Invest in the Journey, not the Destination.
November 17, 2013 - August 12, 2014)
Notes from Phyllis


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Canada 2010

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Windchase Quotes:
Today is full of possibilities. Who cares if others don't see them? Spread your wings!
                              ~ Dewitt Jones ~


August 12, 2014
     We have been having an absolutely glorious summer.  It has been much cooler than usual, with very few really unpleasantly hot and humid days, and we have had plenty of rain all through the summer months.  The footing has been good and the pastures green; although it makes for more mowing than usual, it is well worth it.


     We always take a bit of a break from competing during July and August, and use this time to bring along the young horses.  It is also a time to slow down a little, garden a bit, swim in the lake a lot, and enjoy happy hour on the patio in the evenings with friends and family.   My grand-niece Phyllis has been spending a lot of time in the saddle riding her quarter horse mare Halley, and the two of them are forming a great partnership.

     And next week, Jineen and I are off to Montana for a vacation in the Rocky Mountains!


July 30, 2014

     I canít believe how July has flown by.  Traditionally this is a slower time, but we have been really busy this year getting the farm tidied up and ready to host the ICP Faculty continuing education workshop.  This went off without a hitch yesterday, so maybe we will have time to catch our breath.
     The working students did a great job painting all the show jumps and cleaning the stables from top to bottom, and worked overtime to make everything look especially beautiful.  I want to give a big shout out to them for doing such a super job!


July 5, 2014
     Summer is a time for family, and Windchase is a place to be shared.   My grand-niece Phyllis, age 9, is staying here at the farm this summer, along with her parents Stacy (my niece) and Jonny. My other niece Heather recently came for a visit with her two children, Grace and Chipper.  It is wonderful for the kids to get together and spend time with each other.
     I very much enjoy photography, and I love to try to capture art, emotion and memories with images.  But some of the best moments in life canít be recorded that way.  Happy Hour on the patio, overlooking the lake, as the sun sets and the lightning bugs start to come out.  Swimming in the lake in the evening, with a warm breeze blowing, owls calling from the woods, and bull frogs croaking along the shore.  The Big Dipper and Cygnus the Swan shining bright in the sky overhead, and the reflection of the moon in the water.  Catching fireflies, and making a wish when you set them free.  Setting off Fourth of July fireworks on the dock.  Sparklers.  Revisiting the enthusiasm of youth through the eyes of a child.  I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to share these summer moments with family and friends.  

Sparklers on the dock with Stacy and Phyllis

     We had great fun today at Sharon Whiteís Jumping Derby fundraiser at her Last Frontier Farm.  A fun informal atmosphere with super courses for the young horses and everything decorated in Sharonís bright orange.  And Little Phyllis got to face off (with Mike Smallwood) against announcer Brian OíConnor in the Stick Horse Challenge!

The Stick Horse Challenge at Sharon White's Last Frontier Farm


June 24, 2014
     The Event Season had been going in full swing, and the Windchase horses have been going well.  We have been blessed with lovely weather for competition weekends and enough rain to keep the footing excellent.   My two young homebred greys, Phoenix Star and Aquilla, have been going beautifully at Preliminary, ridden by Windchase trainer Cindy Anderson-Blank.  At Middleburg Cindy placed 2nd in the Training with Karin Harperís Audacious and 4th with Martin Vellaís Achilles, both horses putting in super performances.  And Cindy capped off her season with her own talented thoroughbred Two Tickets, winning a Preliminary division at Seneca Valley Horse Trials.

Cindy and Aquilla at Surefire

     Things are winding down for the Event horses as we go into summer; they will have a break from competition for a couple of months as we focus on increasing their training at home and concentrating on bringing along the young horses.  We have some really nice babies in the pipeline to start under saddle.


June 3, 2014
     Wow, how did it get to be June already?  It seems like just ten minutes ago that we were thinking the winter would never end.  But really, it has been a glorious spring.  Last weekend at Waredaca was especially spectacular.
     Cindy had a super event, riding five horses, and all of them going really well.  On Saturday both Martin Vellaís Achilles and Karin Harperís Audacious went like champs in the Training, posting double clears and finishing in the ribbons.  On Sunday she rode Windchase homebreds Phoenix Star and Aquilla in the Preliminary, a
s well as her own Two Tickets.  They all went superbly, and Cindy gave them a great ride.

Cindy Anderson-Blank and Two Tickets at Waredaca

     Working student Tori Miller also had a very successful day with her draft cross Wishes Fulfilled; Tori has trained this mare herself, and gave her a great ride at the pairís first Preliminary competition.  

Tori Miller and Wishes Fulfilled go Preliminary!

     And very exciting news; we have two new foals in the last two weeks, both lovely colts by Brandenburgís Windstar.  Very exciting for the future!


May 17, 2014
     Fun out cross-country schooling!


