• We Are Thankful

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    Knollwood is quiet today, with the horses all enjoying a well-deserved day off.

    We are grateful for many things.

    Most importantly, we are thankful for our customers who entrust us with their riding education, and with their beautiful horses.

    Thanks to you, we get to work with wonderful, talented people and horses.

    We love what we do.

    We hope you enjoy a joyous day filled with friends and family.






    (And Lots of Fun.)

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  • The Good Stuff Is On Sale!!

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    Black Friday is fast approaching, marking the start of the holiday season. Here at Knollwood, insiders know it means it’s time for our annual lesson sale. From Friday November 23 through Monday, December 31, all our lessons are 10% off. That’s right, you can purchase private lessons, group lessons, camps, horse shows, and even camps at a discount.

    Riding lessons make great gifts for many, many reasons. Here are just a few:


    Horses build confidence.

    Even the smallest riders in our Tiny Tot program for riders between the ages of 3 and 6 can learn how to direct our fabulous lesson horses. All our riders learn that the horses may be big, but they’re very cooperative when you communicate with them so they understand. We love watching our students figure out that they are, in fact, in charge!


    Horses build patience.

    Horses see the world in a very different way than we do, and they don’t communicate with their voices. Very often.

    These wonderful creatures teach us to be patient as they try to understand what we’re asking them to do. Riders quickly learn that horses’ minds are not like computer keyboards, and that they need constant communication and help.


    Horses build compassion.

    Horses need care. A lot of it.

    Riders quickly learn that horses don’t do much for themselves, and that they’re reliant on us. Horses must be groomed, prepared for lessons, taken care of after lessons, and groomed again. In the summer, we also add baths after working to their spa schedule.

    Sometimes, horses don’t feel well and require extra care, and sometimes injuries occur which need care and rehab.

    We are happy to add that we keep all of our retired lesson horses at Knollwood, and our senior citizens receive attentive care in their golden years.


    Horses build resilience.

    Things don’t always go your way, and life isn’t fair. It’s just not.

    Riders will struggle with a particular horse, or a specific skill. Riders may fall off, and may have a difficult lesson or show. Horses help us realize that we just have to work through the rough parts, and never give up. Learning isn’t always pretty.


    Horses make you strong.

    The core and leg strength developed while riding will make you the envy of your friends. You'll use those muscles the most while directing an 1800 pound horse, and have fun doing it!

    Of course, moving saddles, throwing hay, giving leg-ups, and running with new riders will also help your fitness routine!


    Horses will introduce you to new friends.

    Horse people love to talk about horses and riding. At Knollwood, the social time before and after lessons is almost as much fun as the lesson itself.

    For our younger riders, having ‘barn friends’ outside of school friends is a good thing. Riders can always come to the barn and be with fellow ‘horse people.’  Of course, this usually involves games of ‘horse show’ in the arena!

    We also have an award winning youth group, The Knollwood Knockouts. A member of the American Saddlebred Horse Association's Youth Foundation, the club has been recognized by Saddlebred Rescue (twice) and the American Saddlebred Association of Wisconsin for their contributions.

    Knollwood kids gather for service projects, street clean ups, and fun activities. They also staff the concession stands at our 3 in-barn shows as well as at the ASAW Summer Showcase in Cedarburg each August.

    Their fundraising supports charitable causes as well as subsidizes their annual awards banquet held each February.




    We’re the largest saddle seat lesson program in the area. We work with about 26 stellar lesson horses ranging from our patient beginner horses all the way to advanced horses that can take you into the show ring. The size of our program is a plus because we can offer opportunities that come with a large program.

    We have a staff of instructors that works in the lesson program in addition to our owners, Scott and Carol Matton and their staff who work with the show horses. Of course, they also work with riders in the lesson program, and our advanced lesson program students have the opportunity to show the high end lesson horses in the show barn.

    Our size allows us to offer both group and private lessons. Many students start in group lessons, and that’s a great way to begin. These 45 minute lessons offer plenty of repetition of basic skills at the beginning, and they are a very social affair with horse lovers coming together to learn.  We offer group lessons from beginners through advanced riders, and even offer an adults-only class on Thursdays at 7:30.

