• Great Gifts For Knollwood Kids

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    Are you having trouble thinking of the perfect gift idea for the Knollwood Kid on your list?  (And trust us when we say that Knollwood Kids come in all ages from 3 up to some very experienced ages!)

    We have some great gift ideas that are sure to please!


    Your Own Helmet

    We recommend that a helmet be the first purchase each rider makes when they realize that horses are not 'just a phase.'  This will make sure that the helmet is fitted for you, and it's comfortable for you.

    We love the helmets with the dial in the back so you can get an exact comfortable fit, and we like the cut of this Ovation helmet which has clean lines that will take a rider from lessons at home to the academy show ring.

    You can purchase this one at Dover Saddlery.


    Note Cards

    Your Knollwood Kid will look forward to writing Thank You notes with these cool portraits of famous Saddlebreds of the past.  Plus, your purchase will help support the American Saddlebred Museum!  You can purchase them here.


    Saddle Rental

    Think your Knollwood Kid is pretty serious about this horse thing, but they're still growing?

    We offer saddle rental for our academy riders who want to ride in a saddle that's nicer than our daily use saddles.  We have a nice selection of 20, 21', and 22' saddles available for only $250 a year.  It means that your rider gets to take all their lessons and ride their show classes in a premium saddle.  Please contact either Nancy or Ann if you're interested!


    Saddle Cleaning

    If you've taken the plunge and purchased your own saddle, Hanna's saddle cleaning service is offering special prices on gift certificates for the holiday season. (We wonder where she got that idea?)

    Your purchase of saddle cleaning and conditioning will help support Hanna's horse show adventures.  This year, she was reserve national champion in the Saddle and Bridle Pleasure Equitation Junior Medallion and in the UPHA Junior Pleasure Challenge Cup and was the Silver medalist in the Junior division of the Pleasure Olympics.

    She does a mean clean and condition on saddles as well!  You can talk to Hanna or her mom Abbie at the barn to get your certificate.


    Stirrups and Leathers


    Wouldn't it great to get on your horse and not adjust stirrups?  We recommend that our academy riders who rent saddles purchase their own stirrups and leathers to save time, and make sure they have the right size.

    We use these great stirrups from Winner's Circle.  The leathers never stretch, and will last forever.  Please talk to your instructor before you purchase so they can help you with the correct sizes.


    Some great jods!

    Let's face it, good jods are hard to find.  Here are some great suggestions on jods that can go from the barn to the academy show ring.


    The TJC Elite Show Jods are stretchy, and have some terrific features like snaps to cuff up the bottom of your jods while you're not riding. 

    They also come in kids sizes, and the models are pretty great, too!


    If you're looking for some super long academy show jods, we stand behind Lucky brand jods available from Hartmeyers. They're great for our long legged riders, with a three inch hem for future lengthening, and the fabric makes for a nice appearance for academy showing. Kids sizes are also available!



    Knollwood Gift Certificates are on Sale!

    Of course, the best gift of all is a Knollwood gift certificate, and they're 10% off through December 31.

    New customers can try riding with group lessons, private lessons, or even summer riding school.

    Our established Knollwood Kids can use gift certificates for all those lessons plus they can purchase in-barn show entry fees, camps, or even apply gift certificates to academy shows away from home. (You'll still have to pay full price for show fees such as class entries and office fees.)

    You can use discount code HOLIDAY2017FB to purchase on our website, www.knollwoodfarmLTD.com.  Of course, we'd be happy to help customers design a certificate for whatever they'd like, too! 

    Please contact either Ann or Nancy at 262-367-2391 to create a gift certificate tailored for the rider in your house.



    See you at the barn!






    Read more

  • Happy Thanksgiving!

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    Knollwood is quiet today, with horses, dogs, and cats enjoying a day off along with the humans who take care of them.  Except, of course, for the fortunate souls who get to enjoy feeding on a silent day in the barn.

    On this day of thanks, we'd like to express our gratitude to many.

    We are thankful for our wonderful customers.

    From our tiny tot riders to our world and national champions, we are grateful that you trust us with your riding education and so much more. 



    We are grateful for the beautiful, talented horses we have the privilege of training for the show ring.  Thank you to our show barn customers for trusting us with these breathtaking animals.

    We are thankful for our hard working staff who take such care of our horses and riders.  We are also fortunate to have a wonderful support staff of vets and farriers who keep our horses happy and healthy while they perform many different jobs at many different stages of their lives. 


    We are grateful for the strong horse industry in our own backyard. 

    Thanks to our local organizations, The American Saddlebred Association of Wisconsin(ASAW), The Illinois American Saddlebred Pleasure Horse Association(IASPHA), and the Mid America Horse Show Association(MAHSA), we took our academy riders to 13 shows this season.  These groups share our vision that it you want to get better at something, you should do it as often as you can so you can learn, learn, learn.