May 6, 2014

     We have been having the most glorious spring weather; the maples have unfurled their tender new leaves and the cherry tree by the lake is in full bloom.  Violets and daffodils are blooming along the creek, and carpets of wildflowers turn the forest into a fairyland.  The trees at the edge of the woods display a hundred hues of green and gold.  The Canadian geese are showing up on the lake with their new tiny goslings, and the wood ducks come up in the yard for corn.  It is a pure delight to ride around the farm each day, or to sit on the patio in the evening enjoying the beauty all around.  Windchase always has a special magic about it, and never more so than this time of year.  Each day is a gift.

     Cindy had a good go at MCTA last weekend, riding the three Preliminary horses.  It was a beautiful day, but heavy rains made the footing really deep.  Because of the wet footing she went slowly on XC, but she gave them a great ride, and Aquilla, Phoenix Star and Two Tickets all jumped really well.  We are really excited about the future of these three talented young horses.

April 29, 2014
     We had beautiful weather for the Loudoun Horse Trials this past weekend.  Sunny and sixty, and some Friday afternoon rain made the footing perfect.  
Cindy Anderson-Blank had a busy weekend riding for Windchase.  She rode Phoenix Star and Aquilla in their first Preliminary; both of these Windchase homebred six-year-olds went well, and showed fabulous talent and potential.  She also piloted her own Two Tickets around the Preliminary to place 4th.

Cindy riding Aquilla at Loudoun

     Cindy also moved Achilles and Audacious up for their first recognized Training, and they both jumped great and showed excellent promise for the future.  Tori Miller had a good run with her mare Wishes Fulfilled, preparing for the big move up to Prelim.  And Rachel Nymeyer had a fabulous outing, winning the novice with Sue Rowdonís lovely Irish mare Ballygrace Laralai.

Rachel and Ballygrace Laralai at Loudoun


April 25, 2014
     The flowers are blooming, the grass is growing, and Spring is truly here at last!  (About bloody time.)
     We had a full contingent of horses at the Loch Moy starter trial on April 13.  Cindy placed second with Martin Vellaís Achilles in his Training level debut.  I won a division of Beginner Novice with Time Flies (a.k.a. Moment), and Rachel Nymeyer tied for second in her division with Ballygrace Laralai. 

Cindy and Achilles

     Windchaseís assistant trainer Heidi Wardle has recently accepted a position managing a stable in Maryland.  It is great to see her move up to running a barn, and we are very proud of her success - but we will miss her!


April 20, 2014

     Happy Easter!


April 9, 2014
     After a long cold winter, we are so happy that the spring Event Season is now fully underway.  Many of my colleagues spend the winters in Florida or South Carolina to escape the cold and snow, but that has never been my way of doing things.  My livelihood is based on running my business, and my clients would not be able to follow me south for the winter.  I have way too many young horses in work to take them all on the road for a season, and I canít imagine the logistics of packing up everything and going somewhere else for the winter.  And most importantly, if I am lucky enough to have a beautiful, wonderful, magical farm like Windchase, why on earth would I ever want to leave it for three months?  So though I may have been complaining about the weather this winter, there is no way that our friends who wintered in Florida can appreciate spring like we do here at Windchase.
Our first registered event of the year was Morven Park.  Because of the harsh winter and late spring we did not enter the greener horses, but Cindy Anderson-Blank rode our three up-and-coming stars in the Training division, as a prep for their move-up to Preliminary.  She tied for first with Aquilla, and had a super ride on Phoenix Star and her own Two Tickets.  We are very excited about the future of these three exceptionally talented young horses.  Despite rain and snow and freezing weather, Cindy also won the Novice division with Martin Vellaís talented thoroughbred Achilles, who will be moving up to Training next time out.

Time Flies, ridden by Cindy

     Then last week we took a whole bunch of the green horses out to the excellent combined test at Hunt Club Farm in Berryville, and it was a blast.  This lovely new facility is hosting a series of unrecognized competitions, and it was the perfect atmosphere for our first-timers to get out and compete.  And they even had prize money!  Spartacus, ridden by Cindy, won the Beginner Novice and Windchase working student Emily Henz placed 2nd with her TB mare Annie.  Heidi Wardle on Amiya Ammonsí Maldini and Cindy riding Pedro Gutierrezís lovely mare Barquera de la Galerna tied for first in the Elementary.  Tori Miller won the Intro division on her Lusitano mare Diana.  All of our other young horses were well placed also.  More information on most of these talented young horses can be found on Windchaseís Horses for Sale page.


March 27, 2014
     Jineen and I took a fabulous trip to Alaska last summer; we stayed for five days in a cabin in the wilderness at Twin Lakes, in the Lake Clark National Park, and then we went hiking in Denali National Park.  It has been a slow process, but at last I have gotten my trip write-up finished and posted, with photos.  Check out what we did during our trip to Alaska 2013.