    Private lessons are a great way to perfect skills, or to advance your skills very quickly. Since these lessons are half an hour in length, many riders choose to add a group lesson during the week to develop the leg and core strength it takes to succeed. Plus, we are strong believers in riding without stirrups!

    Tiny Tot lessons are half hour private lessons for our youngest riders between the ages of 3 and 6. These lessons use a select group of our lesson horses who enjoy tiny riders. Our tiny tot riders learn the same skills on our fabulous older horses, and even get to show at our 3 In Barn Shows each year.

    Summer camps are a tradition here at Knollwood. We offer 4 weeks of ‘Classic Camp’ for riders who want to almost live with the lesson horses. Campers learn how to groom and tack before each ride, and how to bathe and take care of them after. Campers also learn about horses through hands on activities and enjoy an afternoon of horsey crafts with our friends from Soul Fire Art Studio.

    Our more advanced riders enjoy weeks of camp designed especially for them. These advanced camps focus on show ring skills and strategy with lots of fun thrown in!

    We love to show! Our students can compete in 3 In-Barn shows each year. These shows are held in our own arena, and offer competition for our riders on our horses. It’s a wonderful way to introduce riders to the horse show world.

    In addition to the In Barn shows, we travel to about 12 academy shows each season where our academy horses and riders compete against other lesson horses in the Midwest. We have so much fun!

    In addition to our lesson program, Knollwood Farm offers a full service training facility for champion American Saddlebreds. For riders looking to move up to the world of show horses, there’s nowhere better.

    Scott and Carol have produced many, many National and World Champions. This year, a rider who came up through our lesson program won the coveted Triple Crown of Saddle Seat Equitation. Haley became only the 13th rider in history to win the UPHA Challenge Cup National Final, the Good Hands National Final, and the USEF Saddle Seat Medal Final. 

    Haley is the third Knollwood rider to achieve this rare feat, with Sarah Thordsen ‘doing the triple’ in 2001, while Nick Maupin rocked it in 2010.


    Want to join the adventure?

    You can purchase lessons online at www.KnollwoodFarmLTD.com and use discount code HOLIDAY2019 to receive 10% off through December 31.

    You can also call Ann or Nancy at 262-367-2391, and we’d love to talk about a program that will work for you.

    We’d love to meet you, and you’re welcome to come out and visit at any time. If you’d like an official tour, please give a call so we can schedule a  guide to answer all your questions.


    We love what we do.






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  • Our Magical Weekend

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    What a weekend we enjoyed at Knollwood and in Kansas City.

    We have wonderful stories to tell from the Knollwood Fall Academy Show and from the UPHA National Championship American Royal Horse Show!

    The field at the Royal was even deeper than in previous years.

    Maybe it was the move to Hale Arena last year, maybe it just shows the strength of the industry, we’re not sure. But, any ribbon in any class was an accomplishment to be proud of.


    We’re proud to report that our performance horses all showed to ribbons in the always tough Junior Exhibitor divisions.

    Dos, Millie, Charlie, Robert and Garfield all won ribbons with their hard working Knollwood Kids onboard.


     At home, the Annual Knollwood Basket Challenge was a great success this year.

    Each team of helpers was given a theme, and asked customers and friends to donate to their theme.  Horse show judge and 2001 Triple Crown winner Sarah Thordsen had the difficult task of picking her favorite basket, and the winner was Team Tuesday with their holiday theme. Tuesday helpers Heather, Margit, Maya, Maddie, Nicole, and Kristen will enjoy a pizza party!! Somehow, we think the Tuesday amigos will crash the party as well…



     In KC, all of our equitation riders made it to at least the second phase of the Challenge Cup and Medal finals at the Royal!

    All season, equitation riders around the country have been training and dreaming of success during Royal week. We’re happy to report, once again, that hard work pays off!



     Meanwhile, back at world headquarters, lead line riders have never been more plentiful or looked better!

