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
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
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
went off without a hitch yesterday, so maybe we will have
time to catch our breath.
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
want to give a big shout out to them for doing such a
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.
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
fireflies, and making a wish when you set them free.
Setting off Fourth of July fireworks on the dock.
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.
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
Horse Challenge at Sharon White's Last Frontier
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
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.
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
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
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, as well as her own Two
all went superbly, and Cindy gave them a great ride.
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
exciting for the future!
May 17, 2014
Fun out cross-country schooling!
May 6, 2014
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.
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.
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
also piloted her own Two Tickets around the Preliminary to
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
Rachel and Ballygrace Laralai at Loudoun
The flowers are blooming, the grass is growing, and
Spring is truly here at last!
(About bloody time.)
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.
Windchaseís assistant trainer Heidi Wardle has
recently accepted a position managing a stable in
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
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
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
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.
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
information on most of these talented young horses can be
found on Windchaseís Horses for Sale page.
March 27, 2014
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.
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
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?
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
Happy Saint Patrickís Day!
took 11 horses to the Jumping Derby at Loch Moy Farm this
weekend, and was it ever great to get out of the indoor
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.
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!
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
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.
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
have been having a lot of fun with the Sunday Jumping
Mini-clinics, and plan to keep going with them through
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.
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
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.
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.
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 email@example.com
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!
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
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.
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
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
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.
puppies in the snow.
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
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
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
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.
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 ~
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
But the other day we had a special visitor; a bald
eagle was sitting on a limb of the sycamore tree by the
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