Briar Creek Farm

Briar Creek Farm Deluxe care horse boarding, training in Northern Virginia. Hunter jumpers, pleasure, problem horse training. Riding lessons.

• Confidence Problems? • Ground Manners need work? • Trailer loading problems? • Too much horse? OTTB re-start? • Want a better relationship with your horse? Trailer-in lessons available on Saturdays. New students - Free 30 minute assessment/consult about you and your horse. Suzanne Liscouski, owner and trainer, grew up in the horse world the traditional way, through pony club as a child, competing in local, state and regional events, and through Sweet Briar College’s equestrian Hunter-Jumper program. Since 1999 when she started her first colt with Ray Hunt, her methods and riding philosophy have been honed to give the horse a "better deal" as Ray taught. What does that mean? It means doing more with less, making your horse a willing partner, and approaching training in a way that is meaningful to the horse and to the rider. You don’t have to be a cowboy to adapt these foundational methods to your discipline. Rather, this holistic approach provides a solid foundation to develop confidence, safety, and a true connection with your horse. The horsemanship is a foundation link to your discipline and your relationship with your horse. Suzanne continued to do clinics with Ray Hunt (who mentored Buck Brannaman) and was fortunate to have the honor of being Ray’s European trip planner and translator in 2002. In 2004 she began riding with other known clinicians in the training world, including the (then) little known Buck Brannaman who would later become known as the man in the excellent documentary “Buck.” Suzanne continues to ride with Buck when he comes to the East, and other like minded trainers (that Ray mentored before passing on) such as Joe Wolter and Bryan Neubert to continue her learning and ability to pass the experience on to her students. Most recently, Suzanne has become a proponent of similar methods used by Pat Puckett and Patrick King (also a Ray Hunt protégé) who offer clinics at her home, Briar Creek Farm. Quite simply, Suzanne believes it’s a lifetime journey to constantly improve your horsemanship and your relationship with your horse. Suzanne is featured in a short documentary about retraining ex-racehorses, which was featured at the Napa Valley film festival and the NY Equus film Festival. https://vimeo.com/100371098. Suzanne has a BA from Sweet Briar College, a Master of Arts degree, and was a Presidential Management Fellow prior to serving in Federal Government for 15 years. Now a consultant inside the horse world, she can help you think differently and excel with your horse. Follow us on Facebook Briar Creek Farm (https://www.facebook.com/BriarcreekfarmVA/?ref=bookmarks ) Call 2022532644 for more information, or email [email protected]

04/25/2019

So this just happened! Very proud of Two Socks! #nodrama #wildhorse #nokota

Two Socks enjoyed a good grooming today and definitely has grown some.   He is on ulcer meds which seem to be working, h...
04/21/2019

Two Socks enjoyed a good grooming today and definitely has grown some. He is on ulcer meds which seem to be working, he was very stressed when he was three legged lame from the crack in his hoof, so we thought it was worth a try. His neck is much more relaxed and he has a much softer eye. That, coupled with some nuchal ligament stretches, and some releasing of the TMJ helped a lot. Lateral releases of the AO joint have really helped him as well. He actually enjoys when I put my fingers in his mouth now, I think he looks for the release! He is still a very nervous horse but we are making progress. I think he’ll be ready for the blacksmith next visit. #Nokota #wildhorse

Thank you to Another Turn Tack for hosting our Patrick King Biomechanics, Bits and Bitting lecture!
04/06/2019

Thank you to Another Turn Tack for hosting our Patrick King Biomechanics, Bits and Bitting lecture!

Taking advantage of a lovely 70 degree evening here, Two Socks let me pick up all four feet today, pick out three of fou...
03/15/2019

Taking advantage of a lovely 70 degree evening here, Two Socks let me pick up all four feet today, pick out three of four with a hoof pick and even start tapping the bottom on each foot simulating what a blacksmith would need to do. His right hind crack in the hoof still bothers him as it’s not resolving in this mud. I can touch that one and sometimes lift it (with a few warning kicks) but I can’t blame him as I can tell it hurts. I was able to paint hoof dressing on his feet today, which I’m hoping will help firm up that crack so it stops splitting upward toward the coronet band. After snorting at the saddle pad a few times he let me rub him with it and then flick it over his back several times until he was relaxed and chewing. I can brush his mane and tail now, although he is very suspicious of anything with a scent. He’s so good for me, you have to just slow down and be present in the moment to be sure he’s fully relaxed and accepting. So far I’ve managed to stay “on this side of trouble” and build trust back after his gelding experience. I’m glad we’ll have warmer weather to progress!

