• Our Favorite Things About Knollwood Summer 2021

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    The World’s Championship Horse Show is in full swing, and all the Knollwood Kids are heading back to school. Before it fades to memory, let’s appreciate our 5 favorite things about Knollwood Summer, 2021.




     From our Tiny Tot Camps to Classic Summer Riding School to our Show Prep and Pattern Camps, it can safely be said that a great time was had by all.

    Our youngest riders were introduced to our superb beginner horses as they learned to care for and ride these gentle souls. Sparky, Pony Frank, and Nigel were the favorites of our tiniest riders.

    Classic Camp was a complete sell-out, with plenty of of familiar faces joining us for another summer of fun. These camps included craft sessions with our friends from Soul Fire Art Studio, LOTS of riding, and a demonstration for parents to finish out the week.  Best of all? Many of our new campers have joined our program on an ongoing basis!

    Show Prep and Pattern camps are often the start of a Knollwood Kid’s academy show career. We spent a week with kids prepping for the Knollwood Summer Show, and another week with riders prepping for their academy show debut at the ASAW Summer Showcase.

    We also enjoyed two weeks of pattern camp for our academy riders.  These weeks are priceless as riders strengthen their friendships with their horses and barn buddies. Oh, and the campers ride. A LOT.

    We enjoyed exploring the latest edition of the UPHA pattern book, working with Jelly on patterns, and practicing our showing skills.

    And, we had a ton of fun playing games on horses, with horses, and with friends.


    New this year was our Counselor Camp. Held the last week of Knollwood Summer, we invited our camp counselors to enjoy a week just for them. We’re hoping to make this an annual tradition.


    We couldn’t possibly have a successful camp program without the amazing Knollwood Kids who serve as helpers and counselors to our riders.  Helpers dig right in and teach new riders grooming and tacking, and serve as personal assistants in the arena as well.

    Counselors assist the instructor, teach classroom sessions, and oversee the barn chores, too.

    We are beyond grateful for these terrific kids who make it all happen.




    Summer is a time to enjoy your barn besties, and to meet new horse kids. There’s nothing like bonding during helper rides, while you’re pulling down sides in the little outdoor, or enjoying popsicles after a day of camp helping.

    Barn friends are there when school is tough, when you need some support, or when you want to talk about, what else, horses.


    KF Summer Show

    Our July academy show was a record-breaker, and we had a blast. We enjoyed perfect weather in two arenas, the Knockouts raised some funds from the concession stand and events, and the personal assistants made sure the show went off without a hitch.

    It looks like our October show is going to be even bigger!


    Horse Shows

    Nothing says summer like traveling to horse shows.

    We’ve been all over Wisconsin, Illinois, and the show horses are currently in Kentucky.

    What could be better than hanging out with your horse friends, cheering each other on, hanging out in hotel pools, and well, just being in the horse show world? We don’t think there’s anything better!




    Horses are certainly the backbone of all lesson programs, but we stand behind our statement that we have the best lesson horses in the world.

    From the smallest, most apprehensive Tiny Tot rider to the world champion riders that we produce, we have the perfect lesson horses.

    While the patient-beyond-belief beginner lesson horses are teaching tiny tot and beginner camps, our starter academy show horses are teaching our newer academy riders their patterns, and our advanced and show barn lesson horses are keeping our 'A' level show riders progressing in their riding educations. 





    What’s Coming Up?


    Entries for the Knollwood Fall show are due on Wednesday, September 1.

    The show is October 8 and 9

    with backup rain plans of October 15 and 16.


    Knockouts Street Clean Up

    Saturday, October 1

    1:00 PM

    Knollwood Fall Show

    Saturday October 8 and Sunday October 9



    Holiday Photo Shoots

    November 21 and 28

    11:00 AM both days


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



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  • Why DO We Have So Many Lesson Horses?

    Posted by Ann Wilt

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


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


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


    First of all, safety is our number one concern.

    We’ll never overmount a rider. Period.

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

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

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

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



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

    We are constantly reevaluating our lesson horses.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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



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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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




    Fourth, our industry is geared towards showing horses. 

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

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

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


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

    And, we have the horses to get you there.







    What’s Coming Up?

    ASAW Summer Showcase Show

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

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


    Knollwood Entries Due September 1

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

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



    Fall Street Clean Up

    Saturday, October 2 at 1:00 PM

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



    Knollwood Fall Show

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

    Rain date is the following weekend.

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



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



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  • It's Knockout Time!

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    We had a blast at the IASPHA Summer show last weekend at Beyond Stable Farm.

