Deluxe care horse boarding, training in Northern Virginia. Indoor & outdoor riding arena. Natural Horsemanship approach to hunter jumpers, pleasure, dressage, Garrocha, problem & young horse training.
Hosts top clinicians. 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 bathroom & heated tack room, hot/cold water wash rack with heat lamps. 12x12 stalls with rubber mats over
Operating as usual
Wise words from Manolo!
𝗙𝗶𝘅𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗶𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗘𝗻𝗲𝗺𝘆 𝗼𝗳 𝗦𝘂𝗽𝗽𝗹𝗲𝗻𝗲𝘀𝘀 & 𝗦𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗱𝗻𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗼𝗿 𝘄𝗵𝘆 𝗛𝗲𝗮𝗹𝘁𝗵𝘆 𝗘𝗹𝗮𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗰𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗥𝘂𝗹𝗲𝘀
Something to keep in mind when you lunge your horse or work him/her in-hand - or ride him/her:
Fixed headsets, fixed postures, fixed gaits for long or even short stretches of times do not build fitness, instead they build stiffness.
Too much energy/activity runs the horse down and damages its body.
Not enough energy/activity and he becomes careless and indifferent, disconnected.
Remember to vary the gaits, and the gaits within the gaits and to vary the level of activity you ask of your horse.
To develop strong and elastic muscles, tendons and ligaments your horse's body needs to gather and extend, open and close, contract and release within a healthy range of postures for his body AND his mind to thrive in unison.
His/Her posture must be able to change, his/her neck must be able to shorten, extend, lower or rise to help him/her find its equilibrium and travel in balance.
This is true of a young horse and of any horse as it progresses up in its training.
𝗙𝗶𝘅𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗶𝘀 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗰𝗼𝗿𝗽𝘀𝗲𝘀, 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗶𝗻𝗮𝗻𝗶𝗺𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗺𝗮𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗿. 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗵𝗼𝗿𝘀𝗲'𝘀 𝗯𝗼𝗱𝘆 (𝗹𝗶𝗸𝗲 𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗼𝘄𝗻) 𝗶𝘀 𝗮𝗹𝗶𝘃𝗲.
Bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, skin, eyes, ears, lips, hooves, bones, everything is cells, fascia, everything is alive, constantly adjusting to movement, load, pressure, direction and thus having to be elastic, to absorb, and distribute and give and stretch.
The mind of the horse is receiving and telegraphing signals to its body constantly based on the data it receives about its environment but also based on its emotional state which impacts its tonus.
𝗕𝗼𝗱𝗶𝗲𝘀 𝗯𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗵𝗲, 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝘆 𝗲𝘅𝗽𝗮𝗻𝗱, 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝘆 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗿𝗮𝗰𝘁, 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝘆 𝗲𝘅𝘁𝗲𝗻𝗱, 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝘆 𝗳𝗹𝗲𝘅, 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝘆 𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗲𝘁𝗰𝗵 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗿𝗲𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗲. 𝗕𝗮𝗹𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝘂𝗹𝘁𝗶𝗺𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗹𝘆 𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗺𝘀 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗹𝗶𝗳𝗲, 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝘀𝗲 𝗲𝗺𝗼𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀, 𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝘀𝗲 𝗰𝗲𝗹𝗹𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘀𝘆𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗺𝘀 𝗯𝗲𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗻𝘁𝗹𝘆 𝘀𝗲𝗹𝗳 𝗮𝗱𝗷𝘂𝘀𝘁 𝘁𝗼 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝗽𝗮𝗰𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝘆 𝘁𝗿𝗮𝘃𝗲𝗹 𝗶𝗻 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝗽𝗲𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝘆 𝘁𝗿𝗮𝘃𝗲𝗹 𝗮𝘁.
We do not want to block this process.
We want our horses' balance to spring from within.
We want 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗶𝗿 minds engaged in responding to what 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗶𝗿 senses tell them.
We want to GUIDE and SHAPE, we do not want to create straight jackets for their bodies and conduct hostile take overs for their minds.
We do not know better then the horse's body, it knows how to protect itself - which is why we must learn to investigate resistances very carefully.