    The Knollwood show featured 13 lead line riders showing in split classes AND a split championship.

    Our youngest riders were even asked to perform a ‘workout’ in the line up, when they all showed the judge how to correctly hold a 2 point position. Championship winners in the big field were Zoe and Leighton.



     At the Royal, Richie and Payton made the Top 10 in their UPHA Challenge Cup National Finals, and Finn made the Top 10 in the Medal Final!

     Richie and the great Miss Mheirry Mac (Tink)  made their last walk and trot appearance at the Royal, and finished 5th in the Walk and Trot National Final. (Even with a little cantering thrown in during the preliminary phase!)

    They were a vision of horsemanship and poise while obviously enjoying every minute.


    Payton and Undulata’s Crystal Illusionist (Eli) have re-entered the equitation world after showing in the performance division for most of the season. This personality plus team earned a great 6th in the UPHA Junior Challenge Cup National Final. Look for more great things from them in the future!


    Finn and Sophie finished 8th in the USEF Medal National Final. Featuring the best of the equitation world, the Medal is often considered the most difficult of the Big Three. Finn's placing  was a wonderful way to finish her first season in the senior equitation division!



     The Knockouts pitched in this weekend to raise funds for the club while running the show.

    Some highlights?

    The silent auction had some really unique items, and the new items at the concession stand were a hit. In fact, additional shopping was needed twice on Sunday as the crown couldn’t get enough of the quesadillas and walking tacos!

    Thanks to generosity of Knockout members and their friends, the club raised over $1800 this weekend. The funds will be used to subsidize the banquet as well as the Knockout’s charitable efforts. We also sent Saddlebred Rescue a check for $450 thanks to everyone who purchased songs at our three academy shows this year!



     Not to be outdone by the leadliners, the ‘grown up’ divisions at the Knollwood show were also exceptionally strong.

    The adult walk and trot division returned after an absence of a few years. Nancy and Rachel kept switching placings throughout the show. They both enjoyed showing and are looking forward to welcoming more adults to the ring.

    After last entering the academy show ring 17 years ago, Kristen showed Hugo this weekend and rode to the adult walk trot and canter championship as well as the pattern championship. These classes were strong from top to bottom, proving that riding is, indeed, a sport for life.


     The Knollwood Challenge Final is the highlight of the fall show. Modeled after the UPHA Challenge Cup and Good Hands finals, riders qualify throughout the year by riding in a qualifying class. All riders perform the same pattern to qualify, and riders placing first or second in a qualifier advance to the November final, and are eliminated from future qualifying classes.

    Both our walk trot canter and walk trot finals featured talented, hard working riders who rode hard trying to win the bronze traveling trophy and a custom show shirt from deRegnaucourt.  After railwork and challenging patterns, we’re proud to announce that Lauren S won the walk trot and canter final with Lauren B in reserve.

    In the walk and trot division, Mia won the final with Samara reserve.



     So, Ken hasn’t traveled to away horse shows all season because he thought Haley and mom Sue had a routine and schedule that he didn’t want to interrupt. He stayed home this summer and fall, watching the shows online and logging many cellular minutes.

    When Haley was getting so close to possibly winning the triple crown, she placed a call to her Dad and told him to get on a plane to KC. Ken made it in time to see…

    Haley win the Triple Crown of Saddle Seat Equitation.

    In one year, Haley and Leila won the Good Hands Final, the UPHA Challenge Cup Senior National Final, and the USEF Medal National Final. She’s the 13th member of the elite club who can call themselves Triple Crown winners.

    Knollwood has produced 2 other club members, Sarah Thordsen who did the triple in 2001, and Nick Maupin who won all three in 2010.


    In addition to the Big Three finals, Haley and Leila were also reserve national champs in the Pleasure Olympic Senior Final.

    They were National Champions in the ASHA Pleasure Equitation Final, the Saddle and Bridle Senior Medallion Pleasure Equitation Final and in the UPHA Pleasure Challenge Cup Final.

