• Our Hearts Are Broken

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    Team Knollwood lost a much loved member today when Dudley lost his day long battle with colic.

    Our gentle giant was only 21, and had been with us for seventeen of those years. From the moment he arrived at Knollwood, Dudley was a crowd favorite. His gentle soul, his quiet ways, and his sheer love of being a horse everyday made him a joy to be around.

    Everyone loved him, from the smallest of tiny tots to the wildest of advanced riders who fought over Dudley on game days.

    This will be a tough one from which to recover.   

    We all wish we had more time with him. 

     

     

    There will never be another like him, and we're all better people from him sharing his life with us.

    Peace, Dudley.

    And please greet all the Knollwood friends waiting for you on the other side of the rainbow bridge. 

     

     

     

     

    Read more

  • Show Season 2020 Has Arrived!

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    Finally, it’s horse show season!

    True to form, Team Knollwood is hitting the ground running.

     

    Our show horses are all set up at the National Equestrian Center in St. Louis waiting for the 78th Annual Bridlespur Society Horse Show to start Wednesday evening. A classic show, until 2011 it featured both hunter jumpers and saddlebreds. In 2011, the show became all Saddlebred and Hackneys, and the rest is history.

    Trainers and owners all over the country have been looking for shows to attend, so this event is totally sold out.  The competition is going to be deep, and Team Knollwood is ready to get 2020 started.

    We DO have a couple of new combinations making their debut in St. Louis. 

    Margit is leasing Rosewood’s Homecoming Dance (Robert) for the season, and will be showing him in both equitation and pleasure classes at Bridlespur.  Margit grew up a Knollwood Kid, and has learned many lessons while showing the best lesson horses in the world. She’s also a Tuesday super helper, and a ‘go to' helper for new riders.

    We can’t wait to see her show Robert in her beautiful show clothes.

     

    Heather has been leasing show horses for the last two seasons, and has made quite a name for herself in the pleasure equitation division. She’ll be making her debut on her very own horse, Reedan’s Why Not (Samson) in St. Louis. Heather and Samson have formed a mutual admiration society, and are already quite a team.  We cannot wait to see these two hit the ring.

     

    Never content to do things the simple way, the academy horses will also be on the road this weekend. Seven of the boys will be at the rejuvenated Glen Valley Classic show in Oshkosh for the academy performance on Friday morning. Fourteen riders will be making their first appearances of the 2020 season.

    We’re excited to attend this new (to us) show,  and are keeping our fingers crossed that the weather will hold for the academy performance so we can show in the big outdoor ring.

    Highlights of the performance? Mia, Maiya, and Maya will be making their cantering debuts, and Dilly will be showing for the very first time, entering the competition for the 8 and under walk and trot riders.

    We’ll be bringing a couple of new horse faces as well, with Leon making his Knollwood academy debut, and home grown Vaughn traveling off the farm for the first time and experiencing his first show.

    Great thanks to Equitate LLC for the boys up north, while our rig is in St. Louis.

     

     

    Meanwhile, back at the home office …

    Knollwood 2020 started for real this week with the kickoff of the first week of Academy Camp. Seven walk trot, and canter riders have been working hard in the big outdoor ring that they refer to as ‘Patternland.’

    Some of our younger academy stars will be at the farm the week before Summerfun for another Pattern Camp. That is before our four weeks of SOLD OUT Classic Camps which start on July 13.

     

    We’re looking forward to July 1 when things will become a little more normal on the COVID-19 front as we begin the next phase of safety protocol. Finally, riders will be returning to the barn itself. Social distancing and mask policies can be read on Lin’s latest blog.

     

    Knollwood will be closed for lessons on Saturday, July 4.  We hope everyone has a safe and happy Independence Day celebration.

     

    All of Team Knollwood will be traveling to the ASAW Summerfun Show at Wisconsin State Fair Park the second weekend in July. With COVID-19 protocols in place, the show will feel different, but with the wonderful management team there, we’re looking forward to a big, safe show.

    The Brat Bash is back!

    The Knockouts will once again be manning the brat shack and washing cars at the Hartland Piggly Wiggly this year. Our date is Sunday, July 19, and we can hardly wait.  Lisa will be deputizing some Knollwood moms to run the event, as she’ll be in Canada on July 19.

    Last year, the Knockouts raised a lot of money for the club, and made some great memories, too. Signups to help will start shortly!

    The Knollwood Summer Show is scheduled for August 22 and 23.  Weather permitting, we’ll be showing outside on Saturday the 22nd! Stay tuned for updates.

     

     

    We're so happy that Knollwood Summer 2020 is underway.

    We hope you can join us for the fun, and help all of us stay safe and healthy by following our COVID-19 protocols. We're all in this together.

    We are #KnollwoodStrong

    Read more

  • July 1 Phase 2

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    Good news Knollwood Families and Students!

     

    We are moving on to phase 2!  What does this mean, you may be asking.... well, it means that we will be easing restrictions on who can be in the barns, who can come ride, and we are adding some new offerings to accommodate the situation.