March 26, 2014
     Our Event Season officially began last weekend, and Cindy rode three at the Loch Moy starter trials.  They all went really well, considering they have not schooled outside of the indoor arena in over three months; Karin Harperís homebred Audacious won the Novice, and Martin Vellaís talented Achilles was third.  So nice to have a warm(ish) weekend and get the horses outside!

Cindy and Audacious 

     Well, we enjoyed the good weather for a couple of days, and then on Tuesday the temperature plummeted back down in the teens and it snowed.  Wind-chill near zero forecasted for tonight.  Will it ever be spring?
     I looked back at some old photographs to compare how green things were on this date in previous years.  Below are comparison photos of March 25 in 2012, and in 2014.  Quite a contrast.

Windchase on March 25, 2012

Windchase on March 25, 2014

     And what, you might be asking, did March 25 look like last year, in 2013?  Exactly like this year Ė it snowed!
     Oh, and by the way, the two lurcher puppies, Speedy and Gracie, are not pups anymore.  They have grown into the most delightful young dogs.




March 17, 2014
     Happy Saint Patrickís Day!
     We took 11 horses to the Jumping Derby at Loch Moy Farm this weekend, and was it ever great to get out of the indoor arena!  (Not that I am complaining, mind you, because I do appreciate how lucky I am to have an indoor arena.)  But the jumping derby was a blast.  The folks at Loch Moy put up a great course, part show jumps and part portable cross-country fences, with the course running through their three lovely huge bluestone arenas, before ending with a couple of XC fences out on the hillside.  After the horrible winter we have had, getting the horses out to run and jump on the excellent footing was wonderful, and they all went great.  It served as a perfect cross-country school for the horses going to Morven Park.

Aquilla, ridden by Cindy Anderson-Blank

     It was a super weekend, and after watching all the horses go I was excited that at last I would have something to write about other than the weather, for the first time since New Yearís when the working students jumped in the lake for their polar dive.  But guess what Ė it is snowing again tonight!


March 5, 2014
     Well, this is getting ridiculous.  Six more inches of snow on Monday, subzero temperatures, and more snow possible later this week.  OK, winter, we give up!  What do you want from us?  Weíll do anything, just leave us alone!  I know it is a bore to always be talking about the weather, but really, itís hard not to!

     I will talk about something more positive Ė horses!  We have a great group getting ready for the spring event season, and the first competition is only a week and a half away.  Too bad we havenít gotten to ride out of the indoor arena for the last three months!  Oh well, should be exciting.


February 17, 2014
     We had eighteen more inches of new snow this week, and the kind of cold weather the Olympic officials wish they had in Sochi.  The snow melted a little on top, and then refroze into an icy crust, making walking through it next to impossible.  My driveway looks like a luge run.  

     Despite the grim weather we have kept all the horses in work, and we have a really nice group of youngsters getting ready to compete in the spring.  Now is the time to get your new mount for the upcoming season, so if you need a horse, check out what we have on the Horses for Sale page.  We also have three or four really nice youngsters that are not yet listed on the website, so contact me with your shopping list!
     We have been having a lot of fun with the Sunday Jumping Mini-clinics, and plan to keep going with them through March.  E-mail me if you want to come join us!


January 23, 2014
     Well, I have to say that the thrill of the winter season has just about worn off.  Temperatures of ten below zero last night, and more frozen pipes.  With a new foot of snow on the ground, no prospect of it melting any time soon.  

     My left knee has been giving me fits for a while now, and yesterday I had arthroscopic surgery to clean up some torn cartilage and such.  So now I am relegated to sitting on the sofa with my legs propped up and an icepack on my knee, feeling guilty while my barn staff deals with the cold and ice outside.  If I canít ride for a few weeks, better for it to be when the weather is bad, so when planning the surgery, I asked my doctor to schedule it for the coldest week, and I think he was spot on!  Looking forward to warmer weather (like at least double digits!) and being back in the saddle soon.


January 7, 2014
     Winter is here with a vengeance today; the 'Polar Vortex' brought us temperatures of 5 degrees below zero (Fahrenheit) this morning, with a high of about 7 predicted for today, and wind chills to 30 below.  The horses are staying snug in their stalls with triple layer blankets on, munching hay.  The only good thing about weather like this is that when the temperature finally gets up to 20 it will seem downright balmy!


     My grandniece, little Phyllis, has been here over New Yearís (along with her parents), and we have all been having a great time.  She has been riding her new Christmas horse Halley; they make a great pair.  Unfortunately Phyllis fell off on a trail ride and broke her arm, so is relegated to grooming at the moment, but she looks forward to being back in the saddle soon.

     The puppies are more like small dogs now, and they are bursting with energy.  They donít like to go outside in this extreme cold, so my kitchen looks like a war zone with three half grown lurchers living in it.

