Briar Creek Farm

Briar Creek Farm Deluxe care horse boarding, training in Northern Virginia. Indoor & outdoor riding arena. Hunter jumpers, pleasure, dressage, Garrocha, problem & young horse training.
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Hosts top clinicians. Specializing in: • Regaining and building confidence between horse and rider • Ground Work (from manners to Classical In-Hand work) • Proper Biomechanics • Problem Solving & Trailer loading techniques to avoid stress • OTTB (and other) re-starts • Continual Education • Equine Assisted Activities Suzanne Liscouski, owner and trainer of Briar Creek Farm, grew up in the horse world the traditional way; pony club as a child and competing in local, state and regional equine events in her home state of Connecticut. Given her passion for horses, she attended Sweet Briar College in Virginia, renowned for their Hunter Jumper program. A horse owner since the age of 10, Suzanne’s life forever changed when she started her first colt with Ray Hunt in 1999. From that moment forward, her methods and riding philosophy have been focused on giving the horse a "better deal," as Ray taught. At Briar Creek Farm, Suzanne can now focus on linking these principals to any and all disciplines, such as English Hunters, Dressage, Western, Western Dressage, jumping, trails/obstacles and Working Equitation. With this methodology, you will be able to link the skills taught by horsemen with whom Suzanne has studied over the decades to your specific equine goals. Hence, the business name was born for Briar Creek, “The Foundation Link.” The concept of The Foundation Link means doing more with less, making your horse a willing partner, and approaching training in a way that builds confidence in the horse and in the rider. You do not 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. Suzanne continued to do clinics with Ray Hunt 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 famed as the man in the documentary “Buck.” Suzanne continues to ride with other like-minded trainers (mentored by Ray) such as Joe Wolter and Bryan Neubert to continue learning and further her ability to share her experience with her students. Most recently, Suzanne has become a proponent of similar methods used by Jillian Kreinbring and Patrick King (also a Ray Hunt protégé), who offer clinics at Briar Creek Farm. She completed Patrick King’s protégé program in 2018. Suzanne is focused on biomechanics of both horse and rider as a student of pilates and several equine anatomy courses, including The Whole Horse Dissection Clinic with Ivana Ruddock, DVM. From colt starting and halter breaking wild horses in North Dakota to completing Instructors Courses with Charles de Kunnfy, Suzanne believes in well-rounded horsemanship. In 2019, Suzanne traveled to Portugal to ride Lusitano Stallions with the famed Valença family in an intensive Instructors course of three lessons a day: two under saddle and one in hand class. There she honed skills on world class school masters, working on Spanish Walk, piaffe, passage, canter pirouettes and other haute-ecole maneuvers. Suzanne believes it is a lifetime journey to constantly improve one’s horsemanship and relationship with one’s 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/142725309. Suzanne has a B.A. from Sweet Briar College, an M.A. from American University, and was a Presidential Management Fellow prior to serving in executive leadership roles in both the Federal Government and in the IT Industry. Now a consultant inside the horse world, she can help riders think differently and excel with their horses. For those with horse interests, yet no equine experience, Briar Creek Farm offers mindfulness and leadership lessons via ground work; this has served many from small groups to corporate offsites. Call 2022532644 for more information, or email [email protected].

Operating as usual

What’s the sweetest thing your horse does? This is so true!
11/03/2020

What’s the sweetest thing your horse does? This is so true!

Using different words, this is the same concept as Ray Hunt would say. Make the horses’ idea your idea.  Great horsemen ...
10/13/2020

Using different words, this is the same concept as Ray Hunt would say. Make the horses’ idea your idea. Great horsemen think alike. Charles is a gift!

The Ethics and Passions of Dressage
Chapter 8 Non-Confrontational Horsemanship

The non-confrontational training principles occur in four conceptual categories:

2. As the horse presents opportunities, one should take advantage of them.

When the horse initiates acceptable actions, the rider should promote them. This will improve the horse’s confidence in his rider’s guidance.

For instance, by turning on a diagonal, a horse may offer a longer, more floating stride. The rider should not merely permit such an initiative by harmonizing with it, but rather should encourage the horse to maximize the delivery of his own ideas! Opportunistic riding of this kind fosters progress and inspires the horse’s confidence in his rider. The horse can learn that when he does things well he remains unopposed. The individuality, character, and special talents of each horse are our most valuable assets. The horse should be encouraged to display initiative and enjoy our acquiescence to them. After all, we must always be flexible to change training plans in an instant. No good rider ever carries out his planned training program for the day; the ability to correctly improvise is the foundation of correct training strategy. . . .

