the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
Sure, in many ways, 2020 has been a year we’d all like to forget. Even in these most unusual times, Team Knollwood has found itself surrounded by some of the most amazing people and animals imaginable. We are grateful for many things, and would like to share items on the top of our long list.
The best lesson horses in the world.
We are beyond fortunate to have this amazing group of horses working with us. The boys were pretty depressed during quarantine until their kids started showing up for bridle path visits. Some of them turned into scene stealers while we were trying to hold Facebook live broadcasts. (You know who you are, Vaughn!)
Can anyone forget the day we tried to blow bubbles with them?
The boys were quite happy when lessons started again.
We have a couple of individual thanks from some of the boys:
Sundance and Brinkley are grateful for their retirement plans. They enjoy great care, daily spa treatments, the chance to hang with their friends, and to bask in the company of Knollwood Kids.
Willy would like to thank everyone for not forcing him into retirement, and allowing him to work his own schedule at his own pace while enjoying lots of off time in the senior paddock.
Fred is grateful for round bales, good for both eating AND sleeping.
The academy stars give thanks for private lessons and teaching Knollwood Kids the ins and outs of patterns. They are thrilled that some horse shows were held, as they adore their trips away from home. Best of all, they enjoyed pattern camps almost as usual this summer when they get more attention than anyone would think possible.
The one and only Panic is grateful for the Van Hecke-Kellner clan for making him a lifetime member of their family, and allowing him to give lessons to Knollwood kids. He LOVES the chance to ‘panic’ kids, and was happy to make his walk and trot academy debut this fall.
The humans of Team Knollwood are grateful for:
Technology kept us in touch with the world even while we were closed. We had the chance to showcase horses working, to broadcast from the school horse pasture, to host ‘school horse olympics’ featuring KF staff, and even had an hour of ‘Ask Scott Anything.’ We LOVED everyone's online comments, too!
We have fantastic friends throughout the industry.
Special thanks to Vicky for fighting with beaurocracy to carry off a horse show in July. Summerfun was the first big show of the summer, and it was fantastic.
Thanks to Sammy Jo of Rosetree Farm for loaning us one of her lesson horses while we search for some more horses to support our growing program.
Thanks to Ginger and Keen for not giving up when the Oshkosh Show was cancelled, and reviving the outdoor Glen Valley show. These determined ladies performed the feat in just a couple weeks!
Wow. These parents amaze us in many, many ways.
When we made the call to hold our in-barn shows in the great outdoors, these miracle workers redesigned the concession stand to touch free service, created a tent city for raffles and concessions, and created the first ever “Knollwood suite’ fundraiser.
They have become ‘front desk concierges’ as we embark on our exciting new enrollment system, and have even taken over most of the special events for the Knockouts. Just this week, the Knockouts delivered 645 pounds of food to the Food Pantry of Waukesha County, and held a sold out holiday photo session day.
They are magical!
After lockdown, we had to develop new systems for the lesson program, and our super helpers rose to the challenge.
Our most experienced Knollwood Kids learned to be personal assistants to a specific instructor each day. They brought horses to and from the different arenas while the barn was only open to staff, they sanitized reins and brushes and surfaces, prepped and put up horses AND still managed to keep up with barn chores.
AND, they met every customer with a smile, and an update about their favorite horse.
We are grateful for Richmond who kept us all entertained during lockdown. The wild yellow and white kitten was a perfect distraction during those lonely days, and his #dailydoseofrichmond posts kept everyone up to date on his latest adventures. We’re still a little shocked that he made it to his first birthday.
Great thanks to Dr Rachel for intervening when the going got, well, interesting.
We are grateful for Hazel Belle Boxer Matton for serving as an emotional support dog at home, and as Wonder Woman at horse shows. She’s always ready to lean into you, to show you her tricks, to play with her buddy Richmond, or to just enjoy the party in the arena, even when it appears she’s sleeping on the bench.
Our Academy Team
We’re grateful for our enthusiastic team of academy stars. Their season may have been shortened by a virus, but they put their hearts and souls into their time with the best lesson horses in the world. The smiles on their faces could easily be seen through the masks at Summerfun as they returned to the show grounds.
Pattern camps may have felt a little different, but the enthusiasm was the same. We invented pattern challenges, new games, and enjoyed just being outside with horses, even if it meant inviting Klem into the socially distanced lunch circle.
These kids are just the best.
Big Knollwood Kids Always Come Back
They may go off to college, but they’re always there when you need them! Haley and Ainsley each judged a Knollwood show, Abby, Haley, Jordan, Shelby and Whit filled in for lessons, Kellyn helped us at Glen Valley, and Syd and Ainsley played games against each other after the October show.