We are making progress with Two Socks.  He is getting better about seeing people being higher up than him, and today I s...
03/09/2019

We are making progress with Two Socks. He is getting better about seeing people being higher up than him, and today I started “ponying” him just a little around the barn. Thank goodness for calf skin gloves or I’d have some sizzling palms. He is a great horse, still more nervous than I’d like but he’s now relatively accepting of humans. He comes to the gate even to get attention, which is a great sign. I’m so proud of Raney, she’s such a great saddle horse and does all that I ask of her even when Two Socks got jumpy.

Two Socks is getting more brave- rubbed him with this sheet on both sides and got it over him (so slowly) without him wa...
03/03/2019

Two Socks is getting more brave- rubbed him with this sheet on both sides and got it over him (so slowly) without him wanting to leave or scoot away. Not that a Nokota needs a sheet but it was a good experience in trust. He didn’t think it was going to eat him, which is great for a flight animal a few months in domestic life. Slowly working on building trust, can’t wait for warmer weather for this type of work.

Getting Nakota mare Makawee (3) started with a solid foundation.  We roped her feet today, rubbed her all over (all the ...
02/18/2019

Getting Nakota mare Makawee (3) started with a solid foundation. We roped her feet today, rubbed her all over (all the way down all four legs), lifted up front feet and put them back down gently on our terms, and simulated how a girth would someday feel cinched up. She yielded to pressure in a relaxed way, we did some hyoid releases too and ended being able to put arm over her neck rubbing on the opposite side. She was yawning at the end and very happy. She is a lovely and gentle horse. We love no drama days.

I have the pleasure of also starting another Nokota, a 3 year old mare, Two Socks' half sister Makawee (means earth maid...
02/10/2019

I have the pleasure of also starting another Nokota, a 3 year old mare, Two Socks' half sister Makawee (means earth maiden in Lakota). You can see how much she looks like her brother. She started off this session not wanting to look at me out of her right eye at all (or have me touch her on her right side) and definitely did not like me in front of her where she could see me out of both eyes. It ended with her straight on, nose in my jacket, breathing deeply, resting a leg and letting me rub her ears, muzzle and entire face. #wildhorses #Nokota

Enjoying our final ride on these awesome Lusitano stallions.  Such great learning with a very talented group of ladies a...
01/28/2019

Enjoying our final ride on these awesome Lusitano stallions. Such great learning with a very talented group of ladies and our fearless leader Patrick King who always helps us up our game on the horsemanship journey - with Wendy Murdoch Callie King, Karen Heist, Janice Galejs, Shona Campbell, Jacqueline Ely, and Kelsey Lasher!! Obrigada!

01/25/2019
01/25/2019

I can’t wait to come home and use my new word “tak tak” to get my horses to move on. It’s a perfect energy addition!

01/25/2019

Enjoying another great day in Portugal with Valenca Classical Riding. Spanish walk on my favorite horse Sirius.

It has been an amazing few days riding with the Valenca Family in Villa Franca de Xira.   I have been working with 2-3 h...
01/25/2019

It has been an amazing few days riding with the Valenca Family in Villa Franca de Xira. I have been working with 2-3 horses a day and working on a ton of shoulder in, half pass at all gaits, piaffe, passage, Spanish walk and trot, half pirouettes and hope to make it to full canter pirouettes before I leave. These horses and teachers are wonderful- I am humbled and honored to have this experience!

01/23/2019

Enjoyed my first attempt at Doma Vaquera working equitation! It can only get better as the days go by!

01/22/2019

I really enjoyed day one in Portugal! Amazing experience on these beautiful horses! I can’t wait to share this knowledge back stateside! This is a piaffe followed by Spanish walk.

My two baby boys are bonding.  It's great for Two Socks to have new people touch him and it's been great for Bobby to le...
01/06/2019

My two baby boys are bonding. It's great for Two Socks to have new people touch him and it's been great for Bobby to learn that the slightest motion might startle Two Socks. It's been really cool to watch how much Bobby has learned from watching me with horses over the years without me telling him what to do (who would have thought your kids actually pay attention?!). He was breathing with him, rubbing him with both hands, letting him leave when Two Socks felt too much pressure and hooking him back on. Proud Mama moment when i realized my son has feel and timing (first time I have experienced this with him). Admittedly teary watching these two and how gentle the whole scene was.

12/31/2018

And then Two Socks reminds me he’s only a few weeks from being in the wild.....

So this happened today!  Woot!  Two Socks was a VERY brave boy and followed a feel right onto the trailer.  I had planne...
12/29/2018

So this happened today! Woot! Two Socks was a VERY brave boy and followed a feel right onto the trailer. I had planned just to introduce it and let him sniff it and check it out and he hopped on with zero drama. It happened so fast i was shocked and just rubbed him and breathed with him on the trailer for a few minutes, then stepped out. He had a great experience with it, which was my actual goal. I got lucky he decided to get on, he is going to be an amazing horse as he has such a great mind.