    First and foremost, you can come on back into the barns!  While in the barn areas with people, masks will be required.  If you are solo in a stall communing with your equine partner for the day, you can always pull your mask down.  We will be putting sanitization stations in the barns for hand washing and leaving our disinfecting stations up, asking that each person who previously was taking care of their own horse, disinfects the equipment they used when they are done taking care of their horse in the new COVID-19 world, or asks a Super Helper to assist them with the disinfecting.

    We want to take this time to give a special shout out to our most super of super helpers that have been keeping us afloat and rolling with the punches during this crazy time.  YOU ARE AMAZING and we are so grateful for your help. One super helper will be assigned to each day to ensure the sanitization protocols are being met at all times.  Special shout out is due to Lisa DeVries for manning our front desk with COVID -19 and regular release forms and for all the other help we've been getting from this Super Mom/Helper! 

    Secondly, we are bringing back beginners and Tiny Totters!! WOOHOO! One of our main focuses as a horse loving business is to spread the word about how great horses are and not being able to have our beginners and little ones here has made us so sad.  In order to ensure the safety of our instructors and beginner riders, we will be asking that beginners and tiny totters wear masks WHILE RIDING due to the close proximity.  Once your beginner rider or tiny totter gains some independence, their masks can come down like everyone else! These rules will also apply to our beginner and tiny tot camps. 

    Which brings us to our third bit of good news, camps are on! While we know so many of you have been waiting to hear if your invitational camps, pattern camps, beginner camps and tiny tot camps would be happening, we are so glad to finally end that worry and say YES THEY ARE!  We love summer camp here at Knollwood Farm and with our herd of equine camp experts awaiting their kids, we are all set for session 1.

    Fourth, and last but not least, we are bringing some new offerings to the table.  One of those is the Welcome To Knollwood session.  This is a 4 week, limited capacity group session designed to be an extended version of summer camp for beginner riders who are new to Knollwood.  In order to enroll in one of our beginner group lessons, you will now have to complete a Welcome to Knollwood session.  They will be offered on Mondays at 6:30 pm, for $99.00 per session!

     

    Another new thing we are offering for first time customers is an amazing mini camp!  These will be offered on Sundays from 12-4 pm on a rotating schedule.  The first Sunday of the month will be 7-17 year olds, the second will be 4-6 year olds, the third will be 18 and over, and the 4th will be a parent and me mini camp.  Spend the first few hours learning about brushing, tacking, leading and caring for your horse, then finish the day off with a 30 minute ride with photo-op at the end.  All of this is just $59.00 per session.

     

    The last new thing we will be offering is mini group sessions.  These will be invitation only, per each instructors discretion due to scheduling needs, variance in teaching topics and groupings according to level.  They are a 30 minute ride with 4 riders or less for $40/person.

     

    We are counting down the days until July 1! Only 13 more after today!

     

    #KnollwoodStrong

    Read more

  • Reflections On a New Perspective

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    2020 has been a most unusual year that has delivered us all a new perspective.

    We’ve all been forced to navigate a world turned upside down by the global pandemic.  All kids became home schoolers overnight, and all parents became classroom teachers. Restaurants closed, grocery stores became places to pick up supplies, and many people lost jobs, whether temporarily or for good.

    Knollwood suddenly went quiet, and overnight, lesson and show horses wondered what happened to their people.

    Soon, we all watched while horse shows cancelled. And continued to cancel.

     

    In the blink of an eye, everything can change.

     

    Team Knollwood has spent time reflecting on our traditions and mulling over many new lessons.

    We’ve taken new reflections to heart and are putting them into practice or recommitting to them for this upcoming show season.

     

    Horses teach us all kinds of life lessons.

    There is no creature better than a horse to teach us all kinds of lessons. At times, even better than parents thrown into that role.

    Horses are dependent on us for everything. For their housekeeping, for food and water, for veterinary care, for hoof care, for training, and for companionship.

    They get sick. They age and need special care when they can no longer do their job. They go lame. They rely on us for everything.

    We do this for the love of them. There’s no better teacher than a horse.

     

     

    Horses teach us about winning. They teach us about losing, too.

    There’s so much more to this horse show life than winning and losing, and your horse will remind you of this all the time. You won’t remember all the ribbons you win, but you’ll remember when you nailed that sticky lead on the workout, or the time you made that perfect pass, or that moment you felt at one with your horse, and everything was right in the world.

    Sure, victory passes are wonderful, but our personal accomplishments with these glorious animals are so much more than that moment.

     

     

    Even when you do everything right, things happen. Horses teach you to keep going.

    You can be prepared to take on the world in the championship pattern, and right as you’re asking your horse to step off on a diagonal line, someone will open an umbrella right in front of your horse. Or a deafening thunderclap rocks the arena. Or someone crushes a plastic bottle right behind your horse.

     

    What about the time you got to the show and were told your horse wasn’t feeling well, or was lame?

    It’s part of life, which as we all know, isn’t fair.  The challenge is how we respond to these setbacks. We at Team Knollwood go on. We simply go on. It’s life.

     

     

     

    Don’t sweat the small stuff.

    This upside-down world has taught us all how small most of our ‘problems’ sound.

