March 15, 2015
Dare I say it?
I think spring is finally here (touch wood)! The
days have been warmer the last week so the frozen ground
has thawed to mud.
to our relief the ice has finally melted off of the lake
so we can stop worrying about the dogs falling through;
there have been several emergency canine rescues involving
the rowboat and some impromptu swimming.
Today we started the competition season by taking
some of the horses to the Jumping Derby at Loch Moy.
The course was on good footing, making full use of
their lovely big bluestone arenas.
Cindy did a great job riding, and the horses were
well behaved despite the fact that it was their first
school outside of the indoor arena this year.
Time to get all cranked up for the upcoming Events!
Kilcooley at Loch Moy
Will winter ever end?
It always seems like it should be warmer once we
get to March, but sadly this is not the case.
Continuing cold temperatures, ice, and snow makes
it hard to even remember what summer looks like.
Our Event Season starts up in three weeks, and
after the horses being stuck in the indoor arena for
months, it is hard to even imagine going cross-country.
I expect they will be quite fresh once they can
work outside, and Cindy will have her work cut out for
I am almost four weeks out from my knee replacement
surgery now, and it’s nice to finally be able to spend
some time at the barn watching the horses go.
I look forward to warmer weather (as opposed to
crutching my way across the ice), and am eagerly awaiting
February 12, 2015
Working on rehab after knee replacement surgery
last week, so other than going to physical therapy
appointments, I have been pretty much staying in the
brother Buddy has come up from Texas to help me out while
I am laid up, which is really great of him.
I am not doing too bad; hobbling around on a walker
or a crutch, under orders to avoid uneven ground.
I am eager to be out at
the barn and back in the saddle, but that will have to
wait a while. In
the meantime, I am receiving plenty of “yellow kitty
therapy” from the housecats; they think I have finally
developed a sensible lifestyle, staying in the house and
lounging around on the sofa. After
all, to them sleeping 20 hours a day makes perfect
Stuck in the
house with the cats!
The dogs, on the other hand, think I have lost my
mind, and can’t understand why I am staying in the house
instead of taking them out for long walks around the farm.
The horses, I daresay,
probably have not even noticed I am gone.
It has been cold and icy here at Windchase, and it
seems like we have been stuck in the indoor arena for
we have been getting a lot of good schooling in.
The winter jumping clinics have been popular, and
the horses are all going well.
Unfortunately, I have been
watching and teaching from the ground; my bad knee has
gotten so sore that I have not been able to ride at all,
which is extremely frustrating.
But that is about to change; I go in tomorrow for a
knee replacement surgery.
I will be out of commission for a few weeks, but I
look forward to getting it fixed and being in the saddle
again by early spring.
Speedy and Gracie, enjoying roaming the farm.
We have some new technology at Windchase; the dogs
now have an invisible fence that goes around most of the
property – but it is not with a buried wire like in the
past; this one is all done by satellite!
The dogs wear a GPS collar, and there is no actual
fence, the boundaries are designated by satellite signal. So
if the dogs stray where they shouldn’t, they get
corrected from outer space!
The lurchers love the system; they now have way
more area to roam. But
isn’t technology amazing?
What will they think of next!
January 1, 2015
I am very lucky to have a great group of people
staffing Windchase. Manager
and trainer Jineen Reed keeps the place running smoothly.
Cindy Anderson-Blank, our top jockey, does a great
job training and competing the horses.
Rachel Nymeyer, assistant trainer, helps with
starting the babies and preparing the competition horses.
Working students Tori Miller, Katie Long, and new
arrivals Kalindy Czwal and December Zang keep the horses
cared for and the barn in good shape.
And Jose Bartista, farm manager extraordinaire,
does a fantastic job and has Windchase looking the best
ever. I want
to thank them all for their hard work.
Polar Dive 2015
For the third year running, Rachel led the working
students in a Polar Dive to celebrate New Year’s Day.
They had to break the ice with a board before
jumping in; perhaps an indicator of toughness more than
Happy New Year!
the coming year, may you dream outrageously, live
exceptionally, and embrace uncertainty. Meet
your challenges with your head held high, and take joy in
the doing of it. May
you be brave enough to take risks, and have the
determination to make your dreams come true. May
you have confidence in your beliefs and faith in your
most of all, savor each day, each hour, each moment, and
enjoy the beauty of this amazing world around you.
what seems like weeks of cloudy drizzly weather, Christmas
morning greeted us with sunshine and warm temperatures.
Walking around the farm with the dogs this morning,
I was particularly enjoying the Windchase Magic.
I knew that later in the day things would get a bit
hectic with friends and family coming for dinner, but in
the morning I found a few quiet moments for some
photography, something I haven’t had enough time for
Morning at Windchase
I hope you all have a joyous Christmas.
I am thankful for Windchase Magic, that special
quality our beautiful farm has that makes it a wondrous
place to live, like no other.
I am thankful for being able to ride nice horses
across beautiful countryside, and to get to spend most
every day working with horses and animals and doing the
things I love. I
am thankful that I have been lucky enough to surround
myself with exceptional people: the Windchase Staff does
an outstanding job, and we have super working students.
I am very thankful for my good friends and my
close-knit family. I
am extremely delighted that most of my family is here
visiting for Thanksgiving this week!
I am thankful for the wild wood ducks floating on
the pond in the evenings, for the deer that make Windchase
their safe haven, the wild turkeys in the woods, and the
foxes that roam the fields.