When we block our horse and restrict the body's ability to adjust, the horse is more likely to travel in a manner where he will hit the ground harder and wont absorb and dissipate the, energy, the shock waves throughout his entire body. His joints will have to work harder, his entire structure will suffer.
Blocking the horse's posture and demanding a high degree of activity at the same time is equally detrimental - it places too much stress on the horse's spine, pelvis, stifles, shoulders, joints and tendons and ligaments.
Photo caption: This is a young horse just beginning to lunge and learning to develop a different posture. Saying NO to fixed headsets and gaits...Why? Developing elastic muscles requires our horse's body to open and close, open and close.
Trotting in the same pace and posture for too long with make him stiff.
To keep him suple, alternate short bursts of energy with a slower pace that allows him to stretch forward, down and OUT, and relax.
We do not ask him to perform with great energy for long periods: this will over tire his body and begin damaging him.
We do not work him in a relaxed frame all the time or he will become inattentive, loose and careless.
For more information on Manolo's 3 hour introduction to in-hand DVD check: http://www.manolomendezdressage.com/product/in-hand-lessons-with-manolo-mendez/
Written by Caroline Larrouilh, ProudHorse Connections, 2013
I just started working with this lovely APSL mare Gina, she is Veiga line and therefore a bit fiery. They were bred for bravery in bullfighting and known for their agility. I also just realized she has canine teeth - rare in mares. What that means is that she has high testosterone levels. As we learned in a recent dissection I did with Sharon May Davis, mares with these "tushes" are great for endurance riding and extreme athletic performance. (In fact, you may get more "performance" than one needs LOL). We'll be breeding her next week (fingers crossed for ovulation). To prep for carrying a foal, she has gotten the full Briar Creek "works" so we can leave her alone during her pregnancy. She has had spring shots, Potomac Horse Fever (regional concern), rabies, West Nile and a 5 way. We used a wonderful dentist Meredith Jeffries and she's had two corrective hoof trims by Daisy Bicking. Wormed with Zimectrin Gold, and a few weeks later a Panacur Powerpack given some bloating she had which looked like a "hay belly". Once bred, we won't work with her (even in hand) until the fetus is safely far enough along. We've had her uterus cultured to rule out any bacterial issues that could impact her pregnancy (a precaution, all is clear). She's had three ultrasounds to check follicle size. We're all systems go, we just need mother nature to take her course!
Same horse June 2021 and March 2022 - thank you for the amazing hoof rehab Daisy Alexis Bicking on my performance horse. While Daisy specializes in complex founders and really tough medical cases, her wisdom in getting me hooked on BEMER has increased the quality hoof growth on my performance horse. Over time with healthy growth, Daisy was able to correct my mare’s angles, correct unbalanced and curled heels, balance medial/lateral hoof load and more. My mare is STRONGER than ever as she was unable to compensate anymore as her bone alignment was compromised. Her palmar angles are now textbook- beautiful! She saved my mare’s career and has given her a new lease on life. I am so thankful for the group of powerfully smart equine professionals I am blessed to know. If you are serious about hoof rehab I suggest you contact Daisy!
This is why starting horses too young can turn into a problem!
We are humbled to be helping out the former Lucia farm and Dave/Jody Ellis by hosting this clinic here at Briar Creek Farm. Limited to 12 riders, these four days will be fun, educational and right in our wheelhouse where natural/Vaquero horsemanship meets Dressage. For a change, I'm not the planner, so for more information contact Kathleen at [email protected]. Flyer is below for your reference, we have enough riders for a "go" but there are a few slots available.
Wise words from a wise man. Ray used to say he was the horses lawyer. It was such an honor to know him and ride with him. I'm so lucky he told me to keep writing things down as "it would mean somethin' different to you later." He was so right, it means something different every few years! (Photo credit: Martin Black)
That's a wrap! Thank you Dominique Barbier for a wonderful clinic weekend of lessons and for helping me with the beautiful double bridle (I love my FlexibleFit Equestrian gear!) Dominique will be back this summer!
Not rain nor sleet nor snow — nor daylight savings time has stopped us! Day three of lightness, self carriage and fun has begun! Auditors welcome in our heated viewing room. Dominique Barbier is in the ring!
