Briar Creek Farm

Briar Creek Farm Deluxe care horse boarding, training in Northern Virginia. Indoor & outdoor riding arena. Hosts top clinicians. Security cameras throughout property for safety.
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Natural Horsemanship approach to hunter jumpers, pleasure, dressage, Garrocha, problem & young horse training. Biography & Facility Information: Private boarding facility with new 70x200 lighted indoor riding arena with mirrors, fans, large heated viewing room/classroom. Professional sound system and Wi-Fi allow for virtual lessons. 120x200 all weather footing lighted outdoor arena, heated bathr

oom & heated tack room, hot/cold water wash rack with heat lamps. 12x12 stalls with rubber mats over laser graded crushed bluestone, automatic & heated waterers in each stall and field. Eight 12x18 sheltered walk outs, 35 acres of turn out in small groups of 3-4 horses. 72' Arena footing round pen. 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
• Masterson Method techniques/Body Work
• Masterson Method integrated into lessons via functional anatomy

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 for her undergraduate work, renowned for their Hunter Jumper program. A horse owner since the age of 10, Suzanne’s life forever changed when she started her first c**t 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, riders are able to link the skills taught by horsemen with whom Suzanne has studied over the decades to their 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 knowledge and confidence in the horse and in the rider. This holistic approach provides a solid foundation to develop confidence, safety, and a true connection with horses through in-hand work and under saddle. 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 proper movement 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, a second Dissection Clinic with Sharon May Davis, and Equinology 900 Anatomy in Clay. From c**t starting and halter breaking wild horses in North Dakota to completing Instructors Courses with Charles de Kunffy, 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 école 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. Most recently, Suzanne has completed years of studying the Masterson Method and is now a Masterson Method Certified Practitioner (MMCP) as of January 2023. 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. Suzanne course designed curriculum and served as a 400 level instructor at the U.S. Air Force Academy and is a Harvard Senior Executive Fellow. She has now transitioned her teaching and leadership skills as consultant and instructor inside the horse world, helping 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 and liberty work; this has served many from small groups to corporate offsites. Message Briar Creek on Facebook or email briarcreekfarm(at)verizon.net.

Thank you to all all the awesome ladies that came out for February Cavalletti Club this weekend! We had so much fun and ...
02/27/2024

Thank you to all all the awesome ladies that came out for February Cavalletti Club this weekend! We had so much fun and the horses really softened, rounded and used themselves properly! Super nice groundwork session as well with some young and nervous horses that ended up in an awesome place in respecting owners’ space yet still relaxing. 😎 ❤️

We love the start of warm days and everyone gets in on some nap time! 💤 💤 (except the humans…we just start scrubbing eve...
02/27/2024

We love the start of warm days and everyone gets in on some nap time! 💤 💤 (except the humans…we just start scrubbing everything!)

Public service announcement… 
02/13/2024

Public service announcement… 

Remember about that 😅
credits: Pinterest

Y’all know what I’m talking about….
02/03/2024

Y’all know what I’m talking about….

It must be the morning of a big show. 🤣😂

Titled “Buck”, created by Artist Peter McFarlane.

Continuing our education at the The Masterson Method, Integrated Equine Performance Bodywork Gathering, Walter Saxe (our...
02/01/2024

Continuing our education at the The Masterson Method, Integrated Equine Performance Bodywork Gathering, Walter Saxe (our German Masterson Method Instructor) gave an overview of applying The Masterson Method to sport horses where we were able to break down specific areas of focus by riding discipline – it was very helpful to note the differences in muscle use/impact/restriction and fatigue in jumpers v. dressage v. eventers and what we can do as Masterson Method professionals to best address areas that will positively impact performance. It is no wonder he is so sought after in Europe as the bodyworker for several eventing teams and so many other high level horses in Germany and surrounding countries. I was honored to be in his small group once we broke out for hands-on work. He is such a talented (and fun) gentleman!

I had the pleasure of spending a good amount of time with Daniel Dauphin, from Dauphin Horsemanship out of Louisiana.  H...
01/31/2024

I had the pleasure of spending a good amount of time with Daniel Dauphin, from Dauphin Horsemanship out of Louisiana. He is not only absolutely hilarious, he fills such a vacuum we have in the horse industry. Having studied metallurgy and engineering (and of course horses) he focuses on bits and bitting. He gave a fascinating presentation at The Masterson Method, Integrated Equine Performance Bodywork Gathering on considerations on bridling, fitting and choosing the right bit for your horse. In a community that has so many saddle fitters (which of course we love!) we are hard pressed to find someone who independently can educate us on the topic. That’s right, no sponsorships/affiliations, just education to do right by your horse. He is also about to launch an on-line course, which is sure to be amazing. We had many bourbon bonding moments having been logistically linked! If you don't already know him, check him out!

