• Wellness Advice From Sundance

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    Happy Sunday, everyone. 

    Sundance, master of the pasture and wellness guru to the best lesson horses in the world here.

    While the humans around Knollwood have been struggling of late with colds and influenza, we equines remain healthy as, well, horses.

    We all got together and decided to let you sorry people in on our successful wellness regimen.  You may not agree with all of it, but none of us is coughing, shaking, or down with ‘mansickness.’


    Drink Water. Lots of It.

    We horses enjoy gallons of water everyday. When we’re out on chilly night, we enjoy it really warm while room temperature is the recipe inside.

    And yes, when outside, we even share from the same tank.


    Exercise With Friends.


    What’s better than a fitness class with friends? Group lessons help keep our immune systems working while we joke with each other about what’s going on in the class. (Just in case you didn’t know.)

    And lessons while the arena heater is on? Think of all those hot yoga classes you pay for.

    We get them every day.

    Included with our salary.


    Preventative Health Care.

    We have the best.

    Even though some of my employees get a little dramatic about their immunizations, there are no anti-vaxxers here. Our imposing vet makes even the most namby pamby horse agree that shots are in their best interest.


    Enjoy A Busy Social Life.

    We herd horses enjoy evening fellowship every evening at the round bale. We can discuss the events of the day, solve the problems of our small world, and eat our hearts out.

    Box stall boys enjoy recess several days a week in the sunshine. They play games, roll in mud, bother the broodmares, and taunt the ponies. What could be better?



    Yes, we all enjoy plenty of nap time.

    From Fred to Klem, all the boys enjoy a good lay down. While Fred may at times appear dead, he’s still quite alive, as his snoring will attest.

    Naps are deepest after a good hot bran mash on a cold day.



    Get Dirty.

    We live in a dirty horse world. No hand sanitizer here. 

    Our immune systems are well exercised, with lots of fresh air, great food, fun work, and wonderful group of cats, dogs, horses, and people to count as friends.

    Hope you silly humans have gotten some useful information from the best lesson horses in the world.


    Just like the humans at Knollwood, we love what we do.

    Stay healthy, humans!


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  • I Hate Winter, by Forest Gump

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    Hi Everyone, Forest Here.

    I’m a Norwegian Fjord, and even I am sick of winter 2019.

      Don’t tell anyone, but I was actually born in Beloit, and as long as we’re sharing secrets, I’m living under an assumed name.  That’s enough secrets for now.


    Here are my top reasons for being done with this whole winter thing:

    Sleep Deprivation

      Have you ever tried to sleep on cold icy ground? I thought not.

    It’s not very comfortable unless you sleep on the hay, but hay is for eating, people.


    The Arena Heater Dilemma

    So, all the fancy saddlebred ‘academy show horses’ get to work in the arena when the heater is on.  I however, do groups, and am usually accompanied by my best friend and bodyguard, Frank the Pony. He has an unnatural fear of the arena heater and thinks he should run away whenever it turns on.  Hence, groups are done with the heater off.

    I am suffering.


    The Ice = Seasonal Weight Gain

    How am I supposed to continue my strenuous fitness routine when my pasture is icy? I’ve been doing my best just to stay upright while eating. A lot.

    And don’t tell me to eat less and exercize more.  I’m starving here!



    I hate wearing clothes, but they’re necessary when trying to ward off the wind. I feel like a failure as a Norwegian when I have to don my thinsulate jacket.


    Personal Hygiene Suffers

    I need a bath!

    I’m longing for warm summer days when I get to enjoy warm baths after work.  Plus, I really enjoy drinking my bathwater, too!


    I’m Trapped Inside for Lessons

    This time of year, all of our lessons are done inside.  I have to be extra creative being naughty in lessons, as there aren’t as many distractions.  Thanks to Frank, I can’t even use the heater as an excuse.


    Those Darn Broodmares In The Next Pasture

    So, they don’t have foals yet, they’re just two ornery fat mares at the moment. They bicker ALL THE TIME, and fight over food. I can’t wait until they have foals and they can change the topic to ‘I have a  prettier baby!’


    But of course, being a Norwegian at heart, I try to embrace the spirit of Hygge, or coziness for the season.

    How do I remain positive?



    I get to wear coolers after removing my hellish blanket and enjoying a thorough grooming.  Nap time in my cooler also gives me extra time to practice my escape plans, for which I’m famous. I can appear to be napping while I slither under my butt chain and eat at will after out of my slip stall.



    While napping, I dream of show season and camps.

    The instructors are taking entries for the Knollwood spring show which is happening on May 4 and 5.  I, of course, am a star that weekend. Be sure to get your entry in soon so you have a chance of riding me, a real celebrity at the show.


    Parents, if you'd like to volunteer some time at the show, you can do it here.