    What a year for this Knollwood Kid.


    Like so many, Haley started in group lessons when she was 7. She started taking private lessons, and the rest is history. She enjoyed a successful academy career, and even won the Knollwood Challenge Walk Trot final.


    Haley went on to show lots of different horses in the equitation division.

    Some of her horse partners include Batman, Nugget, Maddie, Felix, Butters, and Robert.

    This season, Kerry Richter agreed to let Scott teach her great park mare Leila, officially known as Brookhill’s Passion Punch, the ways of the equitation horse while she sat out the season on maternity leave.

    Leila has always been athletic, talented, and brilliant. She can also be opinionated, sure of herself, and, well, challenging. Scott saw the intelligence in Leila, while he and Carol knew that they had the rider who could get it done in Haley.


    Haley and Leila debuted at Chapter 5 last May, qualifying for the Good Hands and the UPHA Pleasure Challenge Cup. The rest is history.



    The two shows merged on Sunday afternoon when Haley stopped in on her way home from Kansas City.  Judge Sarah introduced Haley to the crowd, and told them about the amount of work and dedication required to reach this level of success.



    Triple Crown winner 2001 got to meet Triple Crown winner 2018. It was magic.


    Haley stayed long enough to meet up with some of her ‘littles’ who she helps at horse shows, and brought her Medal bouquet to show.



    Magic? Yes!

    See you at the barn.





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  • Forest Tells All About the Knollwood Fall Show

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    Hi Everyone,

    Forest here!

    As the official spokeshorse for the best lesson horses in the world, I’ve been asked to update everyone about our fall show coming up this weekend.


    First of all, we’re thrilled to welcome Sarah Agrawal as our judge for the weekend. She’s a full grown Knollwood Kid who grew up around here, and went on to  win the coveted Triple Crown of saddle seat equitation in 2001. After lots of school, she’s now a physician, and has given up a rare open weekend to judge the show.  I just know she’ll appreciate the lone Fjord in a sea of saddlebreds.


    The concession stand will be located in the show barn, and they’re offering some new menu items. Please test them, and let me know about the quesadillas!


    We will have some bouquets for sale at the show with proceeds to benefit the Knockouts. At only $15, these arrangements designed by our friends at Bank of Flowers will delight the rider in you house, or a friend, or just about anyone.


    Gift baskets and silent auction items are displayed in the back of the arena.  If any of the baskets contain lots of food or anything Norwegian, please buy some tickets for me. I promise I’ll share.


    There are still songs available for some classes. For only $5, you can choose the music for your class, or for a friends.  ALL of the proceeds are going to Saddlebred Rescue, the Knockouts’ favorite charity. I would love to hear some pleasant New Age music to calm my performance anxiety.  I cover up my stage fright pretty well, wouldn’t you say?


    Our friends at the Kettle Moraine Curling Club are hosting an event of their own all weekend, so we absolutely cannot use their parking lot.  Instead, we’ll be parking in the pasture.  Just follow the signs, and remember that unless you’d like a visit from a Delafield police officer, don’t park between the ‘No Parking’ signs on the curve of Horseshoe Bend!


    It’s your last chance to order Knollwood sweatshirts and tees for holiday delivery. Size samples and order blanks are in the school barn  lounge which, of course, serves as the horse show office this weekend. How do I know this? I’ve been there!


    This weekend starts the Knockouts winter coat drive.  You can drop off gently used or new coats in the show barn lounge and they’ll be donated to One Warm Coat. Donations are being accepted until December 15, the day of the Knockout Holiday Gala, of which I’m a star.

    Here’s the really important stuff, the stories we’re looking forward to this weekend:


    Our grown-ups asked for, and received their own pattern class. We have 6 brave adults who going to ‘attack’ a pattern without pesky teenagers around.  Somehow, I wasn’t invited to be in this class. Erika has taken the challenge and will be showing me in the 14-17 pattern class, and I doubt you’ll want to miss this performance.


    We have 13 lead line riders, so we have a split class!

    And I’m in both of them!

