Well, after a week of adventures across the Midwest, everyone is present and accounted for at Knollwood.
Where should we start?
How about the beginning ...
Scott started transporting show horses to the 76th annual Midwest Charity Horse Show last Friday. The show is the first 'big' show of the season where southern barns meet midwestern competitors for the first time. Team Knollwood had 2 loads of horses traveling to the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, so Scott returned home and left again at 6AM on Saturday with the final load of competitors.
Let's back up a little here ... On Thursday, Scott transported 9 horses to Highland Ridge Stable where they'd stay while our major show barn project was under way during the horse show. More about that later ...
So, at 7AM on Saturday, Gary and his crew arrived and started taking up the old asphalt aisleways in the show barn. The miracle workers had the asphalt up and gravel down by mid afternoon. We actually had to kick them out of the barn at 5:30 so we could use the arena for a special event.
Did we mention that we built a gazebo on the same day? After Gary and company were kicked out of the show barn, they helped the builders in the big outdoor ring put the finishing touched on the new structure in 'patternland.'
And the 'special event?' It was Haley's 16th birthday party! She and our other equitation riders traveling to Midwest were pretty much Knollwood residents during the week, prepping for the big show. They were ready for some horse fun that didn't involve precision, so the games were fairly entertaining. Everyone stayed on, Finn learned how much Sundance likes to play games, Ainsley was a force to be reckoned with even on Pony Frank, and birthday girl Haley was a power blocker on Picasso, especially when she could stop him. Oh, and we have to work on some rule changes for 'hat snatch.'
Gary and company returned on Sunday, so the aisle would be ready for concrete pouring on Monday. With organized precision, he scheduled trucks around our camp schedule so our first sessions of TIny Tot and Academy Pattern Camps could go off without a hitch.
They had the concrete completely poured by 1:00, and pretty much finished by 3. With Coleen and Amanda pitching in to finish, they had the aisle in tip top shape, ready for horses to return to their stalls by Friday.
And our two camps? We had a ball!
Tiny Tot campers worked in the little outdoor ring while our advanced riders enjoyed the space of the big outdoor arena, known to all as simply 'Patternland.'
These 8 were immersed in the horse show mindset with patterns galore and railwork taught with the assistance of the one and only Forest. Of course, they also found time for lots of fun. modifying rules of games, attempting to keep leg wraps from tangling in the laundry, and being the first ever people to nap on the new cool concrete aisles.
Meanwhile at Midwest, the show started Tuesday in the newly constructed arena. With the old coliseum needing renovations, this year's show was held in the modified make up ring, and many think it was actually cooler than the old traditional building, even in the Springfield heat.
The Knollwood riders proved once again that hard work does really pay.
Our performance riders riders had some great rides, tried some new things, and earned some nice ribbons in deep classes.
Ainsley and Millie had a blast in some great classes. The junior exhibitor 5 gaited division in the 14-17 age group is stacked with big time show horses, and Team Ainsley were rockstars.
After some great performances in the show pleasure division this season, Gabby and Jerry tried the junior exhibitor park division at Midwest, and had a blast in some incredibly deep classes.
Parker and Smith continue to come together as a team, and earned some nice ribbons in big classes.
All three generations of Honkamps enjoyed Midwest 2017.
Susan used to time in Springfield to get some lessons in on Rudy, She and Carol are getting him ready to show, and welcomed the chance for lessons in a show setting.
Susan's daughter Kerri showed her breathtaking Park mare Leila to a reserve championship in the Open Park championship after Scott qualified her earlier in the show.
Susan's niece Payton is enjoying a successful season with Rosewood's Homecoming Dance, AKA Robert. Last year's equitation mount for Haley is making a name for himself in the show pleasure division with Payton. They won their limit rider class, and earned a third place ribbon the in championship with a first place vote.
Our equitation riders did us proud. Again.
Lora and Sophie were on fire, winning the Saddle Seat Equitation Championship as well as the Good Hands qualifier.