Page 52

(Part one was posted October 6. Stop back each Tuesday this month or grab a copy and read on! We would love to get your comments.)

Beautiful day for lessons! Andrea did a great job on Jack both in the outdoor arena and in the fields!  I love seeing th...
10/04/2020

Beautiful day for lessons! Andrea did a great job on Jack both in the outdoor arena and in the fields! I love seeing the progress!

10/02/2020

Celebrated the first day of my new business with a bridle-less ride (despite being over run by a gaggle of geese)! I am so happy to be able to have more time in the saddle!

Day Two of hosting Patrick King - we had a great day as always!  Auditors welcome!  #Flexiblefit bridles have helped us ...
09/13/2020

Day Two of hosting Patrick King - we had a great day as always! Auditors welcome! #Flexiblefit bridles have helped us all with the softness

Celebrating life with an awesome day of horsemanship and learning!  It’s our annual clinic where I get to think about th...
09/12/2020

Celebrating life with an awesome day of horsemanship and learning! It’s our annual clinic where I get to think about the joys I have in being alive unlike many of my colleagues at the Pentagon that paid the ultimate price on 9/11/2001 in serving our great nation. Two more days of learning to go with Patrick King! See BCF events for more information. #neverforget Thanks to all the friends and family that participated to keep me distracted to get through this historic day.

I am personally enjoying our new worming program.  #bestidea
09/05/2020

I am personally enjoying our new worming program. #bestidea

08/23/2020
Two Socks says I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine!

Two Socks update : he continues to have a lameness issue but is comfortable and happy. From wild horse to one who is my best friend! Many of you have seen horses cross necks to scratch each others’ backs- as you can see he very gently will scratch me with his lips when I scratch his back. He is so careful and gentle and I know it means I’m his trusted friend! (If anything it is very sweet!) I love my Nakota! Praying for a healing miracle with his leg.

We had a great day riding the Judged Pleasure Ride (JPR) yesterday, 6 miles cross country with 10 obstacles  - it was a ...
08/11/2020

We had a great day riding the Judged Pleasure Ride (JPR) yesterday, 6 miles cross country with 10 obstacles - it was a great ride! We are very proud of how our Briar Creek horses did, always a calm and willing approach to the challenges presented to them. It pays off teaching your horse to problem solve with confidence!

Thank you Brendan Wise for a great clinic weekend!   We all learned a lot and are thrilled the Big *ss Fans made it surv...
07/26/2020

Thank you Brendan Wise for a great clinic weekend! We all learned a lot and are thrilled the Big *ss Fans made it survivable!

We are so thankful to all who served our great nation, many of whom payed the ultimate price.  We wish you a safe and re...
05/25/2020

We are so thankful to all who served our great nation, many of whom payed the ultimate price. We wish you a safe and reverent Memorial Day. #Honor

https://horsenetwork.com/2020/04/5-narrative-equestrian-films-to-binge-watch-this-weekend/Horsenetwork posted our docume...
05/22/2020
5 Narrative Equestrian Films to Binge Watch this Weekend

https://horsenetwork.com/2020/04/5-narrative-equestrian-films-to-binge-watch-this-weekend/

Horsenetwork posted our documentary as an equestrian film to binge watch this weekend! If you have not already watched the "short short" movie (10 mins) Albie - see below! I'm very proud to be in it and have it filmed at Briar Creek Farm. Very proud of Albie and his owner (and now friend) Lori White for coming so far!

Horse lovers tend to be good storytellers. From recounting our first nasty fall to explaining exactly what the horse got into that they were not supposed to, being able to spin a tale is a badge of honor around the barn. Below are five films full of good storytelling, intrigue and wonder. 1. Horse P...

I do love my equiSense motion app, but more importantly I am proud to be a trainer that works on how to lower your horse...
05/21/2020

I do love my equiSense motion app, but more importantly I am proud to be a trainer that works on how to lower your horses' stress and learn to deal with things so their heart rate doesn't skyrocket when scared. Teaching your horse how to think and how to handle pressure is an important skill. It goes a long way to keep you safe too.

I love my equisense for training purposes, it helps gauge soundness, how much time you spend going left vs. right, elevation, number of jumps.... it's wonderful. I highly recommend it. But this cartoon got me thinking, while it's good to know when you're horse may be scared or nervous, knowing how to confidently deal with issue at hand will bring your horse confidence so the scary issue will improve and go away over time.