Two socks is doing well with accepting the halter, we managed to lead out to the round pen for the first time.  I though...
12/28/2018

Two socks is doing well with accepting the halter, we managed to lead out to the round pen for the first time. I thought it would be a good time to start getting him used to humans being higher than him, as eventually we'll start cutting a leg over to ride him one day. Day one was just climbing up the panels and rubbing his face and getting him to follow a feel forward to approach me as he was nervous about the noises the round pen rattling made. It was a good step for building confidence. Not shown is the rope burn on my hand from the first time he pulled away, but we just started again and took it even slower until he was relaxed with it. He's been a great lesson for me not to take anything for granted movement wise when around a horse. It's made me a better horsewoman around my domestic horses to recognize the slightest change. Two socks is master of change detection, he knows what hand something is in, how scary zipper noises can be, and how humbly he should be approached.

12/26/2018

Merry Christmas! Wishing you all a blessed holiday! My new boy Two Socks (3 year old Nakota) follows me now and is the first to the gate to come in (without food bribes). This is the first time he’s been this brave, so he got his lead rope hooked on quickly after this video and I led him to the barn first before his field mates! Today would have been our friend Leo Kuntz’ 70th birthday, his baby Two Socks was showing off his best behavior.

Two Socks is doing well!  I am trying to get him used to other humans as he’s comfortable with me at this point.  The ...
12/22/2018

Two Socks is doing well! I am trying to get him used to other humans as he’s comfortable with me at this point. The patient and talented Lori White spent a lot of time on the end of the lead rope just breathing with him until she was able to slowly approach and touch him. It was a great session! I can take his halter off/on and I have actually brushed him with a soft brush (after introducing it). He had that beautiful stallion forelock and thick thick mane brushed for the first time (it will dry out some now that he is gelded). He handles things well and we just move slowly. He loves his grain now that he knows what it is and is putting on weight. He’s going to be a very nice mount, he has a heart of gold and is very understanding. I love his ability to think through things, he really tries to manage new things even if nervous. Each time he makes it, he gains confidence. Our friend Leo would be smiling.

Two Socks Update:  It's been a quiet week due to some other commitments so Two Socks has had an uneventful week.  I've b...
12/10/2018

Two Socks Update: It's been a quiet week due to some other commitments so Two Socks has had an uneventful week. I've been working on letting others (supervised) feed him, trying to touch him and having him generally figure out humans are good (luckily he's not on social media to find out otherwise). This is Andrea who led him out to the field and did a great job! Others have been holding his feed bucket while he eats and generally making progress getting closer. He is a great hearted horse and doesn't have a mean bone in his body, he is just a lot more tense on this coast than out in his environment in ND. I'm hoping to have more time this week but truthfully it wasn't a bad plan to just give him a week of just walking out to turn out field and back to stalls. He will be here 21 days this Thursday, as he's due for worming so that's another goal later this week.

Two Socks Journey: Getting back on track!   I decided to spend some relaxation time with the boy today, just rubbing him...
12/02/2018

Two Socks Journey: Getting back on track! I decided to spend some relaxation time with the boy today, just rubbing him everywhere and rubbing him with the lead rope. I had him licking his lips and following the roped front feet (lead rope) forward again today, phew. Roped his hind feet as well just getting him to lift them up gently then setting it back down. I was pretty happy with that! I took his leather halter off (gulp) and put a rope halter on and we went for a walk around the barn where he had not seen before and he was brave! Seeing I learned where i went wrong was being the ONLY one touching him, after he was in a good place and accepting of me touching him, I asked our lovely barn-helper Julia to come try to run her hands over him. I stood there too, but slowly backed away and let her rub him on both shoulders, he was great. It was nice to teach Julia to move with him and take her hand off to remove the "pressure" when he stopped moving. I fed him some oats out of my hand, which he now enjoys and called it a day. I turned him out with Cisco and a new friend Jack (which went well) so they would be more like a mini-herd rather than just one BFF. He let me touch him when he was loose in the paddock too. Later when it was time to bring in, i did use a bucket of oats to approach, but he did lead back in to the barn like a school horse-- where he was promptly rubbed again and put away for the night with some hay. Must have paid my cable bill to get a little Disney back. ;-)

Two Socks Update:  Disney Channel is over Well we had a great first week, things were pretty "Disney" as far as building...
12/01/2018