    I love summer camp! We have some openings for camp, so be sure to check our our website, www.knollwoodfarmltd.com for  availability.  Of course, you can always talk to Ann or Nancy at 262-367-2391, or stop by for a look around!


    This Weekend is Busy!

    Scott and Carol may in Texas conducting a clinic, but Knollwood will be in full swing. 

    We’re even holding a meeting for parents who would like to become more involved with the Knockouts. You can sign up to come in the school barn lounge, and you’ll enjoy meeting other parents, enjoy a tasty lunch, and learn how you can help some great kids.



    If there are any left overs, you know who would enjoy them, and you know where to find me.


    See you at the barn!



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  • Spring Is Here. Really.

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    We're in winter denial.

    Scott and Carol just returned from a tropical vacation, so we've decided that it's officially spring at Knollwood.

    With show season coming up, we've designed some really fun events for everyone to enjoy, and to help them think spring.  Here’s your guide to all the events we’ve planned for Team Knollwood


    Walk Trot Canter Pattern Class

    Friday, March 8 at 6:30

    Join us for a fun pattern class just for out walk, trot, and canter riders. We’ll practice skills, and maybe even work on the Spring IASPHA pattern.

    Remember to buy your Friday passport to take advantage of all the exciting Friday classes coming up!


    Parents Meeting

    Saturday, March 9 at noon

    Join us in the show barn lounge for lunch and to meet with Knockout leaders and other parents to find out how you can become more involved with our award winning youth group. We’d love to see some new faces support the kids at barn events, horse shows, and charitable events. You’ll meet all sorts of great parents and kids!


    Patchwork Pony Road Show


    Saturday, March 16.

    9 AM - 4 PM

    Hilton Garden Inn, Oconomowoc, WI

    The Patchwork Pony is bringing their inventory to the Midwest for the first time. They have a deep selection of academy and show attire available. It’s the perfect place to get set for show season 2019.


    How to Make the Perfect Bun!

    Saturday, March 16

    6:00 PM

    Come join us in the show barn lounge to learn from the best. Laura and Sue will be there to teach you how to make a classic bun for riders who wear hats and those who don’t. Please bring your daughter so someone can practice on her hair. Of course, snacks and beverages will be provided.  Please sign up in the school barn lounge so we can prepare the refreshments.


    Spring Clinic

    Saturday, March 30 and Sunday, March 31

    Our show barn riders and our experienced academy riders will enjoy a weekend with guest instructors from Zubrod Stables in Kentucky.  

    We will not be conducting any lessons on the 30th or 31st while our show riders get energized for the 2019 campaign.


    Knockout Meeting

    Saturday, April 6


    Come meet your Knockout officers, board members, and your fellow members.  We’ll finish  up the spring show, and make plans for Knollwood summer 2019.




    IASPHA Spring Show

    April 13-14

    Fields and Fences Equestrian Center, Gurnee, IL

    It’s our first academy show of the season!

    With WTC classes on Saturday, and WT classes on Sunday, this series of shows is one of our favorites. New this year- the Green walk trot rider division. Riders can ride in this division for the entire first season they’re showing. It’s a great way to keep our newest show riders competing on a level playing field.

    Out of barn entry blanks are available in the school barn lounge!


    Knollwood Spring Show

    May 4-5

    We’re excited about our revamped in-barn show series.

    New this year is a relaxed dress code. Riders will all be competing in long sleeved tees designed for the show.   Riders will select their shirt size on their entry blank, and  will pick it up on the day of the show.

    Because  of the shirt order, entries will close April 1.

    We’ve also added games to the end of Saturday’s performance, and show barn riders are eligible to participate in this section.

    In an attempt to simplify the entry process, we’re offering show packages and pricing as well.  Let’s keep this easy!

    We hope to have entry blanks ready by the end of this week.



    Hope you can join us for all the exciting events at Knollwood.

    See you at the barn!


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  • We Love Academy Showing.

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    So, it’s got to stop snowing at some point, and that will mean that show season is coming soon. Here in the Knollwood lesson program, we can hardly wait for the academy season to start. We’re traveling to 12 shows this season with our priceless academy horses and their dedicated riders, and it’s going to be a blast. In addition to being lots of fun, academy showing helps riders grow in many ways, both in and out of the ring. Here are some of the reasons why.


    Strong friendships are forged on the road.

    Knollwood is well known for its good sportsmanship from top to bottom as our riders support each other at shows. Whether it’s a great ride or a wonderful learning experience ride, our riders always have supportive instructors, friends and parents waiting for them.

    Plus, there’s nothing quite as good as a weekend getaway with hotel pools, horse showing, and your barn besties. Horse show friends are life-long friends.


    The Horses

    Our academy horses love their jobs, and they show it every day. Our riders new to the show ring will enjoy riding one of our older professional academy mounts. Maybe they’ll get to show flashy Dexter, handsome Hooper, or one of the talented Morgans, Klem or Eddie. Even if you should happen to forget everything you know your first time in the ring, these solid citizens will help you remember the way.