Finn pretty much ruled the 13 and under division, winning the Pleasure Equitation championship for riders 13 and under, the UPHA Pleasure Challenge Cup, and the Saddle and Bridle Pleasure Equitation Medallion.
After successfully showing Pistol in the hunt division, Frannie decided to try adult equitation, and won the grown up Challenge Cup class. Sarah and Fergie were 5th.
Madison was the winner of the Pleasure Equitation Championship for riders 14-17 with Haley 4th and Matthew 6th. She was also reserve in her age group.
Haley was reserve in the Good Hands qualifier, and Matthew won the UPHA Challenge Cup for riders 14-17.
We'll all enjoy a relatively quiet week at home,with no major construction projects planned.
Camps are in full swing this week, with 13 riders enjoying a session of 'classic' Knollwood summer 2017. Next week, we're hosting another sold out week of Tiny Tot camp as well an another week of traditional summer riding school. We still have a few spots open, so contact us at www.KnollwoodFarmLTD.com for details.
Show horses are off to Oshkosh early next week for one of our favorite shows, the Oshkosh Charity Horse Show. Academy horses will follow later in the week for a lively performance Saturday morning at 9.
We're looking forward to a fun filled show, and hope you can join us!
We're loving Knollwood Summer 2017, and hope you'll join us for all the adventures!
With the arrival of summer weather, construction season is beginning at Knollwood!
Don't be surprised to see some heavy equipment around the show barn starting on Saturday. Project number one is replacing the old asphalt aisles in the show barn with shiny new concrete ones.
Thanks to the generosity of our friends at Winsome Farm and Highland Ridge Stables, show horses not traveling to Midwest Charity Horse Show will be spending some time away from home during the construction project. Carlos will be a busy trainer, traveling to work his horses while the work is going on.
In addition to the major renovation of the show barn, we expect to complete work on the gazebo in the big outdoor arena in time for summer riding school. It's well on its way, and is looking great!
Thanks in advance for your patience while we work to improve the place so many call home away from home.
I've been asked to speak on behalf of the best lesson horses in the world, to tell everyone what we love about summer at Knollwood. Because I'm never at a loss for words, I happily accept the challenge, with a little help from my friends.
Personally, I love my fan. Yes, my own personal fan. Because my 'people' hail from Norway, I'm not a hot weather horse. And let's face it, I'm a little on the short side, so the big aisle fans kind of blow right over me.
So, I am the unique slip stall lesson horse who enjoys his own personal fan. You'll find me napping while enjoying the breeze!
I've heard that Scandinavian people are very comfortable with their own bodies, and I'm proud to say that I am as well. In the winter, I feel constricted by my big winter coats which feel a little tight. Summer is quite a relief when I can go out totally naked!
There's nothing like a warm bath after a day of lessons. Because of my heritage, I sometimes need a little extra help staying cool, and I get cold water baths to make me feel comfortable. I am special!
During camp, I even enjoy drinking the bath water and watching the responses of the new riders.
Summer is horse show season, and even I get to ride on the cool big rig and travel! While the fancy saddlebreds and Morgans go to lots of shows, my specialty is the ASAW Summer Showcase at the Ozaukee County Fairgrounds in August. That show understands the importance of diversity and welcomes school horses of all sizes and colors. Heck, they even have a separate division for school horse pleasure where we're all stars. This year, the show is August 12 and 13, and you won't want to miss it!
The Knockouts run the show, and offer really fun things like lunch delivery, exhibitor parties, and even snow cones during the Sunday afternoon performance. I hope someone remembers to get me one this year!
Actually, we all agree that the best part of summer is the kids who come to camp. We enjoy 4 weeks of 'classic' summer riding school with lots of beginners who are crazy about horses. We teach them how to take care of us, and how to ride. Actually, the instructors and helpers teach them a lot, too. Sessions are filling fast, so be sure to check out dates on the website!