We can’t wait to see who comes back to the middle of the arena over the holidays. Masked, of course.
We frequently say that we have the best customers around, and they really proved it in this crazy year.
During the shutdown, many of our customers offered to pay their bills ahead, and many others send funds to Merton Feed to defray costs. Some of our lesson customers even organized a car parade past the farm.
While we tried to send videos of show horses owners, and to FB live some more, we know it was really hard to not see your wonderful horses.
Some show customers had new horses to show, and had nowhere to go! Great appreciation to Margit and Charlie, Laney and Aaron, and to Heather and Sami for their patience in showing your grand new horses!
Special gratitude to the Duerr family for saving Riddle and sending him to Knollwood to see what he wanted to be.
A rock star.
It appears he'd like to be a rock star.
We could not have a more special group of customers from our new academy friends to show customers who have been with us for 20+ years.
Grateful doesn’t begin to describe our fellings, but it’s a start.
We wish you all a healthy Thanksgiving, and we’re looking forward to an even brighter future together.
And a Whole Lot of Fun.
Team Knollwood is back at home after a highly successful week at the UPHA National Championship American Royal Horse Show.
The home team prepared riders for the future, running the 2020 finals of the Knollwood Challenge, while the show horse team was in KC, competing at the national championships.
Hard work paid off for Knollwood Kids, and we’d like to share their stories and successes of 2020.
In no particular order,
Heather started riding at Knollwood as an 8 year old, and quickly became a real Knollwood Kid. She’s been a Tuesday night helper since we can remember, and has been seriously involved in the Knockouts for years, currently serving as a board member.
A great example of the value of academy showing, Heather didn’t enjoy fantastic success at that level, mostly because she just kept growing and moving her center of gravity. Always gracious whether winning or losing, Heather has always been an example of true sportsmanship to those around her.
Heather made the move to the show horse world in her 13 year old year when her parents leased CH Fine By Me to show in the Pleasure Equitation division. Heather answered the challenge, finishing second and third in several finals that year.
After leasing again last season, Heather’s family purchased the accomplished Reedan’s Why Not to take her to the next level of competition. These two have quickly become a team, and Carol loves him so much that she told Scott she's going to marry him.
Heather and Samson have enjoyed a spectacular season, and finished with a Reserve National Championship in the Senior UPHA Challenge Cup Final, and a 4th place finish in the USEF Medal Final.
Another true Knollwood Kid, and legendary Tuesday helper, Margit started riding at Knollwood around age 8 as well. Owner of a fantastic vocabulary and a quirky sense of humor, Margit was quickly entertaining everyone as she rose through the ranks.
Margit finished her academy career showing Just As Unique (Sadie) for a season under the guidance of Scott and Carol. This year, her family leased Rosewood’s Homecoming Dance (Robert) to take Margit to the show horse world.
While learning the ways of the show horse, a legendary gaited pleasure horse became available, and Margit’s parents purchased CH Ken Follett (Charlie) for their daughter to show. Margit and Charlie have become a team in short order, and headed to their first horse show shortly after joining forces.
Margit always possessed a need for speed, so trotting and racking down the rail are perfect for her. She’s excelling at it, with several successful shows under her belt in the first season. Team Charlie won its qualifier and championship at Futurity and Mane Event, were second in both at St Louis, and were 4th and 5th in the National Championship at the Royal.
What are they going to do next year?
After watching his sister Victoria ride, seven year old Richie decided he wanted to try a few lessons. It quickly became apparent that he had been a horse in a former life, and he quickly fell in love with the process.
Years later, you’ll frequently find Richie helping with lessons at the barn, spending time listening in the arena, or hanging out with Tink and Sophie.
Richie’s walk and trot academy career was fast as he wowed all of us with the horsemanship he displayed. As an 8 year old, Richie was showing Heist and Chip in deep, deep academy classes.
Richie’s parents presented him with the gift of a lifetime when they purchased legendary Miss Mheiry Mac to be Richie’s walk and trot equitation partner. This team lit up the ring as she taught him all about mares and show horses.
Richie and Tink were reserve in the 2017 Walk and Trot UPHA Challenge Cup National Final, and have notable success in the Country Pleasure division as well, after several of Richie’s famous growth spurts.
In 2020 alone, they enjoyed wins at Bridlespur and Summerfun after being Reserve National Champions at the Royal in 2019.
For the past 2 seasons, Richie’s parents have leased the beautiful CH-EQ Royal Tryst (Sophie) from the Becker family. Tink taught Richie well, and he has become a team with this talented mare.