    Didn’t get a ‘fancy academy horse’ for the upcoming show?

    You didn’t get a new show outfit for this year?

    Bummed about your favorite show cancelling?

    It’s all small stuff. With all that’s going on in the world, let’s all take stock in what’s really important and be kind.

     

     

     

    Life isn’t predictable and tomorrow isn’t promised.

    So, let’s cheer on and support our friends and competitors. Competition can bring out the smallness in people, and our world needs people who are bigger than that. This is a small industry needing people to build each other up, not tear them down.

    Real champs boost each other up and congratulate accomplishments.

    Tell someone they had a great ride.

    Tell someone their show clothes look fabulous.

    Tell someone the horse they’re showing is a great match for them.

    Tell the parent of a rookie rider that their child looked so happy while riding.

    Tell someone that you love watching them ride.

    If someone had a challenging ride, tell them that you admire how they worked through it.

    Tell someone you’re proud to call them your friend.

    Congratulate the newest riders and tell them they look great.

     

     

    If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s taught us that Team Knollwood’s strength is its members. From the top down, we live our motto of Tradition Honor Passion.

    We treasure the tradition of the sport, practice the honors of sportsmanship and working with horses, and have endless passion for these animals and people we are honored to have in our lives.

    Let’s all use this new perspective, find joy in the journey of horse showing by focusing on the good, treasuring those we love, and riding the hair off our wonderful horses we are blessed to share in our lives.

     

     

     

     

    Tradition.

    Honor.

    Passion.

     

     

     

    We are #KnollwoodStrong.

     

    Read more

  • We're Back!

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    We just finished our first full week of lessons after our 10 week closure, and we couldn’t be happier.

      (Neither could our lesson horses who missed their students beyond belief.)

    We tried to stay in touch through social media, and even resorted to pasture visits that involved blowing bubbles (which terrified some of our largest lesson horses) and fancy carrot cupcakes (which none of the boys would eat.) We interviewed Scott, and kids along the bridle path, too. 

    We're sure that our horses would agree with us when we say that even though those events passed were entertaining, nothing compares to having customers back with the horses

     

    Our experienced riders who returned for limited private lessons discovered lesson horses who looked and felt terrific after their break.  Both riders and horses looked thrilled to be working together again!

    It’s also been fun teaching privates for some of our students who previously rode in group situations. We’ve enjoyed getting to know these riders better, and watching them ‘eat up’ all the personal attention that private lessons provide.  

    Stay tuned in July for an increase in private lessons when we open up for new beginners and some tiny tots.

     We need to give a special shout out to our 'super helpers' who have helped us reopen for lessons. These experienced Knollwood Kids have taken on added responsibilities of getting all horses ready and bringing them to lesson riders, sanitizing reins, and doing this all while wearing masks in the barn. We are in awe of the work these riders have been doing while helping us all improve our processes while we work through this different world.

    Camps are also starting up in July, and they’re filling up fast! 

    We DO have some room in our Classic Camp running August 24-28, and have some limited openings in our Tiny Tot camps as well. 

    Our special Knollwood show prep camp running August 10-14 has some openings for our riders to prepare for our in-barn show on August 22-23.  Come enjoy 5 days in the great outdoors while learning all about horse showing and horse care.  You’ll make some new horsey friends, and learn new skills to be ready to compete.  This camp is NOT listed on our website, as it’s only for our current riders looking to show in house.  Please contact your instructor if you’d like to join the fun!

    While we’ve had shows cancel this season, we’re hopeful that the ASAW Summer Showcase will go on as planned on August 8-9.  We offer a special camp for our riders attending this show to prepare them for their first ever out of barn show. 

    The camp is held at Knollwood on July 27-30, and at the Ozaukee County Fairgrounds on August 7.  The riders will make their show ring debut on Sunday, August 9 with all the friends they’ve made at camp.

    Ann teaches this camp, along with some wonderful experienced riders who serve as mentors to our new show stars.  The cost of the camp is $650, with each camper receiving a $100 discount off their show bill if they attend both the camp and the horse show.

    Please talk to Ann if you think your rider might be interested in this wonderful experience. We have a few spots left, and we expect them to go fast!

     

     

    Our Covid policies have been embraced by everyone, and we thank you for your understanding.

    After our first full week, we do have a couple of reminders:

    Masks are to be worn in the show barn lounge area for everyone’s protection.

    Any time you have to be within 6 feet of another person in the arena, please be sure to have your mask on as well.

     

    We’re all working together to make it through these times, and know that you support the protective measures we have in place to protect our customers and staff.  We thank you for your help.

     

    After a week of super helpers doing it all on the days they work, we’ve decided that our certified super helpers can come into the barn and get their own horses ready for their lessons, and take care of them afterwards.  These experienced helpers have been trained in all of our Covid policies, and they can now spend some more time with their horses on lesson days.  The horses will enjoy it as much as the riders!

     

     

    We'll keep you posted as events evolve this season.  Known for our pivoting abilities both on and off horses, this is looking like an adventurous Knollwood Summer 2020! We're glad you're joining us for the ride!

    #KnollwoodStrong

     

    Read more