    We enjoyed the first ever competition in the brand new covered outdoor arena which quickly became a favorite of both horses and riders alike.

    A few of our favorite stories?

    Life long Saddlebred exhibitor Jane returned to the show ring after an 'adult' absence of a few years.

    She won her first ever grand championship showing Maddie, officially known as Tura Lura Lura in the Open Pleasure Division. 

    How cool is that?

    After seeing two of her children excel in the show ring, Tracy decided it was her turn, and made her debut in the adult academy division. With her daughter making the trip as her personal assistant, Tracy was a rockstar with the one and only  superstar Baxter.

    Our walk, trot, and canter riders excelled on Saturday, From riders showing new horses to veteran adults to seasoned riders, all of our riders showed like professionals.

    We introduced two more riders to the show ring last weekend, and they looked like they were born to show..

    Both Cecilia  and Sophia rode through busy classes of 'green' riders who were showing in their first year of competition. Stella was showing in her second show and looked like a veteran out there.

    We couldn't be more proud of our riders.


    Classic Summer Riding School may be done for the summer, but the Knockouts are hosting a busy few weekends of events!


    On Saturday night, the Knockouts are hosting a popular Parents’ Night Out from 5-8 PM.  Knockout guests will enjoy games, dinner, and a craft session to create signs for the youth group’s car wash on Sunday.


    It’s only $25 to participate, and you can sign up in the school barn.


    It’s major fundraiser time for the Knockouts on Sunday.

    We’ll gather at the Fox Brother’s Piggly Wiggly in Hartland from 10 AM to 2 PM to wash cars and sell brats and other goodies at the store.

    This event is a big fundraiser for the club, and it’s a ton of fun in which to take part. All the participants will have the chance to wash cars AND to sell great food in the brat shack.

    Fundraisers like this help fund the annual awards banquet, and to help with the club’s charitable events during the year.

    The club will be adding more families to the Christmas family adoption program, and we’ll be involving more members in the process, including wrapping and delivering of gifts.

    We’d love to have all the Knockouts participate in this fun event, and you can sign up here or at the barn through Saturday.


    Next weekend, the Knockouts will be helping to run the ASAW Summer Showcase at the Ozaukee County Fairgrounds.  Our youth group splits the proceeds of the show with the American Saddlebred Horse Association of Wisconsin’s Scholarship Fund in return for our assistance with show operations.

    The Knockouts are needed to help with set up on Friday, including shavings delivery and center ring set up, on Saturday and Sunday with hospitality events, and with tear down on Sunday.

    Our barn buddy mentors will be at the show in force on Sunday as Team Knollwood introduces 10 new riders to the joy of horse showing.

    You can sign up here, or talk to Nancy at the barn if you’d like to help.


    Next Up? 


    We’re taking entries for the Knollwood Fall Show which takes place on October 9 and 10.  Entries are due on September 1 in order to get our cool dark green show shirts ready. Size samples are ready in the school barn lounge.

    Please talk to your instructor to see which division is right for you!


    Team Knollwood is heading to the World’s Championship Horse Show in Louisville, Kentucky on August 21-28.  We’ll be there in force, competing against the best.

    We’ll provide schedules and webcast information as soon as we can.


    At home, we’re looking forward to one more week of pattern camp before fall show season kicks in, marking the start of equitation finals season.


    The adventure continues…





    See you soon at the barn, or at the in-gate…..


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  • Tales From The Road

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    It’s hard to believe we’re on our last week of Classic Camp, and that our last Tiny Tot camp is coming up next week.


    Where does the time go?

    We’ve been having a ball traveling to horse shows, teaching lessons and summer riding school, and enjoying everything about Knollwood Summer 2021.


    It’s catch up time!



    Last weekend, both our academy and show teams traveled to Roscoe, Illinois for the Mid-America Horse Show Association’s Signature Show. Held outside in a beautiful arena with shady seating overlooking the ring, the show has an ‘old timey’ feel.

    Team Knollwood enjoyed a lot of learning last weekend. Our show riders gained valuable experience at this pretty relaxed show. Many of our academy riders ‘rode up’ on horses new to them and learned many, many lessons along the way.

    Highlights of the weekend?

    Hanna returned to the show ring aboard Riddle for the first time in three years, competing in the Good Hands qualifier and the championship. On the academy side, Amelia really started getting the hang of Murphy, and got better and better with every ride.


    Oh, and Sport.

    He really got into the summer horse show thing. He wore Carol's hat and became addicted to popsicles while living the dream in the academy division while also serving as Payton's steed in the Good Hands qualifier.