We also have a week for the kids we teach during the year, helping them get ready for the summer Knollwood show. From July 17-21, we'll be hosting horse show crazy kids who want more riding time before the show July 22 and 23. I personally can hardly wait to start camp!
I also get to play with the advanced riders during Knollwood's pattern camps. Over the years, I've taught patterns to riders who have used my lessons all the way to the Worlds Championships.
It just never gets old!
On behalf of all my fellow lesson horses, we're looking forward to Knollwood Summer 2017.
We hope you can join us for all the fun!
Team Knollwood enjoyed a beautiful weekend in the state capital showing at the Madison Classic Horse Show. With competitors arriving from all over the country, the show has become a 'must compete' destination in the early part of the season.
Knollwood enjoyed the benefits of hard work as horses and riders performed well across many divisions. Here are a few of our favorite stories from the weekend!
These girls are versatile!
Several of our riders showed horses other than their own in Madison due to several factors.
Amanda's new horse Pixie (Poppin' Tags) won the Equitation Prospect class with Scott riding, and then went home to rest up for new adventures. Amanda was lucky to have the opportunity to show Maddie, officially known as Tura Lura Lura in the Country Pleasure division.
Meanwhile, Finn was fortunate to show Sadie, officially known as Just As Unique in several equitation classes. One of our advanced lesson horses, Sadie benefited from her time with Finn as well, being well prepped to show in the academy division on Saturday morning.
These new pairings at Madison let the riders learn from different horses in new situations. We always say you should ride every horse you can, and show whenever you can if you want to progress quickly. Finn and Amanda made the most of their opportunity to 'broaden their base,' and had fun at the same time!
Speaking of broadening the base, Haley and Fergie enjoyed learning from each other at the show. Sarah and her horse Fergie (Impressive Asset) are qualified for the adult equitation finals in Lexington, and Sarah was graduating from high school last weekend. Always up for an adventure, Haley showed enthusiastic Fergie in some equitation classes so she could continue her education with some difficult patterns. Haley and Fergie won their Saddle and Bridle Pleasure Equitation Medallion qualifier as well as the Pleasure Equitation Championship. These two adventure seekers make quite a pair in the ring!
Knockouts in Action
On Sunday afternoon, Jen and friends volunteered at the Saddlebred Rescue Area, introducing horse newcomers to saddlebreds. They manned the petting horse area, and answered questions about riding lessons, the horse show, and anything else that came up.
The Knockouts have a long history of service to Saddlebred Rescue, and are always looking for ways to help the organization. Great thanks to Jen and friends for continuing the tradition!
Eleven of our best academy stars came to Madison to show at the first big 'A' show this season, and they all made us proud.
Academy classes were big, and the walk trot and canter championship class was a doozie with 15 riders battling for the championship title. Judge Melissa Moore was looking for horsemanship as well as beautiful form, and she found the perfect combination in Emma and Sadie. Maria and George were reserve champs in the rookie academy horse's first time off the farm, let alone his first horse show.
All of our walk, trot, and canter riders showed like pros, from 11 year old Maddie to 30 year old Siri. Congrats to them as well as Zada, 13 and under champ, Heather, Jordan, and Jen.
Our walk and trot riders were rock stars on Saturday, too! Richie and Baxter were an enthusiastic pair in the 9 and 10 year old division while Juliet and Mikayla were polished in the 8 and under classes.
Richie made the workout in the 10 and under championship, and went on to win the class. Juliet and Mikayla rode with style, worked the arena like old hands, and earned some nice ribbons, too.
What's Up Next?
Our academy and 'B' horses are off to the Prairie State Classic show in Roscoe this weekend while the show horses put the finishing touches on preparation for the Midwest Charity show coming up in Springfield, Illinois.
Classic summer riding school starts on June 19, and sessions are filling quickly. Please visit our website, www.knollwoodfarmltd.com to secure your spot in Knollwood Summer 2017!
See you at the barn!