For how the sun looks coming up over the Short Hill
Mountain in the morning, and how the last rays of the
setting sun in the evening turn that same mountain a deep
pink. I am
thankful for the blue jays, woodpeckers, cardinals and a
thousand other birds that come in my yard and frequent the
bird feeders. For
the wild geese landing on the lake in a flock, and the
lone hawks and occasional eagles soaring overhead.
I am thankful for the loyal companionship if my
dogs and cats, even if I can’t get one of those loyal
cats off my computer keyboard at this moment.
I am not particularly thankful for the slushy snow
we got yesterday, but I am glad of changing seasons and
as always, I am thankful or the servicemen and women who
keep our country safe and free, and I wish them a safe and
just returned home from Perote, Mexico, where I went to
help my friend Pedro Gutierrez, who was representing
Mexico at the Central American/Caribbean Games.
Pedro had a good go on his lovely French horse
Racques Biats, and the Mexican Team won the silver medal.
It was a super competition, held at the CCI* level
at an excellent brand new venue on the military base.
John Williams did a super job as course designer,
and the overall quality of the horses was outstandingly
completion was contested by teams from Guatemala (they won
the gold), Honduras, Venezuela, Costa Rica and Columbia,
as well as Mexico. I
didn’t even realize several of those countries had
Racques Biats in the Victory Gallop
I was very much impressed by how lovely Mexico is.
I think most people in the U.S. form their
impressions of it based on hearing only the bad reports in
the News (and sure, Mexico has its share of problems, as
do we), and on stereotypes from old western movies.
But in reality, Mexico is a very beautiful and
diverse country, and the people are passionate and
refreshing to see the stands filled with boisterously
applauding spectators even on dressage day.
The yelling and cheering when each horse goes on
cross-country and show jumping brings a level of
enthusiasm that is inspiring.
And now, Thanksgiving!
I am lucky to have a large and close family, and
will be cooking dinner for 21 people tomorrow.
Windchase is a great gathering place for the
family, and I am looking forward to seeing everyone.
The only drawback is that it is currently snowing
like mad, with more than six inches predicted:
White Thanksgivings are over-rated!
October 31, 2014
Sunrise over the Windchase Lake!
Today is Speedy and Gracie’s birthday.
Hard to believe these beautiful svelte lurchers are
the same as those pudgy little sausages of a year ago!
The Event Season has been ticking along well.
Cindy was 2nd on Martin Vella’s
Achilles at the Maryland Horse Trials earlier this month,
and won the Thoroughbred Incentive Program award for that
also won the Prelim/Training division the following
weekend at Loch Moy with Karin Harper’s Audacious; this
excellent horse will be offered for sale soon.
And Rachel was 2nd in the Novice at Loch
Moy with Pedro Gutierrez’s TB Silk Cowboy.
The autumn colors are beautiful, making hacking
around the farm here at Windchase especially delightful.
But then again, it always is.
I always enjoy celestial events, and the Lunar
Eclipse this morning was special.
The air was crystal clear and a warm breeze was
blowing as I stood out in the yard at five this morning
with my dogs, enjoying Heaven’s show.
and the Lunar Eclipse
Cindy Anderson-Blank did a great job with the three
Preliminary horses this past weekend in the CIC* at Morven
cross-country was a good bit tougher than what they have
done before, and they all stepped up to the plate and went
really well. We
couldn’t be more pleased with the two homebred Irish
six-year-olds, Windchase Phoenix Star and Windchase
Aquilla, and also with Cindy’s own lovely 7-year-old
thoroughbred Two Tickets.
All three of these horses have a bright future, and
Cindy is doing a super job with them.
Onward and upward!
October 3, 2014
Crisp days and cool nights, autumn at its finest.
The trees are just starting to show their fall
colors, but the horses are growing their winter coats like
season is in full swing, always a hectically busy and
exciting time. We
finished off September with a good weekend at the Surefire
Horse Trials. Cindy
had a great ride with Martin Vella’s thoroughbred
Achilles in the Training division, placing 3rd, and Rachel
had a super go on Windchase homebred Starstruck.
Anderson-Blank on Achilles, and Katie Long riding
Katie Long did a great job in the Novice on Willie;
this pair will move up at their next outing.
Morgan McGrath placed 2nd on Masada
Wahhab in BN, and Emily Henz was 3rd with
Nicola Hasling’s Reiver.
now on to October, with Events every single weekend!
Windchase had a delightful time at the Seneca
Valley P.C. Horse Trials this weekend.
The courses were exceptionally nice, despite a bit
of rain on Saturday the weather was good, and they had
done a great job aerating the footing.
Windchase Aquilla and
Cindy won their division of Preliminary, going great in
all three phases. It
is really fun watching this pair coming together.
Aquilla and Cindy
Rachel Nymeyer put in a super performance to finish
4th in the Open Training with Starstruck, and
Pedro Gutierrez was 5th in Training Horse with
Miller placed 4th in the Novice with her Diana
la Cazadora, and Morgan McGrath was 5th in
Beginner Novice on Masada Wahhab.
It is always hard to go back to work after a
and I recently returned from visiting Glacier National
Park and some of the surrounding National Forests in
spent a week hiking and exploring, and despite some rainy
weather, had a great time in the Rocky Mountains.
Wildlife in the
Windchase had a good showing at the Loudoun Hunt
horse trials to kick off the autumn season.
Cindy placed 3rd in the Preliminary
Horse division with her own Two Tickets, and 4th
with my homebred Windchase Aquilla, and also had a good go
with a clear XC on Windchase Phoenix Star.
Victoria Miller was 8th in the Novice
with her feisty Lusitano mare Diana la Cazadora, and
Morgan McGrath tied for first in the BN with her Arabian
endurance horse, Masada Wahab.