I was honored to spend last week at the The Masterson Method Gathering for Certified Practitioners!  We always learn so ...
01/30/2024

I was honored to spend last week at the The Masterson Method Gathering for Certified Practitioners! We always learn so much from Jim, who recorded some new video angles of the final certification techniques and did some awesome demos on horses that surely needed him. After one day of instructor training, we started in with an impressive line-up of guest speakers. Jim’s way of teaching is so soft and connected, he softened some fire breathing dragons to yawning puddles of horse. He is such a humble, skilled man and lots of fun!

I can’t believe I didn’t get any pictures with Sandy Vreeburg none of which would have been possible without her and the role she played in my mentorship. She was my inspiration to finish the program strong during certification – she is not only brilliant and gifted with her touch, she is a strong leader, not intimidating, inclusive, warm, funny and most of all so encouraging. If anyone gets a chance to study with her, you’re in for a treat! The Masterson staff did an amazing job with planning, logistics and of course lots of fun. Everything went off without a hitch thanks to the hard work and dedication of Conley, Malia Aldrich, Megan Dushin, Jennifer Baranski Benzenberg, and others that contributed to the event. The Masterson Method, Integrated Equine Performance Bodywork

Another great day of learning from Jim Masterson and Coralie Hughes.  It’s always amazing to see how much they can chang...
01/27/2024

Another great day of learning from Jim Masterson and Coralie Hughes. It’s always amazing to see how much they can change a horse in front of your eyes! ❤️

Awesome presentation by the amazing Jillian Kreinbring at the Masterson Method Continuing Education Conference on equine...
01/26/2024

Awesome presentation by the amazing Jillian Kreinbring at the Masterson Method Continuing Education Conference on equine movement and sacred geometry.

What other holidays did I miss??
12/21/2023

What other holidays did I miss??

My handsome model prompted me to remind everyone that BEMER is $650 off through tomorrow - I have never seen a sale on t...
12/05/2023

My handsome model prompted me to remind everyone that BEMER is $650 off through tomorrow - I have never seen a sale on the horse set since I got involved with BEMER in 2020. I use my human set twice a day, my Horse Set is used on mulitple horses per day here at the farm. Pro-tip for the winter months - it's a perfect way to keep their metabolism moving when weather doesn't allow for much turn out.
I ALSO see a measurable amount of hoof growth on my unicorn mare who used to struggle with having nothing for the farrier to work with. I ALSO use it on my retired arthritic 28 year old; I ALSO use it before riding for a warm up to get blood perfusing the muscles before climbing on. I ALSO used it for a laminitic flare on a founder prone horse (he's done and all healed). I ALSO use it to be sure all the supplements I spend money on get through to the whole body. NASA ALSO uses BEMER in space suits. I can go on and on, but you get the point. If you're on the fence, please message me or call me to talk about your horse. These are just some of my personal stories/uses. There are studies available from NIH/pubmed that I'm happy to share with you too.

https://shop.bemergroup.com/en_US/home?partner=briarcreekfarm

Saddle fitting day!  How often do you get your fit checked?  Horses mature and change musculature regularly, thank goodn...
12/02/2023

Saddle fitting day! How often do you get your fit checked? Horses mature and change musculature regularly, thank goodness there are awesome saddle fitters and makers like to keep riders and horses optimally fit.

Day three with the awesome   We are just soaking up the knowledge. Jillian is amazing with fielding our questions and so...
11/19/2023

Day three with the awesome We are just soaking up the knowledge. Jillian is amazing with fielding our questions and so far we haven’t met a rabbit hole we didn’t like!

Day two of   Functional Anatomy Course 1.  Great group of life long learners upping the bar for their horses! ❤️
11/18/2023

Day two of Functional Anatomy Course 1. Great group of life long learners upping the bar for their horses! ❤️

All set up and ready for day two of the Masterson Method Weekend Seminar!!  it’s been an amazing group! Looking forward ...
11/12/2023

All set up and ready for day two of the Masterson Method Weekend Seminar!! it’s been an amazing group! Looking forward to our next one on March 9 and 10th! 

Very nice job riders in November Cavaletti Club!!  We always start our sessions in hand learning to release the jaw and ...
11/08/2023

Very nice job riders in November Cavaletti Club!! We always start our sessions in hand learning to release the jaw and stretch the topline so that we can access the ventral chain for LIFT over the poles. Once in the saddle, this session we added in footfall timing for better lateral work between poles. Whether in hand or under saddle, changing the way your horse articulates their joints using poles is wonderful for core stabilizers, health and longevity. Photo credit: Pat Brescia

Thank you Diane J Sept for an insightful clinic on rider body awareness!  We did some TTouch, some promise wraps on nerv...
11/02/2023

Thank you Diane J Sept for an insightful clinic on rider body awareness! We did some TTouch, some promise wraps on nervous horses, lots of saddle balancing for the female pelvis, and freed a lot of horses up to move in better harmony with each rider. It was a very popular clinic so I’m sure we’ll have her back!

