Invest in the Journey, not the Destination.
September 3, 2015 - March 15, 2015)
Notes from Phyllis


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Canada 2010

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If you never chase your dreams, you will never catch them. 

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. 
     Much 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!

Cindy and Kilcooley at Loch Moy


March 1, 2015
     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 her!

     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 the spring.


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 house.  My 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 sense. 

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.  Soon!  
The horses, I daresay, probably have not even noticed I am gone. 


February 1, 2015
     It has been cold and icy here at Windchase, and it seems like we have been stuck in the indoor arena for months.  Nonetheless, 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.

The Lurchers, 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.

Windchase 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 good judgment.


December 31, 2014
     Happy New Year!
     In 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 potential.  And most of all, savor each day, each hour, each moment, and enjoy the beauty of this amazing world around you.  


December 25, 2014
     Merry Christmas!
     After 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 lately.

Christmas Morning at Windchase

     I hope you all have a joyous Christmas.


November 27, 2014
     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!

Windchase at Sunset

     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 varied weather.
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 joyous Thanksgiving.


November 26, 2014
     Happy Thanksgiving!
     I 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 good.  The 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 Events!  

Pedro and 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 fun-loving.  How 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!


October 23, 2014
     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 event.  Cindy 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.

Audacious at Loch Moy - look for him soon on the Horses for Sale page

     The autumn colors are beautiful, making hacking around the farm here at Windchase especially delightful.  But then again, it always is.


October 8, 2014
     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.

Maple leaves and the Lunar Eclipse

     Cindy Anderson-Blank did a great job with the three Preliminary horses this past weekend in the CIC* at Morven Park.  The 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!

Cindy and Windchase Aquilla


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 crazy.
     Event 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. 

Cindy Anderson-Blank on Achilles, and Katie Long riding Willie.

     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.
     And now on to October, with Events every single weekend!


September 14, 2014
     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.  

Windchase 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 Hoznayo.  Tori Miller placed 4th in the Novice with her Diana la Cazadora, and Morgan McGrath was 5th in Beginner Novice on Masada Wahhab.

Rachel and Starstruck


September 3, 2014
     It is always hard to go back to work after a vacation!  Jineen and I recently returned from visiting Glacier National Park and some of the surrounding National Forests in Montana.  We spent a week hiking and exploring, and despite some rainy weather, had a great time in the Rocky Mountains.  

Wildlife in the Rockies

      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.   


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