    We’re thrilled to have so many young riders who even have a split championship. Watch our smallest riders compete and even perform their first workout in the final where they’ll either 2 point in the line up or drop and pick up their stirrups.


    The finale of the Mother Daughter melee takes place on Saturday afternoon. Sadly, I was not invited to the party, probably because part of it is a race. Fast, I am not.

    You won’t want to miss the race for the fastest team to get Mom off and daughter on.  It’s worth the price of admission, which happens to be free.



    Newish lesson horse Thomas, officially known as Fort Chiswell’s Aristocrat, will be making his official Knollwood show debut on Sunday with Mia in the 10 and under walk trot and canter division. Equitation star Hanna will be working him during the show on Saturday to prep him for his first trip to the big time.


    The biggest story of the weekend is the finals of the Knollwood challenge. Modeled after the equitation finals that took place in Indy, and those taking place this week in Kansas City, our challenge introduces our riders to the qualification process as well as the excitement of a final. Pictured above is Knollwood Kid Haley and Leila who won the UPHA Senior Pleasure Challenge Cup National Final in September.

    Riders have qualified at the spring and summer shows, and more will qualify this weekend.


    The challenge finals will finish the show each day with all qualified riders performing rail work followed by a new pattern not seen before show day. The winner of each final will receive a traveling trophy and a custom show shirt from deRegnaucourt.  Last year’s winners, Maddie and Emma, will present the trophy to this year’s champions.


    Actually, I lied.

    The biggest story of the weekend is our celebration of a fun filled academy show season.

    Whether your showing is currently limited to the Knollwood shows or you’re a well traveled academy show pro, all the lesson horses are proud of everyone’s accomplishments this year.

    Even Mark and Big Frank agreed they’re proud after I explained what proud meant.


    So on behalf of the best lesson horses in the world, have fun this weekend.

    With your family,

    with your barn friends,

    and with your favorite horses.

    Like everyone at Knollwood, we love what we do.



    Tradition. Honor. Passion.


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  • Academy Season Finishes On A High

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    Team Knollwood finished their out of barn academy season on a high note at the IASPHA Fall Show in Gurnee, Illinois. Always one of our favorite shows, IASPHA features a relaxed, well run, friendly show in a facility with the same strengths.  Add Halloween festivities to the sold out show, and it’s pure gold.

    Not just an academy show, Team Knollwood traveled to Gurnee with 14 horses including  our three ‘B’ horses, Heist, JD, and Panic as well as Geronimo and Maddie who  who compete at the ‘A’ level. There wasn’t a spare stall to be found, and the atmosphere was buzzing.


    These shows are known for their hospitality, and this edition lived up to expectations. Exhibitors and friends enjoy parties every night during the evening performances. We love them because everyone can grab food during the show instead of waiting for a late dinner after the performance.

    Saturday featured a second party as well, with the annual costume class. Team Knollwood was in the thick of it with Hugo dressed as a Hershey bar thanks to Mary’s imaginative soul.  Tori added to the vision of the costume by designing costumes for Hazel and Billy. We won 5th place, $15, and lots of personal satisfaction. Plus, we already have some ideas for next year already!

    Carol came to the show to put the training horses in the ring, and the show teams competed well at the busy show.  Jordan and Maddie have learned a lot about each other during the season, and they’ve become a compelling team. They won their qualifier and finished as reserve champions in their final.

    Susan and her grand gelding Geronimo have a special bond. This classic team was third in their Country Pleasure qualifier and was reserve in their championship.

    Jodi, Mary, and Laura all enjoyed great rides last weekend, and Jodi even finished with a reserve championship in Country Pleasure for limit riders.

    The biggest story of the weekend was the strength and numbers of the academy division. We brought 24 riders to our final out of barn show of the 2018 season, and they represented all phases of the learning process. We had some of our most experienced stars showing in the adult walk, trot, and canter division, and welcomed 2 new riders to the academy show ring, too.

    Academy classes were big, and they were deep. Riders were competing for spots in the busy show ring, and they had their horses working hard. Judge Whalen really earned his salary at this show.