In 2020, Richie made the initial cut in the Good Hands national final in a pool of riders 17 and under, and finished the season winning the Junior UPHA Challenge Cup National Final.
In his spare time this summer, Richie also showed future lesson star Garden of Roses (Willis) to a Monarch national championship in the single bit division, and showed Impressive Asset (Fergie) to some strong ribbons in the Show Pleasure division!
Finn travels to Knollwood a couple of times a month from Denver to train with Scott and Carol. She started riding near home, and her parents decided to sacrifice time to allow Finn to work with Knollwood.
Knollwood has become a second home for Finn, whether she’s in center ring, helping with academy riders at shows, or hanging out with other Knollwood Kids.
Always beautiful on a horse, Finn is fortunate to own the legendary equitation star, CH-EQ Brookhill’s Passion Punch. (Layla) Some of you may remember Haley and Layla winning the Triple Crown of equitation in 2018, right before Finn became her owner.
Finn and this game, strong, and beautiful mare have enjoyed great success, and they were rock stars in this crazy 2020 season, finishing in the Top 10 of all three big finals.
Finn was third in both the Good Hands, and the UPHA Senior Challenge Cup, and was 10th in the USEF Medal Final.
And as a bonus, Finn also gets to ride her firey, beautiful pleasure horse Nuttin’ But a Lady (Frankie). Only Finn could ride her in equitation at the Royal and win her age group qualifier!
We think that Payton may actually be a horse masquerading as a young lady.
Also a ‘long hauler,’ Payton travels from Colorado to Knollwood a couple times a month to train with Carol and Scott.
Coming from generations of horsewomen, Payton also had a strong beginning back home. Mom Nicole made the leap and sacrifice of time to help Payton reach the next level with Knollwood.
A well-rounded horse person, Payton shows Dos Equis in 13 and under equitation and had several great moments in 2020. These two finished third in the ASHA Pleasure Equitation National Championship, which was a 17 and under final, and then they had to compete in the senior division of the Saddle and Bridle Pleasure Equitation Medallion Final because they had won the junior division last year. Team Payton rode against the older riders and finished third.
They finished their 2020 season with a great 6th place finish in the Junior UPHA Challenge Cup National Final.
Payton also has the opportunity to show Undulata’s Crystal Illusionist (Eli) in the Junior Exhibitor 3 Gaited division. These two are a personality match, and have enjoyed great success this year, with wins at Summerfun and Futurity, and finished with good ribbons in Kansas City.
The story of the year?
It’s Payton and Riddle.
Nicole rescued him from a kill pen, helped him at home, and then brought him to Knollwood thinking he might make a nice lesson horse.
Little did anyone know what Riddle had in store.
Payton showed him for the first time at Wisconsin Futurity, finishing second in his first ever show classes, and went to the Monarch National Championship show where he won his Open Pleasure qualifier and championship.
Riddle then made the trip to Kansas City and became an equitation horse. Payton showed him in her age group, and in the Junior National Championship, where they came in 4th.
Great thanks to the Duerrs and to everyone who had a part in preparing Riddle for the bright future waiting for him.
Another Knollwood Kid coming from generations of horsewomen, Laney started her career in the Arabian world. Laney travels a few times a week from northern Illinois for her ‘Knollwood time.’
When Laney decided to go all-in to the equitation world, she moved to Knollwood for the journey. Last season, Laney leased Rosewood’s Homecoming Dance and competed in the tough midwestern Pleasure Equitation division with great success. In her first year of competition, Laney ribboned at Louisville, and finished in the Top 10 of the UPHA Pleasure Challenge Cup final.
In the off season, Laney’s family purchased Seven Oaks Heir Man (Aaron) for the 2020 campaign. They enjoyed a great season, making the cut in both the Good Hands and the Senior UPHA Challenge Cup Finals.
The Knollwood Challenge Final,
Nothing in 2020 is going as usual, so we reinvented the Knollwood Challenge Final. Open only to riders and their parents, and held as an independent event instead of a finale at our fall show, the event was a success.
Academy riders have qualified at the Knollwood shows this season by finishing first or second for the chance to ride in the final. We even held one last qualifier on Friday night before the final.
Terri Anne Ullman of Winsome Farm judged all events, and was very impressed with the riders.
Winners of both finals received a custom deRegnaucourt show shirt, and the winner of the walk, trot, and canter final also received a 3 month subscription to RIchfield Video.
Topping the tough field of walk, trot, and canter riders was Mia on Vaughn, officially known as He Plays The Blues, with Addison reserve on Cashew, offically known as Captain Kaos.