Two Socks Update: Disney Channel is over

Well we had a great first week, things were pretty "Disney" as far as building trust. I was able to lead him back and forth to the field with a buddy, he would follow his buddy to the gate to come in at night and sometimes i even led him first with Cisco following. I was (note past tense) able to run my hand down his leg and touch his hoof. I was even able to pick a front foot up and hold it for a few seconds and put it down on my terms. I thought things were looking smooth, but that split left hind hoof was (and is) looking bad. It's split all the way up to the hairline on the coronet band. I don't think i can work him with the hoof in such bad shape, and i need to work with him to train him....so i called the blacksmith and gave a planned dose of an oral tranquilizer before he arrived. That's when the Disney movie ended. Now it's definitely Animal Planet. I realized while i personally was making immense progress with him, and soon as another human (even a very gentle one) got involved he would have none of it. The blacksmith couldn't approach, couldn't touch him, let alone pick up a foot. And now he doesn't trust me either for getting someone else involved, even though it didn't go on for long. He felt cornered and panicked and bolted by us, opted to not kick out which he could have chosen. So, now i'm back to the beginning (if not worse) for breaking trust. He won't come to the gate anymore, nor follow his friend into the barn. So, he's cold and wet and i just keep telling myself that at least it's warmer than North Dakota. I'm hoping oats will change his mind to come toward me again, or he may just be in this field for a while. My new goal is to have others pet him and have it be not just me that touches him. I even gave up a dressage lesson on my princess and got VERY lucky Patrick King was on his way back to his house in VA and did a drive by. So now two of us have touched him, roped feet, etc. Patrick was so helpful hanging in there more so than i would have been physically able and comfortable, but Two Socks remains skeptical of my intentions. Sigh. Tomorrow is another day and we've got nothing but time to do this right. I just wish i could help his foot, but now it's clear i'm not going to try again until far more solid training and understanding is well under way.

Two Socks Journey:  Day Four Two socks is a highly reasonable horse, these are from Sunday which was a lovely day unlike...
11/28/2018

Two Socks Journey: Day Four

Two socks is a highly reasonable horse, these are from Sunday which was a lovely day unlike the freezing cold and wind we're having right now. I can lead him out of his stall (following Cisco, his buddy) to a field where he's happy to eat. The first day he ran the fence line a good bit but his buddy kept him focused on eating grass vice jumping over it. Phew. I don't think (gulp) he wants to jump out anymore as he's realized he has a pretty good deal with free choice hay and water. We can walk to the barn and back to a turn out field (to the closest field, all enclosed in case he were to get loose). I do leave him in a leather halter just to catch him easier, soon that will not be the case. I normally do not turn horses out in halters, but we aren't exactly halter broke yet! I've taken it off to work with him in a rope halter, but ultimately put it back on just to make catching him easier as he's still not very sure I'm a good deal. He hasn't forgotten the worming.... but oh well, had to happen.

The farrier is coming this week so I've been roping his feet hoping we can at least deal with the left hind cracked hoof. Now that will be a challenge, but it's looking pretty bad. These photos show how i am asking him to follow the pressure forward, learning to take the pressure off himself by stepping forward. He handled things well, and of course i rubbed the rope all over his body (it's called sacking out for my non-horsie friends) until he accepted the rope without moving. Then proceeded to the legs and hoof, being careful to stay under the fetlock not to cause any pressure on the tendons.

This was a good session, I have to keep reminding myself he is only three years old so short sessions are best. A kindergardener can't sit through an algebra class, so i put him away on a good note.

11/24/2018
Two Socks' Journey

Today we continued to work on rubbing and scratching, sneaking down the legs with my hands and introducing a grooming block (bot eraser) given the insane amount of bots eggs on him. He was really good about it alternating with my hand and i think i got about 90% of them off. I can get him to pick up his front feet briefly (not holding it up yet), and I have been working on hind legs where i can now touch him and sometimes shift his weight off of it getting ready to pick it up. We've led him (following another horse) to a field where he is eating grass with a friend. He's made best friends with our buckskin Cisco.
He's not terribly interested in oats, but it starting to eat some. He has alfalfa hay that he loves, and as he got off the trailer so thirsty figured out that the automatic waterers were not that scary and has been drinking well.
I also started tail lifts for relaxation and assuming i'm going to need to take his temperature at some point.
I'm warm and inside and watching him through the security cameras we have, he seems pretty settled in. It's so cold the hunting gear is like a giant sleeping bag i put on every time i run out there, yes I'm aware it's stylish!

Address

41455 Southpaw Pl
Leesburg, VA
20175

Opening Hours

Monday 06:00 - 21:00
Tuesday 06:00 - 21:00
Wednesday 06:00 - 21:00
Thursday 06:00 - 21:00
Friday 06:00 - 21:00
Saturday 06:00 - 21:00
Sunday 06:00 - 21:00

Telephone

(703) 771-4924

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