    Our riders impressed us this weekend. Their progress over the season was evident as they worked their way through impressive classes and earned some good ribbons as well.  Many of the Knollwod Kids were riding more powerful horses than they were earlier in the season, and they looked good doing it.

    A couple of our favorite stories from Sunday…


    Hugo doesn’t go to many horse shows. He lives outside and isn’t fancy. In fact, he’s a little quirky in his personal habits and his view of the world.

    Well, with 24 riders going to the show, we called on hairy Hugo. Maiya gladly took the opportunity to show ‘non-fancy’ Hugo at the show and did a grand job with him. Maiya had him working hard and taking passes off the rail and the team looked fabulous. They scrapped their way to a reserve championship in the 10 and Under Walk Trot Equitation championship, and they deserved the ribbon. Maiya reminded us that it’s always a good idea to ‘make something out of nothing.’


    Cashew came to Knollwood a couple of years ago after some rough patches in his life.  Thanks to the patience of Scott, Carol, and the show barn riders, he’s now enjoying life as an academy horse, even a walk and trot academy horse. Cashew traveled to shows all over the country with the show barn as the practice horse for the last 2 seasons, and now he’s comfortable and confident in his new role. It sure looks like he enjoyed his victory pass with Juliet on Sunday. He also earned a reserve championship with Maddie on Saturday.

    We are especially grateful to Haley and Hanna for all their help this weekend. These two show stars who grew up Knollwood Kids were indispensable. H and H prepped horses, warmed up horses, helped with hair and make-up, mentored young riders and smiled through all of it.  They were rockstars.

    And thanks to everyone who pitched in to help this weekend. We couldn't do it without you!!

    The Knollwood Kids and the best lesson horses in the world finished the season on a really high note, and we couldn’t be happier.

    Great thanks to everyone who contributes their time and talents to make these shows such a wonderful experience for so many riders!


    What’s Next?

    The show horses are leaving for the UPHA National Championship American Royal show on Saturday. Home to more than 70 national championship classes, the UPHA Classic Championships, the UPHA Challenge Cup finals, and the USEF Medal Final, it’s a big deal. 

    The show IS being webcast for a fee, and we’ll share the information soon.

    If you’re a horse show geek, particularly an equitation geek, you won’t want to miss it!


    The Knollwood Fall show on November 10 and 11 is almost here! We’re putting finishing touches on the event, and we’re looking for some help with staffing the indoor concession stand, chili donations, gift basket donations, and Songs for Saddlebreds participation. Please talk to your instructor about baskets and songs. You can sign up for concession stand help HERE.


    Sweatshirt and tee shirt orders are due on Sunday, November 11 so that holiday delivery is guaranteed.  Size samples are available in the school barn lounge.


    Soul Fire Art Studio is coming to Knollwood on Saturday, December 1 for ornament creation. For only $10, you can drop in between 10 and 2 to create your own holiday keepsake. Completed ornaments will be delivered to the Knockouts Holiday Gala!



    You can now sign up for Parents’ Night Out on Saturday, December 8. Drop your rider off at 5, and pick them up at 8 while you enjoy some shopping or dinner. Meanwhile, your Knollwood Kid will be busy making posters for their School Horse of the Year, eating dinner, and playing games with their barn friends. All this for only $10! Please sign up in the school barn with your instructor.



    The Knockouts Holiday Gala is coming up on Saturday, December 15. Join us at 5:30 for caroling with Dudley and Forest and return to the barn to enjoy a scavenger  hunt, pizza, club officer elections for 2019, and optional gift exchange, and just plain old fun with friends. All Knockout members are invited, and the sign up sheet is going up soon. If you’re not yet a Knockout, we’d love to have you.  You can sign up in the school barn lounge.



    Finally, remember to save February 9 for the Knockout Awards banquet at Bristlecone. You won’t want to miss this, especially since we’re announcing the winner of our first ever ‘Lesson Horse of the Year!’



    See you at the barn,

    or at the in-gate!

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