Mia guided 4-year-old Vaughn through a tricky pattern with patient horsemanship that everyone enjoyed watching.
In the walk and trot division, Brooklyn captured the title with a strong ride on Baxter, AKA A Champagne Toast. Riding right on her heels was Tessa on the one and only Klem.
Congratulations to all of our competitors who made the final a joy to watch.
Who knows where these future stars will ride to???
Team Knollwood is beyond proud of all these accomplishments.
With one more show coming up this season, we'll see you at the barn, or at the in-gate!
Team Knollwood is all over the place!
Show horses are in Kansas City and academy riders are finishing prep for the finals of the Knollwood Challenge while lessons and training continue.
Did we mention that we also have plenty of safe fun coming up for the balance of 2020?
Read all about it!
The American Royal
Team Knollwood just started competing this morning, with Richie and Payton both showing in the National Final of the UPHA Challenge Cup for riders 13 and under. Both of them made it to phase II this evening, and we can hardly wait. Margit also shows Charlie tonight after the final.
The Senior Challenge Cup starts off Thursday morning with Finn, Heather, and Laney competing for Knollwood. We know these ladies will shine in a deep competition!
We’ll keep you posted as events unfold.
Meanwhile at home, we’ve planned lots of fun that can be done in a safe way during these unusual time.
Through November 22
The Knockouts are holding a food drive through November to benefit the Food Pantry of Waukesha County. Please deposit your meal kit(s) in the blue barrel in the show barn lounge, and we’ll deliver the kits to the pantry. With many of our neighbors out of work in this pandemic, stocks are low, and we thank you in advance for helping the Knockouts help their local food pantry.
Don't feel like shopping? We're also welcoming checks made out to The Food Pantry of Waukesha County!
Knollwood Challenge Final
Friday November 13 at 6:00 PM
Our academy riders have been working all season towards their own final, and it’s coming up on Friday night, November 13. We’re hosting 2 qualifying classes before the riders compete in the Finals of the Knollwood Challenge.
After qualifying with a pre-determined pattern, the finalists will complete railwork and a more difficult pattern for judge Terri Anne Ullman of Winsome Farm.
Riders of each final will receive a traveling trophy for a year, and a custom show shirt from Degnaucourt who makes suits for the show riders. New this year, the winner of the walk trot and canter final will also receive a three month subscription to Richfield Video courtesy of owner R.H. Bennett.
Because it’s 2020, this is a closed event, but we’ll update quickly, and hope to interview the winners on FB Live as well.
Saturday, November 14 at 4:30 PM
The Knockouts will hold a club meeting on Saturday afternoon, November 14 at 4:30 PM. Meet up with your barn friends and help plan events for the balance of the year! From a distance, of course.
Parents Academy Meeting
Saturday, November 14 at 7:00 PM
We’ve had so many inquiries about academy showing in 2021 that we’re holding an introductory meeting on Saturday, November 14 at 7:00 PM. We’ll spread out in the arena while we share information about the process, and the fun we have on the road.
Of course, safe refreshments will be served!
Family Photo Day
Join the Knockouts for a fundraising holiday photo day. For only $100, your family gets a 30 minute photo session with Hanna Agathen Photography, and all of the digital pics. We’re serving hot chocolate to get everyone in the holiday spirit, too.
There are only 3 time slots left, so sign up soon!
November 25 from 12:30 PM – 2:30 PM
New this year, join us the day before Thanksgiving for a wreath making session. From 12:30 PM until 2:30 PM, Scott and Carol will take a break in the arena, and we'll turn it into a wreath factory.
You can make a really cool horse head evergreen wreath for only $20, and sign up here!
Parents Night Out
December 4 from 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Parents, here’s your chance to shop, chill out at home, or ??? when you drop your horse crazy Knollwood Kid at the farm for three hours. While you enjoy quiet, Soul Fire Art Studio is coming to us for ornament creation in the arena. Kids will also enjoy plenty of games in the arena and dinner. Best of all, it’s only $20 per participant, and you can sign up here!
Knockouts Ice Skating
Sunday, December 7 at 1:30 PM
The Knockouts will take to the ice for an afternoon of fun at Arrowhead. For only $4, you can skate with fellow Knockouts and enjoy some non-horse fun.
Holly Jolly Show
The academy and some show horses will be off to the Holly Jolly Show, the last of the season. It’s a big one, with eight academy horses making the trip, and we’re looking forward to another fun weekend at Beyond Stable Farm.
Good luck to everyone in Kansas CIty!