    After our riders have become comfortable in the ring, we have different horses to challenge them as they progress. We even have some academy horses that double as ‘B’ show horses, and for our most experienced academy stars, even have access to some of the show barn’s lesson horses as well.

    What do they all have in common? These horses like going to shows every bit as much as their riders do!


    Showing Builds Confidence

    Once riders are comfortable at home and have shown in one of our in-barn shows, many are looking for new challenges. Out of barn shows present opportunities to ride in new environments,  to move up to ride the academy show horses, and possibly even move up to the show horse world.

    Our newest out of barn show riders will start at a show that offers maiden or green classes for those just starting their show education. These classes are offered at smaller shows which offer controlled environments for safety. This levels the playing field, and allows our newest stars to experience success with riders of similar experience levels.

    Riders become confident quickly as they become comfortable riding in different arenas with different competitors.  Academy shows present opportunities for riders to compete several times at a performance which allows for lots of feedback in between classes. This leads to lots of progress as well!

    It’s so exciting to see the progress throughout a season. Riders are totally different after several shows, even executing individual workouts in championships with composure.


    Showing ‘Broadens the Base.’

    Showing teaches riders to expect the unexpected.

    All the group lessons our riders enjoy at home puts them ahead of others, as they’re comfortable in traffic. However, interesting things can still happen in the ring … the horse in front of you stops, another rider comes up quickly behind you, the announcer’s microphone shrieks, a scary plastic bag blows into the ring… You name it, it could happen at a show.

    Riders become really good at looking and planning ahead while staying in communication with their horse. It’s a totally different game away from home in competition, and riders benefit from the challenges and successes showing offers.


    Life Isn’t Fair. It Just Isn’t.

    When you show a horse, there are some things you can control, and many things you cannot. Riders quickly learn that you don’t have to agree with results, horses can be under the weather just like us leading to substitute mounts, pants will rip, you’ll forget your boots, you’ll get cut off in the ring and the judge will only see the aftermath, the judge won’t see your fabulous pass…

    We live by the mantra, “It’s not the ribbon, it’s the ride.’ Team Knollwood is in this to learn about our horses, and to handle whatever comes our way. Of course, we do it with good sportsmanship, a sense of perspective, and maybe a good laugh.


    The Clothes

    Let’s face it, we’re a little biased, but we think saddle seat riding has the best clothes. There’s nothing like putting an outfit together with your unique look, and getting to dress up all season. As soon as you put on those great show jods and your vest, you feel like you can take on the world. The hair and bow are pretty great, too!


    The Knollwood Experience

    We think academy showing is a memory making experience for riders who want to be challenged. We have riders who enjoy the academy division for years while becoming accomplished riders, and others who move to the show horse world.

    The size of our program allows us to offer different options to riders in many different situations. We have horses and instructors who can take you wherever you’d like to go.

    Of the 13 riders who have achieved the Triple Crown of Saddleseat Equitation, our program has produced three of them.  We’ve also produced many, many world and national champions. Oh, and we’ve helped raise some really great kids, too.

    Please join us this Saturday, February 23 at 6:00 to learn more about our academy showing program. We’ll offer information, demonstrations by some of our academy stars, and refreshments.

    Hope to see you there!

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  • Get Your Passport Stamped!

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    Here at Knollwood, we’re always looking for new ideas and new ways to enjoy our horses.  Our latest stroke of genius to open up Friday nights to some creative classes with an array of instructors.



    On a rotating basis, so you can still enjoy your  wild social life, we’re offering Ladies Nights, Pattern Classes for our academy riders, strategy classes for our academy stars, and some game nights.

    We’re open for any new ideas you may have as well, and we’re thinking of ‘Bring a Friend’ nights, ‘Mother Daughter’ and “Father Daughter’, too.

    Purchase your Friday Passport now for only $160 which will let you enjoy any 4 classes. You can share your passport with other family members, too!

    We’re kicking off the series with a Ladies Night this Friday at 6:30. After a fun ride, the ladies will retire to the lounge where they’ll enjoy wine sampling from the Matton wine cellars.

    On Friday, March 1, our walk and trot academy riders will take over the arena and work on their show ring strategy for the upcoming show season.


    On Friday, March 8, our walk, trot, and canter academy stars will gather to practice their pattern skills, and we’re hosting another ladies night on March 15.


    Be sure to get your passport in order so you can join the Friday night excitement!  We hope you can make it for all the fun we have in store.



    And don’t forget our upcoming Academy Kick Off meeting at 6:00 PM on Saturday, February 23 where we’ll gear up for show season 2019. We’ll explore clothing, schedules, and enjoy demos with lots of time to ask questions of riders and instructors. We can hardly wait!

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