restrictions of covid and everything going on this year.  This year I plan to help carry out and think of new ideas to make the Knockouts even more fun, supportive, and inclusive for every member like maybe trivia or WTC kids giving motivational cards to WT kids like a mentor system.  


    Did you know:

    Sofia writes inspirational cards for our walk and trot academy riders.

    Sofia loves the dance floor at the banquet!





    Hello, my name is Hanna  and I am 15 years old.  I have been riding at Knollwood for 8 years and have been a Knockout member for about 6 years. During this time as a member of the youth group, I have attended many events and fundraisers, including my most recent photoshoots that had an incredibly successful turnout.  This youth group has taught me so much about what it means to give back to the community and has created so many lasting friendships.  I have served on the board twice before in 2017 and 2018 and am so grateful to have grown up as a member of the Knollwood Knockouts.  I hope you will consider me to be on the Knollwood Knockout board of 2021.  Thank you, Hanna


    Did you know: 

    Hanna can ride any horse any time because she grew up with a pony in her backyard.  This provided endless entertainment for her Mom. 

    A born entrepreneur, Hanna runs her own saddle cleaning business as well as a photography studio.




    I’m Margit and I have been riding for 6 years.  I’ve been a member of the Knockouts for 5 ½ years. I’ve worked concession stands, helped with parents’ night out, done car washes, and helped with the street clean up.  My ideas for 2021 are to do more donations for people who were hit hard with COVID-19, more fundraisers for the Knockouts, and to do more barn clean up days.  Please consider me for a Knollwood Knockout board member!


    Did you know:

    Margit has the best vocabulary. Ever.

    And she’s hilarious.

    Oh, and she can rack her way down the rail with the best of them.





    I have been riding at Knollwood for almost four and a half years.  Over the years, I’ve met so many friends and learned quite a few life lessons.  Working with the horses has taught me so much, in and out of the arena.  Through being a board member, I want to share what I’ve learned with others.  I want to be a board member to not only share what I know, but to also continue learning.  I want to continue teaching kids about these amazing horses we have at Knollwood Farm.  I believe that being on the board is an amazing opportunity for me to learn and help others learn as well. 


    Did you know:

    Adrienne is the youngest of 10 children. 

    Not one for the limelight, it's really hard to find pictures of Adrienne by herself. She's always doing something!!


    Coming Up


    Don’t forget to pick up your membership envelope in the school barn lounge. Just put in your dues, and be sure to vote for both school horse of the year and for Knockout officers/board members.

    Polls close on December 31, even if poll watcher Richmond is sleeping on the job.



    Coming Up?


    We’re expecting our Woodwear for the holidays to arrive any minute, and we’ll let you know as soon as it’s ready.


    Our cool new enrollment system will be 100% in place on January 1, and our annual sale goes through December 31, 2020.


    You can purchase gift certificates and receive 10% off through New Year’s Eve.  You can pay enrollment fees or purchase a horse show or camp.

    Your instructor is happy to help, or

    you can call the school barn at 262-367-2391.



    Show season 2021 is coming up fast, and Midwest Saddleseat Consignment is coming to help. They've set up a private shopping time on Friday, January 8 from 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM at the Hilton Garden Inn in Brookfield.

    Come shop with us before the sale goes public on Saturday!



    While we can’t gather in person for the banquet, we’re planning a virtual banquet on a Saturday night in February.

    We’ll announce School Horse of the Year, High Point Award Winners, and enjoy some speeches about the year in review.

    We hope to finalize a date soon!


    We’re also planning our academy kickoff meeting in February or early March. This will be perfect for new academy riders and their parents, as we’ll enjoy demonstrations and discussions with current riders and parents.


    Stay tuned for updates!





    See you soon at the polls, and at the barn!


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  • COVID Policy Update and the Holidays!

    Posted by Carol Matton

    Hello Knollwood Families and Students!


    Winter is encroaching, albiet slowly and with the most pleasant sunny days.  This means closed doors, closed windows, and fans being off in the lounges and barns.  COVID cases are also on the rise and have been in the state of Wisconsin and all over the US for sometime now.  All of that being at the forefront of our minds and keeping our staff, riders and families safe and healthy so we can all keep riding, we have updated some of our COVID requirements and would just like to remind you of a few others:



    We have always required masking in the building, and while we previously said that they could be pulled down when in a stall alone with a horse, we are now asking that everyone is in a mask at all times in any shared space.  Even if you are alone in a stall, the barn is a shared space and it is all too easy to just run over to double check the chart, or grab a different sized girth without remembering to put your mask up.  As it is a state mandate and also recommended by the CDC, we want to eliminate any of those moments where people might forget to pull up their masks by just requiring that they're on at all times.



    The CDC has recently changed their quarantine requirement after a close contact COVID encounter.  Close contact is defind by the CDC as being within 6 feet for 15 minutes.  They are now recommending a 10 day quarantine instead of a 14 day quarantine, OR a 7 day quarantine with a negative COVID test taken at the 5 day mark of your quarantine. It is recommended that you continue to monitor symptoms from there and if any occur, you resume your quarantine.  These recommendations, as always, are the ones we are adopting for our policy.  If you have symptoms or have been made aware of an exposure, please quarantine along these quidelines!