    They provide academy divisions in a number of different atmospheres to allow riders of all levels to participate in the show process. Because of their dedication to the division, two of our riders went directly from the academy world in 2016 to the top of 2017 National Championships in the show horse world.

    We are grateful for their vision and investment in the industry's future.

    We are grateful to our unbelievable lesson horses. 

    They have taught countless riders not only how to ride, but how to respect and care for them as well.  They've started many world champions and life long riders and horse lovers, too.

    We hope you all enjoy a day filled with gratitude with family and friends today.

    See you soon at the barn!

    Read more

  • The Grand Finales of Our Two Show Seasons

    Posted by Ann Wilt



    Last weekend was a big one for Team Knollwood as we finished two very successful show seasons for 2017.  Our show horses were in Kansas City competing against the best in the country at the UPHA National Championship American Royal Horse Show.

    Meanwhile, back at the home office, our academy riders were finishing their 16th show of their 2017 campaign at the Knollwood Fall show.

    In many ways, these two shows celebrate the same things. Our riders of all levels have shown tremendous progress since the first shows of the season. The more you ride and the more you show, the better you get.  This was so evident with several of our riders, and we'll get to their stories later.

    Respect for our equine partners was evident at both shows. Academy riders and national champion riders were both hugging and patting their mounts after classes, and spending time with them back in the barn.  

    Sportsmanship abounds. Horse shows don't have an obvious scoring system, and we rely on the experience, knowledge and opinion of judges for each event. Judges are human, and can only judge what they can see from their vantage point in the ring.

    It's a hard, often thankless job, and they are trying to do their best. We ask their opinion as we enter the ring, and accept it as we leave the arena.

    How do we deal when we don't see things the same way? We congratulate the winners and reflect on our performances.  Instructors and trainers are excellent sources of critiques and usually dispense it freely.  If they're happy, life is good.


    We had a blast both in Kansas City and Hartland, and here are some of our favorite stories of the week.



    The Young and The Eternally Young

    Our Knollwood finale showcases riding as a sport everyone can enjoy for life.  From our 4 year old leadline riders to our grown ups competing in both walk trot and walk trot canter classes, a good time was had by all.

    Our adult walk trot canter championship on Saturday featured a champion and reserve champion whose age difference spanned more than 25 years. Not many sports can match that!






    Earlier we said that the more you ride and the more you show, the better you get at this.  Lora is a shining example of our mantra, having amassed the most loyalty points in history at the Hotel Berget.

    You see, Lora lives 7 hours away in Iowa, and has taken a gap year to finish her last year of equitation finals before she heads off to the University of Virginia.

    Lora practically lived at Knollwood this summer, except when she was traveling to shows. 

    Her hard work has really paid off in her final season, as she finished in the  Top 10 of all of the Big Three equitation finals, the UPHA Challenge Cup, The Good Hands, and the USEF Saddle Seat Medal.

    We congratulate her on her great success with her beautiful partner, Sophie.



    Isabella's New Horse

    Kansas City is a famous horse shopping destination, as it's the last show of the season and many riders are aging out, changing divisions, or looking for something new.

    Scott and Carol have been looking for a horse for Bella for a few months.  She has enjoyed success the last 2 seasons leasing and showing Tura Lura Lura, known in the barn as Maddie.

    Bella's grandparents purchased Far Away Garfield at the show from Elisabeth Goth with Neil Visser as her agent.  Scott and Carol represented the Kingsburys.

    This cool young horse won his Country Pleasure qualifier at the Royal with former Knollwood Kid Michelle Krentz catch riding.  We can't wait to watch Isabella's upcoming adventures with her new partner!




    As you may know,  Susan lost her beloved western horse In The Zone last spring.  She and Carol have been searching high and low for a new partner, and Susan purchased Sir Don Juan as a western prospect.

    Susan's daughter Kerry is known far and wide for her riding ability and her uncanny skill of finding great spots in the show ring.  She's currently showing her charismatic and sometimes quirky park mare Brookhill's Passion Punch, known to all in the barn as Leila.

    Susan's new western prospect needed some ring time, so Kerry started working with Carol on western riding, and she showed Rudi at Mane Event to great success. Team Rudi headed to KC where they won the ladies western qualifier and then went on to win the national championship.

    Congrats to Kerry and Susan.  Is there anything Kerry can't ride?




    Equitation Girls

    Team Knollwood went to Kansas City with 5 equitation ladies who have  been competing very successfully all season.  