See you at the barn or the in-gate!
2020 Gift Guide for Knollwood Kids
Does the horse person in your house confuse you with lingo like ‘4 ¼ inch stirrup irons,’ 'Woodwear,' and ‘Kentucky Jods?’ Well, we’re here to help you find the perfect gift, and we’ll even order some of them for you.
We can make you (or Santa) a real star!
Once the rider in your house has decided that horses are not just a phase, it’s time to make your first purchase, a helmet of your own.
Our favorite is the Ovation Deluxe Schooler, because it’s well ventilated, adjusts really well, and can easily take an academy rider from lessons to the show ring. It has a nice clean profile, has dial adjustment in the back, and comes in a variety of colors. Of course, if you’re planning on showing, you’ll want to purchase a black helmet, or purchase a lycra cover that can make it black.
You can purchase it from Dover Saddlery here, complete with a size chart.
Sure, the arena is heated in the winter, but it’s still winter in Wisconsin. Cold weather riding gloves are a must so that riders can maintain a good solid grip on the reins. Nothing can impede lesson progress quite like trying to ride in knit ‘civilian’ gloves that keep slipping on the reins. (Although Frank the Pony greatly enjoys slippery rein lessons!)
We recommend these gloves from Dover that come in several colors, and will help your rider progress through the winter months. They’re great for working in the barn as well!
You can purchase these directly from Dover here:
Adult sizes are available here:
Looking for a really nice pair of gloves for the show ring? These Roeckl Grip Junior Gloves are perfect. The material is soft, sticky, and the profile of the gloves is perfect for showing. Best of all? They’re machine washable and can air dry!
Buy them here.
They’re also available in adult sizes here:
The right equipment always makes lessons easier, and a good pair of jods will prevent saddle sores and eliminate leggings ridding up the riders leg during the ride.
P and S makes a great entry level polyester Kentucky jod, and it comes in black and navy. These are perfect for lessons and entry level showing. Best of all, they come in long and Extra long lengths, and the customer service is fabulous. Be sure to purchase some extra tie downs as well!
Buy jods here.
Buy tie downs here.
For riders beyond entry level academy showing, we suggest Lucky jods. The fabric is stretchy, seems to repel dust, and presents a great finished look. Luckily, these jods run long, and are available in long lengths!
Get your Lucky Jods here!
After you purchase your helmet, boots are the next important purchase. Boots help the rider develop a proper foot position with support across the foot, and improve the ability to feel the stirrup across the foot.
Best of all, SmartPak offers a kids boot that won’t break the bank!
You can buy them here.
Our school saddles are great as riders are learning the basics of horsemanship. They’re well used, and are pretty traditional in design.
If the rider in your house has decided to start showing, talk to your instructor about leasing an upgrade saddle to help your student progress. These newer, adjustable saddles, offer better construction, finer leather, and stirrup bars that adjust to put the rider in a great position even as they grow.
We offer saddles in all sizes, and rental is only $250 per year for all lessons and shows. Best of all, if your rider grows during the year, as they often do, we can move to a bigger saddle for the rest of the year.
Please contact Ann if you might be interested in leasing for 2021.
Stirrup Leathers and Irons
Once riders are renting an upgraded saddle, we suggest that they purchase their own stirrup leathers and irons. Riders will no longer have to spend time adjusting stirrups before each lesson, making lesson time more productive.
The stirrup combination we use runs about $175. We use the best so they don’t stretch, and will last a really long time!
We’re happy to order these for you so you get the right leather length and stirrup width for your star. Please talk to Ann if you’re interested.
Don’t forget, you can order the classic Knollwood Jacket, ¼ zips in purple, and Knollwood face masks for gift giving. Orders are due by November 10 for holiday delivery. Order blanks and size samples are available in the school barn.
Remember, orders close November 10 to ensure holiday delivery!
Your instructor would be happy to help with any gift ideas. Please reach out, and we’ll help you find what you’re looking for!
Shop like Richmond, from the comfort of your own bed.
The Knockouts have a long history of serving their community. They know that many of their friends and neighbors are struggling in this unpredictable year, and have started an additional food drive to help the Food Pantry of Waukesha County.
Please bring your food kits to the farm through November 22, and the Knockouts will deliver them to the pantry.
A food kit consists of:
Can of vegetables
Can of fruit
Can of soup
Box of Jello
Box of cereal
Please mark your bag with your rider’s name, and the day of the week that they ride. We’re planning on prizes for the day of the week that brings in the most donations to help our friends in need.
Thank you for helping the Knockouts help their neighbors.