    When thinking about your rider's or your lessons, keep in mind that with doors and outdoor arenas now being closed for winter weather, hanging out outside won't be as convenient as it once was and space will be limited in the lounge and in the arena's to allow for social distancing.  Consider remaining in the car and not bringing extra members of the family or friends along.  While we know that is a disappointment, as time at the barn is fun for all involved, keeping our lounge capacity down is a challenge.  Especially consider leaving any high risk family or friends at home.  We are asking that you limit your guests to no more than two people per rider in the lounge or arena at a time. 


    If you are cancelling due to a COVID quarantine or symptoms relating to COVID, you will absolutely NOT be penalized for this of course.  We will do our best to offer you make up days/times when your quarantine is up and if there isn't a mutually beneficial makeup time, your account will be credited for those missed lessons.  We absolutely do not want anyone to feel obligated to come to their lessons when they are not well and we do not want anyone to come to their lessons if their family members in the household are not well, even if they are. It is critical that we keep our human staff healthy as our equine staff require a lot of assistance.  If someone has any symptoms of COVID, or anything that could present like COVID, we ask that you please see the quarantine section above for how we would ask that you proceed.

    With all of that out of the way, be sure to take advantage of our annual holiday discount!  If you're buying online, just type in HOLIDAY2021 for your 10% discount.  While we know the holidays have been and will be different for us all this year, we hope to see what we assume are your smiling faces (behind masks of course) at the barn and in the saddle.

    Be well!

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  • It's Election Time at Knollwood!

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    As we take stock of the crazy year of 2020,

    Team Knollwood is already looking ahead to 2021.


    The polls open tomorrow for the election of Knockout officers AND for the coveted Lesson Horse of the Year award for 2020. Once again, Richmond will be our poll watcher.

    All Knockout members are welcome to vote after they pay their club dues for 2021, which are a bargain $5 for kids and $10 for adults.

    Each current member has an envelope waiting at the barn. Please update the contact information on the front, and fill out both ballots, enclose your dues, and seal the envelope before placing it in the ballot.

    Not yet a member?

    We'd love to have you!  Please talk to Lisa or DeeDee up front, or to your instructor to join.



    Remember, Richmond is watching.



    Here are some of the front runners for the lesson horse award:



    Officially known as A Champagne Toast, this charismatic fellow loves his Knollwood Kids, loves spa treatments, and LOVES horse shows.

    He’s given countless riders confidence in the ring, and has helped them developed a need for speed as he enjoys passing other contestants in the show ring.

    When it’s pattern time, Baxter is the master of precision, and always works with his perfectly hooked ears in the ‘forward’ position.



    Officially known as Sparky, this grand soul is unflappable. Unless you tie him up in his stall.

    He loves small riders, mints, taffy, and loonnggg sessions of grooming. Friendly to everyone, he’ll jog trot all day no matter what’s going on around him. He gets a little bossy at Knollwood shows, and likes to tell the judge when to reverse, but we think he’s entitled to a little attitude.



    Pony Frank

    Yes, he’s a pony, but he’s our pony. He’s equitated, and has a firm grasp of the definition of the word ‘no.’

    The perfect size for tiny totters, he’s also a favorite for kids bareback and saddle no stirrup rides as well as games. Frank LIVES for steal the crop when he runs tiny circles around the big horses.




    Officially known as Mr. Rogers, Fred is the definition of an ‘easy keeper.’

    He’s content to eat AND sleep in the round bale at the same time, is master of trotting patterns for the tiniest of riders, and can do multiple lessons a day with ease.

    He may not be beautiful on the outside,

    but he sure is on the inside!



    Born on the farm, and officially registered as The Hawaiian Cat, this ‘son of Hula’ is the renaissance man of lesson horses.

    He’s usually the first saddlebred that students ride, and is happy starting beginners and helping advanced beginners become a little more insistent. Hugo knows all his patterns, and is thrilled with advanced riders at pattern camp and at in-barn shows as well. He’s particularly fond of the gaming division.

    He’s also a champion napper.


    The polls close on December 31, so be sure to place your votes this month.


    Coming up?


    Our annual sale has begun.

    As we embark on our exciting new enrollment system, you can now pay your enrollment fees in advance and receive 10% off. Please contact your instructor for assistance, they’d love to help.



    Unsure about gifts for your Knollwood Kid? Here’s the blog of items we suggest for the rider in your house.






    Woodwear will be delivered soon, and we’ll let you know as soon as it arrives!

    We have ordered some extra masks, so if you'd like the perfect $10 stocking stuffer for 2020, please see your instructor.





    Saddle rentals are due this month for 2021.  Please talk to your instructor if you’re interested.




     Last chance to place your stirrup orders with Ann.

    Please contact her by December 10 if you’d like holiday delivery. Some iron sizes are short in stock around the country due to COVID, but we’ll try to source what your rider needs!

    Please note that in the picture above, Knollwood rock star Finn has no stirrups. On big trotting Leila. 



    2021 calendar planning is in full swing, and we’ll have dates for camps and shows as soon as horse show dates have been finalized around the country.



    See you soon at the barn,

    and we're looking to the in-gate in 2021!








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