With Motion S, identify the stress peaks of your horse to perfectly adapt its environment! You will realize how SCARY a cone can really be ... 😅

Learn more https://bit.ly/2XPAZgz

Two Socks, our famous Nokota horse, loves wearing his Chakra necklace we received as a gift!
04/25/2020

Two Socks, our famous Nokota horse, loves wearing his Chakra necklace we received as a gift!

04/14/2020
Patrick King Horsemanship

I had a great time with the Sr. Luis and Sofia Valença in Portugal, please join them to watch live and check out Valenca Classical Horsemanship. I learned so much from them, they are a great gift to the equine community!

TALKING ABOUT HORSES, LIVE (Episode 43) with Sr Luis Valenca and Sofia Valenca of Valença Classical Riding

HORSES AND CBD: Many people have caught on to the CBD oil trend to help relieve pain, stress or anxiety for themselves. ...
04/09/2020
Demystifying Hemp and CBD in the Equine | Harmany Equine Clinic

HORSES AND CBD: Many people have caught on to the CBD oil trend to help relieve pain, stress or anxiety for themselves. What about our horses? This is an interesting article that explains CBD in equines. My analysis is that it may be a good option for many to try with no downside except for price.

What is not addressed here is equine absorption over time. For humans, full effect takes place 7-10 days after daily doses. Dosage amount would be based on your horses' weight. For humans, many recommend 20-40mg/day for the average human. That can go up to 400-500mg/day (or probably higher) for humans with pain. Another vet's blog who uses this mentions she feeds .25 or .5 of an 1800mg/ml bottle to her horses (squirt in feed I assume?) before riding in stressful events. I'm interested in keeping tabs on this issue and learning more. You may want to check with your vet if this could be an option for you and your horse.

https://harmanyequine.com/demystifying-hemp-and-cbd-in-the-equine/?mc_cid=06c80a1abb&mc_eid=e1f363192b

Demystifying Hemp and CBD in the Equine - by Joyce Harman, DVM Hemp is all of the buzz these days, and for good reason. It's a plant with literally thousands of uses. Hemp is used for clothing, to

03/29/2020

Briar Creek's weekend exercise...getting to your horse's brain through the feet. Speed course in how to rope a foot and get your horse to follow a feel, leading from a foot. This was Julia's first time doing this, she did a great job! I try to go through this quickly in the interest of the video fitting on Facebook, be sure you TAKE THE TIME to get your horse used to the rope before trying to rope a foot.

03/21/2020
Beautiful sunset after a great day at Briar Creek Farm- we are so blessed to have created our dream of a place of horsem...
02/23/2020

Beautiful sunset after a great day at Briar Creek Farm- we are so blessed to have created our dream of a place of horsemanship excellence, learning and fun. What did you do today in this awesome weather? 

Beautiful day for lessons with Katie Straton!  Everyone is happy and learning!
02/23/2020

Beautiful day for lessons with Katie Straton! Everyone is happy and learning!

Versatility in action!  Cross dressing again too!  Sporting my #FlexibleFitEquestrian bridle while cow working.   So gla...
02/16/2020

Versatility in action! Cross dressing again too! Sporting my #FlexibleFitEquestrian bridle while cow working. So glad to be back in the saddle after a prolonged injury.

Our new indoor is coming along!  We’re very excited that our footing is done and blended (two more professional blending...
01/27/2020

Our new indoor is coming along! We’re very excited that our footing is done and blended (two more professional blendings to go over the next few weeks). Lights are up and should be connected this week.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!   A beautiful almost 70 degree day allowing us to wash away the Virginia clay and mo...
12/29/2019

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! A beautiful almost 70 degree day allowing us to wash away the Virginia clay and model our latest Flexible Fit Equestrian bridle. #beautifulbling #flexiblefitequestrian

Happy Thanksgiving from Briar Creek Farm (and especially from our Nokota horse of Lakota Indian descent, Two Socks).   H...
11/28/2019

Happy Thanksgiving from Briar Creek Farm (and especially from our Nokota horse of Lakota Indian descent, Two Socks). Here he is sporting a traditional Indian feather, and to show the versatile use of Flexible Fit Bridles he also has a very fancy, biomechanically correct bridle. A true custom fit for his wide jaw but short muzzle. #wildhorse #Nokota #flexiblefitbridles

Proud to announce we have (mostly) completed our private indoor!  Enjoyed a beautiful sunset at Briar Creek Farm last ni...
11/23/2019

Proud to announce we have (mostly) completed our private indoor! Enjoyed a beautiful sunset at Briar Creek Farm last night. Footing and LCD lighting going in soon and we’ll be riding this winter!! We can’t wait to have our BCF family and friends over for an open house in our glass viewing room after the holidays! It is huge and dwarfs our barn (which we thought was pretty big!). WiFi and cameras throughout the property now too!