10/17/2023

Great thoughts as always from Jessica Jo Tate - she’s is an amazing horse woman! How do you think about your canter? push pop!

For more information, please visit https://briarcreekfarm.com/events .  There is also a downloadable flyer with details ...
10/03/2023

For more information, please visit https://briarcreekfarm.com/events . There is also a downloadable flyer with details at the bottom of the page. There are still a few spaces available in the group bodymapping session Sat 9-11am, waitlist open for mounted lesson (BYOH).

Awful!  All I can say is yes, this is "Dressage Today" - I'll  just address the main issue here because there are severa...
09/28/2023

Awful! All I can say is yes, this is "Dressage Today" - I'll just address the main issue here because there are several that need airing. This neck carriage is NOT proper muscular usage. This horse is overdeveloped in the splenius (the muscle she is pointing to (that looks like a PVC pipe covered in fascia). There is no lift or muscle development in the serratus and trapezius - in fact it looks concave lower in the neck. This is the part that is supposed to be the most developed and would be if this horse was being trained and developed properly! This horse needs to telescope it's neck (like an expandable fishing pole), push it's nose out at least 20 or 30 degrees (hard to tell exactly how much further at this angle) - and that throat latch needs to OPEN. I am saddened this is what the traditional dressage world is promoting out of ignorance. There, I said it and I'm a biomechanics and functional anatomy trained professional that in this case is willing to start drama for the benefit of the horse. Bonus points here for terrible tack decisions of clamping the horse's mouth shut to add more tension to the poll, and hey even foam in the mouth because he can't swallow. Definitely "Dressage Today" as evidenced by their magazine name.

"In addition to the horse’s mental development, we must also be aware of how the horse’s underneck can prevent throughness. The underneck is often the place that prevents the horse’s energy from flowing through from back to front. Tension or holding of the underneck serves as a kind of dam—a wall—that stops the energy," says Olympian Lisa Wilcox.

"When the underneck relaxes, the crest of the neck lowers, and that’s when you see that beautiful arc in the middle of the neck. When this muscle is visible, the horse is carrying his neck. This muscle enables the development of the topline. With training, that muscle becomes very well defined. Unfortunately, too often horses are developing very strong undernecks. The overdeveloped underneck can be related to the horse’s conformation (low set-on neck) or sometimes it’s because the rider is holding on to the rein to keep her balance in the saddle, which causes the horse to hold with the underneck to support the rider."

In this photo, Wilcox points out a bulging lower neck. When the underneck relaxes from your half halts, the neck lowers and you get that beautiful arc along the topline. We build the crest on this, and the top muscle becomes very defined while the lower muscle atrophies.

In the article, she explains how your half halts can relax your horse’s underneck so his energy can go through his entire body 👉 https://bit.ly/GreaterDegreesofThroughness

📸: Susan J. Stickle

Yup!  How many others does this apply to??
09/28/2023

Yup! How many others does this apply to??

Have you been wanting to take the Masterson Method Weekend course??  New course just opened here in LEESBURG, VA for Nov...
09/24/2023

Have you been wanting to take the Masterson Method Weekend course?? New course just opened here in LEESBURG, VA for Nov 11-12, 2023 https://mastersonmethod.com/beyond-horse-massage-weekend-seminar/

Check it out!

The Beyond Horse Massage Weekend Seminar provides tools to help you work with your horse to relieve tension and build trust and a deeper connection.

This is a simple and solid explanation of something we talk about all the time here in lessons!  Who needed to hear this...
09/12/2023

This is a simple and solid explanation of something we talk about all the time here in lessons! Who needed to hear this today? Especially if you've heard me say "no dinosaur arms", this is for you!

Have you ever watched riders going around the ring with straight, stiff arms? What have you noticed? The exact opposite of what they probably want is happening. Although they are likely trying to b…

Why do farrier balance x-rays?  Getting your blacksmith the information they need on the bone structure of your horse no...
08/28/2023

Why do farrier balance x-rays? Getting your blacksmith the information they need on the bone structure of your horse not only helps with making shoe choices but can reveal important information such as laminitis (separation of the hoof wall), arthritis, ring bone and navicular depending on the views taken. Even with healthy bones, it allows farriers to trim properly for correct hoof/pastern axis and better align where the shoe should be placed. It is best done barefoot, so you ask your farrier if they want your vet to be there on shoeing day to get the films and help make the best choices for soundness. Information is always good!

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41455 Southpaw Place
Leesburg, VA
20175

Opening Hours

Monday 6am - 9pm
Tuesday 6am - 9pm
Wednesday 6am - 9pm
Thursday 6am - 9pm
Friday 6am - 9pm
Saturday 6am - 9pm
Sunday 6am - 9pm

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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 c**t 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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