    Our two junior riders, Hanna and Finn enjoyed a great time at the Royal.  Hanna finished 4th in the Junior Challenge Cup National Final, 3rd in the National Championship for Junior Equitation Riders, and made the first cut in the Medal Final.  This is her first year out of academy, and she was showing walk trot academy last season!

    Finn and her beautiful mare Nuttin But a Lady finished 5th in the Junior Challenge Cup National Final, and 7th in the Junior National Championship.  She also had the opportunity to catch ride a country pleasure horse, and won both her qualifier and a national championship!


    Our senior riders were in deep, deep competition.  In a year where 12 riders will be aging out as they reach the end of their 17 year old year, the competition was beyond fierce.

    All three of our riders made the first cut in the UPHA Senior Challenge Cup Final, and Lora went on to finish in the Top 10.

    15 year old Haley finished 4th in the Senior National Championship, and Madison turned in some flawless workouts to finish her Junior Exhibitor career.



    Finals of the Knollwood Challenge

    In an effort to introduce the equitation final concept to our up and coming academy riders, we started the Knollwood Challenge about 10 years ago.  Our most experienced academy stars in both walk/trot/canter and walk and trot compete in qualifying classes at our three shows, and the riders who finish first or second qualify to ride in the final at the November show. Qualifying classes include railwork and a pre-set pattern for all riders.

    Riders compete on the rail in November and then get to perform a difficult pattern in the arena by themselves before all the finalists return to the arena for the awards ceremony.


    The Challenge winner receives a custom show shirt from deRegnaucourt and a traveling bronze trophy.

    Competition was strong again this year, and the patterns were pretty spot on.

    Maddie won the walk trot and canter division after winning the walk and trot division last year.  She becomes only the second rider to win both divisions with Emma being the first.

    Emma won the walk and trot division in only her first attempt at winning the final.

    Congratulations to all the competitors on a job very well done!




    Remember when we said that the more you ride and show, the faster you progress? Richie could have written that himself.

    Richie started his academy show career in 2016 at the ASAW Summer Showcase, winning the maiden division on Klem.  He fell in love with the sport and has been with us for almost every show we attend.  He helps at the barn to earn extra saddle no stirrup time and often rides 4 times a week.

    He was fortunate to become the new partner of the one and only Miss Mheirry Mack when his parents purchased the equitation superstar last spring. Richie and Carol have been working tirelessly getting the team together, and they made their debut at IASPHA at the end of October.

    All that hard work has paid off with Richie traveling to KC for his second show where he finished Reserve National Champion in the UPHA Challenge Cup Walk and Trot National Final.  To top it off, he qualified for the 2018 final by winning a qualifying class the following day.

    Richie is a student of horses.  He appreciates every horse he rides, and takes care of them as if they were his own.  He was particularly close to Chip who passed away this spring, and wears Chip's halter name tag around his neck when he shows.

    He stays after rides to help Marin with Tink, and has learned much from this once in a lifetime caretaker. He can now bandage almost as well as his caretaker mentor Marin! 


    It's been a great show season, and we're grateful to everyone who came along for the ride.









    Read more

  • The Knockouts Need Your Help to Help Puerto Rico

    Posted by Ann Wilt



    Since their founding 21 years ago, the Knollwood Knockouts have used their fundraising efforts to help those in need.  Previous recipients of their efforts include Honor Flight, The American Heart Association, The Waukesha County Food Pantry, Saddlebred Rescue, ASAW, and ASHA.

    This year, we're reaching a little further. The club recognizes the continued hardships being suffered by the people of Puerto Rico in the aftermath of the devastating Hurricane Maria. The club made contact with friends in Puerto Rico and are collecting items requested to help them through their rebuilding process.  Many are still without power, and every day necessities are in short supply.

    Please help the Knockouts with a donation of any of the items our friends in Puerto Rico have requested below:

    Calorie dense  non perishable food such as tuna or salmon in PACKETS, dry beans, granola bars, or nuts.

    Baby formula and diapers


    We're collecting donations in the show barn lounge through the Knockout holiday party on December 16.  Shortly after, we'll box the items up and send them via US Mail to Puerto Rico. If you'd like to help with the boxing effort, please contact either Ann or Nancy to join the party!

    We ask that you purchase non-canned food, as it will weigh less and take up less space in our care packages.



    We know the holidays are busy, so if you would like to help but don't have time to shop, we've done the research for you!  The Unidos Fund from the Hispanic Federation is sending 100% of donations to Puerto Rico relief.  You can read more about it here.

    Please feel free to give any Knockout member a check made out to "Unidos Fund, Hispanic Federation", and we'll include it with our other donations.  All donations to Unidos are 100% tax deductible.

    Your donations will be a welcome gift to brighten the lives of the people of Puerto Rico during the holidays. Thank you in advance for your generosity that will help the Knockouts make the world a better place. 