Two Socks update: This is the second time I’ve gotten saddle on him in VA (I saddled him as a two year old in ND).   He ...
06/01/2019

Two Socks update: This is the second time I’ve gotten saddle on him in VA (I saddled him as a two year old in ND). He was very relaxed about the saddle pad, which I intentionally was sloppy about and rubbed all over his body and threw it over from both sides. But I’ve been doing that over the last few days. I used an old Wintec saddle with no stirrups because it was light. I practiced waving it in the air and holding over him until he didn’t flinch. We started using the “start button” technique from Madison Shambaugh so he could communicate with me when he was ready for next steps. It’s pretty fascinating to see the theory in action. The concept is he touches his nose to a target at the end of a traffic cone when he’s ready to proceed (long story). There were many times where I had to wait (with a saddle in my hand) for several minutes, but when he finally touched the target, I set the saddle on - he didn’t tighten a single muscle. I helped him along with some nuchal ligament stretches by basically encouraging him to chew and lick. He was more nervous about the jingling the girth buckles made than anything else, interestingly. After we saddled, I practiced getting him to square up to the mounting block (in this case turned over water troughs) and rubbed him over his neck, down his back, and flapped the saddle flaps. Everything has to happen so slowly around him, it’s been very good for me. You can’t take any action, movement, noise or scent for granted. Getting the saddle off was tougher than getting it on because of the clearly killer jingling girth buckles that almost ate him, but all ended well. He even let me sponge him off a bit at the end with a sponge, which is miraculous as clearly the water hose would eat him whole. #Nokota #wildhorse #patiencesquared

Two Socks Update: For my wild horse & Nokota followers, we had a big day this weekend where Two Socks let our blacksmith...
05/14/2019

Two Socks Update: For my wild horse & Nokota followers, we had a big day this weekend where Two Socks let our blacksmith trim his feet! Phew! I have been working with him picking up his feet, picking his feet with a hoof pick, simulating shaking the hoof and rasping it. I thought we were finally ready - and we were!! It went very well, only a little drama in the beginning when he wasn’t sure if he should trust a new human. As a team, we finally managed to address the crack in his left hind that he has been painful on for months. We think it has a much better chance of growing out normally now. The ulcer meds (“pop rocks” in his feed) have surely helped, I wouldn’t say he likes humans yet but he is relaxing more and more. I’m working on building up my bank account (trust) with him and a so thankful we can get to that injured hind hoof! You can see he relaxed into it, lead rope is loose, head is low and I was just rubbing him and talking to him while the blacksmith trimmed, filed, and cleaned up the frog. Slowly but surely we will make it! #nokota #wildhorse #gettinitdone

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!

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

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A Horsemanship Journey

• 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 (cow working and horsemanship, annually) and Bryan Neubert to continue her learning and ability to pass the experience on to her students. Most recently, Suzanne has studied classic Vaquero horsemanship from Pat Puckett and practices the art of the Garrocha with Patrick King (also a Ray Hunt protégé) who offer clinics at her home, Briar Creek Farm. In fact, Suzanne is featured in some of Patrick’s DVD’s. Quite simply, Suzanne believes it’s a lifetime journey to constantly improve your horsemanship and your relationship with your horse. She has completed Charles deKunffy’s Instructor Course in 2017. Suzanne has studied intensive biomechanics courses with Jillian Krienbring in 2017, has completed the Equine Touch Foundation’s Whole Horse Dissection clinic in May 2018. This intensive study of equine motion provided by Dr. Ivana Ruddock proved a valuable and unique experience to further knowledge of proper training and movement of the horse. As her understanding of Biomechanics grew, Suzanne chose to couple the lightness found in groundwork/foundation work with her understanding of biomechanics, focusing on how to ask the horse to balance itself under the weight of a rider. In 2019, Suzanne attended the Instructors’ Group of students training at The Valenca Academy outside of Lisbon, Portugal riding Lusitano Stallions to further her feel of riding highly and Internationally renowned dressage horses.

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]

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I saw the scores are up from the Tri State Riding Club Judged Trail Ride. Congratulations Suzanne P Liscouski on one of the top scores and for winning your section! You and Raney were amazing!!