    He's one in a million.





    This weekend, we’re off to the IASPHA Summer Show at Beyond Stable Farm in Woodstock, Illinois. We’ll be the first show to compete in the new covered outdoor arena. With the sides open to let the breezes flow and the roof to keep the sun off the horses and riders, it promises to be a fantastic horse show weekend.

    You can see all the entries here.

    On the show side, Jane and Maddie will be showing in the pleasure divisions and Lily will be showing Tucker in equitation.

    We’re traveling with a full academy crew with a little bit of everything. We have adults, and kids on Saturday, and even a first time show rider.

    On Sunday, we have Cecilia and Sophia making their show ring debuts, Stella showing for the third time, and two of our experienced stars as well.

    It’s just a short drive to the show, and we’d love an audience to cheer us on!



    What’s Coming Up?


    The Knockouts are busy!

    The officers and board members are hosting one of their popular 'Parents Night Out' events on Saturday, August 7. From 5:00 until 8:00 PM, Knockout members will play games, eat dinner, and make signs for the car wash happening the next day.

    Best of all, this fun activity is only $25 to be paid at sign up.

    If you're not yet a Knockout, you can oin in the school barn and participate in all the fun club activities. Annual dues are only $5 for kids, and $10 for adults.

    They’re hosting their annual car wash and brat bash at the Hartland Piggly Wiggly on Sunday, August 8. By now, all the Knockouts have received phone calls to sign up for a shift at the fun event. Please be sure to volunteer for a shift or two to help our club raise funds for all the activities it provides. These fundraisers also make the annual banquet possible.

    Whether you’d like to wash cars or work in the shack, please sign up for your shift the next time you’re at the barn.  Parents are of course welcome, too!



    The following weekend, the Knockouts are joining with the American Saddlebred Horse Association to host the Summer Showcase Horse Show at the Ozaukee County Fairgrounds.

    Primarily an academy show, this outdoor event hosts a number of ‘B’ classes as well over the two day run.

    The show is a starting point for many of our riders. This year, Team Knollwood is bringing 10 riders who will be competing at their first horse show!

    The Knockouts are responsible for show set up and take down, for center ring staff, and for the concession stand.

    Our youth group splits profits from the show 50/50 with the ASAW Scholarship fund.

    Please save the weekend to help the Knockouts put on a memorable weekend for the riders participating.








    We’re reordering our popular tank tops in both lavender and black. Be sure to place your order in the school barn by August 5.






    Our final in-barn show of the year is coming up on October 9-10. We’ll start accepting entries on August 1, and all entries are due by September 1.  We have to get our shirt order in for the pretty dark green show shirts our competitors will be wearing.






    We’ll be resuming our popular ‘Welcome to Knollwood’ introductory class and our mini-camps starting in September. Look for dates and pricing coming soon!





    Friendly reminders:

    Please arrive 15 minutes early for your lesson.  We want our riders to get as much time on their horse as possible.

    With school starting soon, your instructor will be reaching out to check on lesson schedules around school and fall activities.



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

    And at the car wash, for sure!

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  • What A Weekend!

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    We did it again.

    We participated in two very different shows last weekend in two states, and both were grand successes.

    Our show horses were competing at the iconic Lexington Junior League horse show at Rolex Stadium. This beautiful newish venue hosted many of the best saddlebred show horses and equitation riders from around the country.

    Always full of southern hospitality, Lexington is a favorite of many, and is seen as a tune up for the World’s Championship Horse Show coming up in August.

    The Knollwood Kids turned up and held their own against the best competition around.

    Our ‘grown up’ kids Allison and Maria competed in the adult equitation finals held at the show. Both ladies finished at the top of both finals.

    Payton showed her soulmate Eli in pleasure equitation for riders aged 14-17.  They won their qualifier unanimously in a field of 14, and finished reserve in the championship.


    Heather and Sammy showed in the equally deep trimmed senior equitation and were fantastic. These two finished second in their Challenge Cup qualifier, and fifth in a crazy good senior championship.


    Richie showed Payton’s pleasure horse Dos in the 13 and under show pleasure class and finished second before he started his equitation rides.

    We may start calling Richie ‘Rain Man,’ as both of his eq classes took place in the rain for which Lexington is famous. 


    Richie and Sophie won both their qualifier and their junior championship. 

    The championship decision was unanimous!


    Margit showed Charlie in the fabulous 5 Gaited pleasure division, and was second in her qualifier and 3rd in a rainy championship.