Lightspeed and Gracie

     The winter Windchase Jumping Mini-clinics start up this coming Sunday. They are informal and fun; sign up each week for that Sunday's jumping.  I will be teaching groups in the indoor arena, from basic beginner/green up through Preliminary.  Email me at to get on the e-mailing list or to sign up.  We will have them every Sunday afternoon through the winter, so get on the list now for info.


January 1, 2014

     Happy New Year!
     As with most years, 2013 had its ups and downs, but on the whole life is good here at Windchase.  I am very lucky to have such a great staff at Windchase.  Jineen Reed, manager and trainer extraordinaire, has been a vital part of Windchase for many years.  Cindy Anderson-Blank and Heidi Wardle, trainer/riders, both do a super job training and competing the horses.  We are very lucky to have an exceptional group of working students at the moment, with Rachel Nymeyer, Aspen Duffin, Emily Hens and Tori Miller.   I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for all their hard work.  
Speaking of working students, Rachel and Tori decided to ring in 2014 in style, with a polar dive off the dock into the lake on New Yearís Day.  They were accompanied by Gary Blank, who had apparently taken leave of his senses. 

     May your coming year be filled with wonder.  I hope you get to spend lots of time with those you love, and meet new people you come to care about.  Take the time to appreciate nature, and to see the beauty that is all around you.  Find new things to be delighted by, and never take for granted the amazing things around you.  Sing from the soul and live in the moment.


December 25, 2013

     Merry Christmas!  I hope you are all spending the holiday with family, friends or loved ones.

     The puppies are growing like weeds.  They are so playful and sweet, and it is a delight to be around them.  Our kitchen feels a bit like a kennel, but we are working on the house-training part.  They will open their gifts later this morning, but now under the Christmas tree, which is in the off-limits living room.

     Wishing you a wonderful holiday season and a New Year filled with joy.


December 13, 2013
     Snow is predicted for tomorrow, which will be our third snowfall in a week.  We have about five inches on the ground now, and the weather has been frigid.  The depressing part is that it is not even officially winter for another week yet.

The lurcher puppies in the snow.

          The puppies will be eight weeks old on Tuesday; I canít believe how fast they have grown.  They love to race around the yard in the snow, but they canít stand the cold for long, so they spend most of their time in the kitchen.  They are wild with energy, and anything within their reach is subject to chewing; I am considering opening up a new business - eco-friendly paper shredding!  It should do well, being so close to Washington and all.  Between piddling and shredding we are going through a lot of newspapers; last weekend my brother Buddy and I actually stooped to raiding the recycling dumpsters in search of more.

Phyllis takes the Puppy Challenge

     If you want some real excitement, come take the Puppy Challenge.  You see how long you can lie on the floor with your arms by your side; this is another nice outlet for their energy.  Another name for it is Suicide by Puppy!


November 28, 2013

     Early Wednesday morning my mother, Grace, passed away peacefully in her own bedroom at the age of 93.  As you probably know, her health had been declining for some time, and she had let us know that she was ready to move to a better place.  She lived her life with intention and passion, and with concern and love for her family and others.  In her last days she taught us how to stay true to these values at the end of life.  We are thankful that her passing was as comfortable for her as possible - and as filled with meaning for us. 

Amazing Grace
June 3, 1920 - November 27, 2013

     I am thankful to have had such a wonderful mother, and to have been lucky enough that she shared her life with me.  She taught me that I could do anything, if I set my mind to it and worked at it hard enough.  She instilled in me a strong conviction that if a job was worth doing it was worth doing well.  She helped me build and develop Windchase, and we shared, every day, our delight in living in such a special place.  She was an inspiration to all who knew her, and a role model for many.  Anything there may be in me that is good or special came from her.

     I am also thankful to have such a close family and many good friends around me in this sorrowful time.  We will all miss her very much.

What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now forever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find 
Strength in what remains behind;
                    ~ William Wordsworth ~

What lies behind us
And what lies before us
Are tiny matters compared
With what lies within us.
                    ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~


November 17, 2013
     One of the best things about Windchase is that it is a wonderful wildlife haven; every day we share this special place with Godís creatures.  Deer, foxes, squirrels, hawks; these are just a few of the natural inhabitants we see on a daily basis.  Canadian geese count the lake as their own, and herons, kingfishers, wood ducks and the occasional osprey visit frequently.


     But the other day we had a special visitor; a bald eagle was sitting on a limb of the sycamore tree by the lake.  These awesome birds have been sighted on the farm a few times, but never have we had such a great view of them.  I watched as he spread his wings and flew aloft.  

     There is nothing like a little Puppy Therapy to get you through the day.  Nellieís puppies continue to delight us more with every passing day.


For past news from Phyllis and the crew at Windchase, go to the