    Read more

  • An Insider's Guide to the Fall Finale

    Posted by Ann Wilt


    We're excited to be hosting the Knollwood Fall academy show this weekend, the 16th academy show at which we've competed in 2017.  It's a favorite because most of our horses get to join the fun, with the exception of a few of the boys who have told us that they'd rather not be in the spotlight. We get to introduce some new riders to the fun of horse showing, and to watch the progress of our more experienced riders. It offers everything from our future stars showing in leadline to fun classes like bareback and pairs to the finals of the Knollwood Challenge for both walk trot and walk trot canter riders. 

    We have some helpful tips to help you understand the show, to be prepared for the horse show experience, and to act like a pro even if it's your first show.



    The Horse Show Office


    When you arrive, be sure to check in at the horse show office located in the school barn lounge.  You'll receive your back number, and the helpful ladies can answer any questions about the show.  You can even ask them questions about other topics, and they might surprise you.

    Be sure to check in with Dean, the official horse show office cat.  You'll find him sleeping in the back number box, no doubt.

    Riders competing in pattern classes can pick up their copies here, and everyone will be able to walk their patterns before the start of the show.

    First time show riders will receive a brief memo outlining some of the day's procedures as well.

    We'll also be selling tee shirts, and taking orders for our fabulous Knollwood jackets for Christmas delivery.  Size samples and order blanks are available in the office.  Orders are being taken through Sunday, November 12, and these make great gifts!


    Hair Salon

    Our professional horse show hair stylists will be working in the show barn lounge for this show.  Please arrive on time for your session as their schedule is pretty tight. Remember to bring a hair tie, a hair net, bobby pins, a brush, and hairspray. Need a bow to complete your look?  We have a great assortment available from Jodi starting at only $3. 

    Jodi also has great ties, number magnets, vest bling, collar bars, and many other horse show accessories available at the show.  Be sure to shop in the horse show office!


    Support Saddlebreds With Music

    We're repeating our popular fundraiser for Saddlebred Rescue at this show.  (We raised over $200 at our summer show.)

    For only $5, you can select a song to be played during the class of your choice with all proceeds going to Saddlebred Rescue.  You can sign up and pay in the school barn lounge.  Classes are going fast!!




    A Toasty Concession Stand

    With the weather forecast looking a little cold and rainy, we've decided to move the concession stand to the show barn in front of the wall of World Champion Photos. (There also happens to be a picture of Scott's bike, which actually has never won a world championship or triple crown of any kind.)

    We are still looking for volunteers to work a shift at the stand on either Saturday or Sunday. It's a fun way to earn your service hours for the Knockouts so you can be eligible for a year end high point award.  You can sign up here to help the club.



    The Helper Basket Challenge

    Six helper teams have entered into a competition to create the best gift basket at the show.  Be sure to check them out and buy tickets so you can win your favorite.

    Our judge for the weekend will have the difficult task of picking the winning team who will receive a pizza party courtesy of the Knollwood Knockouts.

    Proceeds of the baskets and concession stand benefit the Knollwood Knockouts and their charitable activities.



    Finals of the Knollwood Challenge

    Let's face it, Team Knollwood loves equitation and how it prepares you to present a horse to it's best advantage. Our show riders compete at the biggest shows in the country, and will be competing at the UPHA National Championship American Royal Show while we're competing at home. 

    We have 6 riders showing in the last of the equitation finals for 2017, and 5 more riders competing for national championships in performance divisions. Many of these riders started in our arena at our in-barn shows.


    To promote equitation, horsemanship, and sportsmanship, we have developed our own version of an equitation final, just like the ones in Kansas City. Each of our in-barn shows hosts qualifying classes for the fall final.

    In the walk trot and canter division, riders perform rail work before each rider trots an inverted figure eight.

    In the walk and trot division, riders perform rail work before each rider trots a non-inverted figure eight.

    The top 2 places in each qualifying class advance to the final at the November show.

    These finals will finish our show performances each day.  Riders who finished first or second  in April, July, and November will return to perform railwork and then return to the arena one at a time to perform a more difficult workout.


    After the judge has made her difficult decisions, the winners will be announced in reverse order, with the first place winner in each division winning a traveling bronze trophy and a custom show shirt of their choosing from deRegnaucourt who outfits many of our show barn riders.


    We're looking forward to a great weekend of horse showing at home, and in Kansas City. You may be able to catch a little of the action from the Royal as some fans will be watching the live stream throughout the weekend.  



    Please feel free to ask questions along the way.  Any instructor would be happy to assist, and we have some great horse show parents who know all the tricks of the trade.


    Sit back and enjoy the show. The horses and riders are pretty amazing!

    We love what we do.





    Read more