Thanks to the help of our friends, Team Knollwood just finished a very successful food drive for the Food Pantry of Waukesha County, and hosted a popular open house to welcome new visitors to the farm. We're happy to say that each of our helper teams beat their goals, and that first place Team Robert finished with 59 food kits against a goal of 25. The Monday Muffins were reserve champs, coming in 14 kits over their goal. Thank you to everyone who helped the helpers serve their neighbors in need.
As we move on into summer, we have several thing's we're finishing up, and some more that we're starting. Here's all the news (in no particular order) so you can keep up with the goings on!
Knollwood Summer Show 2017
We are now taking entries for the Knollwood summer in barn show to be held July 22 and 23. The show offers classes for all levels of our students, and it's a wonderful way to start your show experiences. We offer lead line as well as a maiden division for first time show riders, and offer plenty for our experienced riders, too. With pattern classes, a special advanced division, and qualifiers for the Knollwood Challenge final, there's something for everyone.
You can fill out your entry form and pay your class fees in the school barn lounge. Need more information? Your instructor will be happy to chat about your plans, and can offer horse selection help as well.
We're also taking entries for ALL of our academy shows for the rest of the 2017 season. There's a broad assortment of shows left on our schedule, including the ASAW Summer Showcase in Cedarburg that offers a full maiden division. It's close to home, co-sponsored (and run) by the Knockouts, and we even offer a special camp the week before the show. Please talk to Ann or Nancy if you might be interested in the camp, as it's filling up fast.
The IASPHA show in October also offers maiden classes if you can't make the August show in Cedarburg. The balance of the shows we're attending are great venues for our academy riders who have a show or 2 under their belts.
If you haven't already, please talk to your instructor about the academy adventures that are waiting for you!
We offer a broad selection of camps for riders ages 7 and up. We have 4 weeks of classic Knollwood camp listed on the website for new riders and riders just starting out in our program.
We're offering a special Knollwood show prep camp July 17-21 for riders participating in our July in barn show. Our advanced beginner riders will get extra saddle time on their show horse, and learn all about horse shows in a fun week with our summer camp instructors. This camp is not listed on the website, as it's only for current riders showing in July. You can sign up with your instructor at any time. It fills up every year, so be sure to get your entry in to join the fun.
We're ordering Knollwood racer back tanks in misses sizes through Friday. We couldn't find any willing adult models, so Mia and Maiya volunteered.
They're perfect for summer camp helpers, riders, and horse show moms. For those of you traveling to Madison for the show Memorial Day weekend, we'll have the size samples and orders at the show on Saturday for last minute orders!
Memorial Day Schedule
We're offering a revised schedule this upcoming holiday weekend. We're holding privates Saturday from 9:30 until 2, and then our Sunday riders and Saturday riders are riding in groups at 2:30, 3:30, and 4:30. We will not be holding lessons on Sunday or Monday of the holiday weekend. Happy Memorial Day to everyone!
The fun continues this weekend at the Madison Classic. Starting Thursday afternoon, you'll see some of the best show horses and equitation riders in the midwest. 11 Knollwood academy riders will show Saturday morning at the academy performance, too!
The following week, our academy and 'B' horses are off to Roscoe, Illinois for the Prairie State Classic. Primarily a Morgan show, the event features a good assortment of Saddlebred classes and a full academy schedule. New this year, our walk trot and canter academy riders will show Saturday evening, and our walk and trotters will show Sunday afternoon. The academy classes will be inside while the show classes will be held in the big outdoor ring, weather permitting.
While the academy team is in Roscoe, Scott, Carol, Lin, and Carlos will be putting the finishing touches on the show horses and riders before they head out to the first BIG show of 2017. Midwest Charity runs June 13-17 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield. Great horses, ponies, and equitation riders will all get together for a show frequently called an 'early Louisville.'
Team Knollwood will be there with numbers to compete against the best from around the country. The event will be webcast, and we'll post the info and schedule as soon as we have it.
We're looking forward to a summer of adventures, and we hope you'll join us along the way!