    Margit keeps her sense of humor always, even when she's wrapped in plastic for her own protection.



    Meanwhile, back at the home office…


    The Knollwood Summer Show was near perfect. We couldn’t have asked for better weather for an outdoor show, and everyone joined in to create a weekend made of dreams.

    We had 97 riders participate last weekend, our largest show to date.  If you’re a numbers person, we had 303 entries pass through the gates over the weekend!

    This was truly a team effort, and we have many, many  people to thank for their help.


    First of all, our friends at Wild Impact Marketing created the fantastic neon pink show shirts that the riders LOVED. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen 68 walk and trot riders running around in bright pink shirts.


    Great thanks to Knollwood Kid Emilie for creating the unique trophies won by the first place stars.  The bottles and juice glasses will be used for a long time. In case you didn’t know, Emilie’s creative business helps her pay for her academy show expenses.


    Great thanks to Hanna Agathen for capturing the show with her photographic skills. Hanna has a gift for catching the emotion of exciting events, and we’re proud to call her a Knollwood Kid. Hanna also uses her photography business to help finance her horse showing addiction.

    All KF show photos in this blog are by Hanna.

    You can view proofs and purchase pics here.


    Great thanks to Jeni for announcing both days of the show. Jeni always keeps the show light and entertaining, even apologizing at the start of each performance for mispronouncing names of riders.

    She sat in the sun, had to almost jump up and down to see ringmaster Nicole’s hand signals, and she told the riders it was ‘canter time’ as only Jeni can.

    Great thanks to ringmasters Laura and Nicole who kept the arenas safe and orderly all weekend. They distributed ribbons, organized lineups and patterns, and used an unbelievable amount of sunscreen.

    Great thanks to Sammy Jo for spending her weekend as our show judge. An honorary ‘Knollwood Kid,’ Sammy took the time to talk to riders and even left notes for our Sunday walk and trot riders.


    Knollwood Parents are unbelievable.

    Supermoms Lisa, Julie, Abby, and Pam ran a concession area, gift baskets, silent auction items, and even offered a shady hospitality area.


    The concession stand was primarily operated on a pre-order basis, but walk up Sunday business required several additional trips to the grocery store.

    The wonderful crew of parents and kids brought in more than $2000 for the Knockouts which will help with the club’s 2021 banquet and charitable contributions.


    Knollwood Kids are wonderful mentors

    Fifteen of the best helpers in the land were in the barn on Sunday at 7:30 AM brushing horses for the 9:00 AM leadline start.

    Most of the ladies showed on Saturday, helped with camp the previous week, and worked with riders for 10 hours on Sunday.

    Each of the mentors had a horse to manage for the day.  These Knollwood Kids were responsible for tack changes for the day, encouraging riders, taking care of their horse’s water breaks and comfort, and entering for the line-up in some classes. Our helpers were great with the kids, parents, and the best lesson horses in the world. We’re proud to call these horsewomen Knollwood Kids.


    We have the best lesson horses ever. Hands down.

    As we mentioned earlier, we had 303 entries pass through the arena gates, and we had ZERO horse issues. From our beginner stars like Sparky and Pony Frank to our more advanced school horses like Cashew, the boys were on their best behavior. Dexter thought the show in the big outdoor arena was the best after his injections, too.

    We’re pretty sure these horses know who’s on them, and adjust their behavior accordingly.

    We can’t possibly thank these grand souls enough but we try every day.  The boys had Monday off, and enjoyed spa treatments and nap time in a quiet, dark barn.

    We are grateful.





    What’s Coming Up?

    The Knollwood tank tops just delivered were so popular that we’re placing a quick reorder. They are available in misses and girls sizes in both lavender and charcoal.

    Order blanks will be at the barn on Wednesday, and we’re taking orders until August 4.


    The Knockouts are sponsoring a car wash at the Hartland Piggly Wiggly on Sunday, August 8.  We’ll also run the brat shack.

    Sign ups sheets will be in the school barn shortly, and we’re asking all Knockout members to take a shift for this which is one of our largest annual fundraising events.  It’s a blast, too!


    The Knockouts are co-sponsoring the ASAW Summer Showcase Show at the Ozaukee County Fairgrounds on August 14-15.

    The club will be looking for volunteers in the concession stand and for other aspects of running the show.  Stay tuned for info soon!


    The Knollwood Fall Academy show is coming up October 9-10!

    We’ll start taking entries on August 1, and all entries will close on September 1.

    Fall shirts will be a deep green in long sleeves.



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

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