Day one of Dominique Clinic! Auditors welcome this weekend. Please message me if you want to come last minute! Rider slots are full. Everybody is already learning and having fun!
Amazing day at The Bone Room in Aiken with Pamela Blades Eckelbarger Wendy Murdoch and Sharon May Davis! What a treat to have these discussions for a geek like me!
Great lesson day despite 50 MPH wind gusts!
Really nice visual of the hyoid apparatus, which provides attachment points for muscles and ligaments of the tongue, pharynx, neck and sternum. Note that tension and intense riding with flexion of the horse’s head will impact the hyoid apparatus and thus cause restriction through all the connections, greatly impacting performance and causing damage and discomfort. I am so blessed to be able to have the time to study and practice what I love!
I am pleased to introduce you to our latest addition! Welcome to the beautiful black Lusitano mare (APSL) Gina! We will be breeding her this spring and looking forward to our first BCF baby! This will be an amazing life experience! ❤️❤️
Stop the monkeys!!!
(Via Kentuckiana Humor)
You might want to check out #4 in this list!! Enjoy your snow day(s) and stay warm!
5 Narrative Equestrian Films to Binge Watch this Weekend 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...
It's official! A mere 8" of snow and yet here we are! The kickoff of my annual "I WANT TO BE A BOARDER" season challenge! Yes, for all of you around the country that wonder shall we make hot chocolate in our pajamas? Perhaps do a puzzle with some wine? Noooooo, let's own a farm!! Post a snow/mud/ bad weather pic (once you get feeling back in your fingers) of your barn chores, muddy horse or other joys we experience and show us how much you cowgirl/cowboy up in these tough months ahead!
We are so excited to welcome this lovely APSL (Pura Sangre Lusitano) at Briar Creek Farm in my training program! "Frederico" is relatively green (thankfully he was started well and has a nice brain). He's lovely and I enjoy working with this special breed! He is an amazing perlino color, which (when clean) is pearl metallic. I am so excited, as many of you know I fell in love with Iberian horses when I lived in Jerez, Spain in 2002 and again when I traveled to Portugal to the Valenca Academy a few years ago. Looking forward to the journey!
Merry Christmas and a special thank you to all who came out to support Chelsea Proctor in her brave fight against cancer! The unicorn princess Raney was such a patient horse letting kids climb on/off all day for their photos! It’s never too late to donate to this wonderful family using their Go Fund Me https://www.gofundme.com/f/support-chelsea-proctor-fight-cancer-teamchelsea
We love having invited visitors and we see many families, bikes and strollers stopped along the road. One day someone left a "whole apple" on a fence post, which is the perfect size for a choke hazard. Please consider treats can be dangerous for animals when you don't know their circumstance.
Happy Halloween! What are some other notional Horse Horror Movie titles you'd recommend? LOL
I'm looking forward to our group garrocha lesson this weekend!
Happy Fall from Briar Creek Farm! Enjoy your ride!
October Cavaletti Club at Briar Creek this weekend was great fun! We had a lovely group working on proprioception, balance, rhythm and relaxation. We'll do this monthly through the winter to help keep our horses in shape so stay tuned!
We are under way with Dominique Barbier! He’s here through Sunday if anyone is interested in auditing. I also have one rider slot available Wed and Thurs. Message me ASAP if interested! We’re already having great fun and have happy horses!
As you know, a year ago I left my job to pursue Equine Integrated Bodywork, Functional Anatomy and training full time. These are some great examples of what I get to do all day -- study, practice and teach what I love! While I've had a rough year physically, it has allowed me to hone the intellectual side even more. Happy trails! Please share as proper movement is important to all riders for their horses' health and longevity. have all been part of the journey!
I'm so proud of the ladies that came out and did wonderfully in their obstacle lesson this past weekend! Yay for Tri-State Riding Club! Fun times working on softness, reaching and understanding footfalls -- and of course the rules for accuracy!
Have a great weekend!
credit to @horseyy_vibes
It’s a beautiful weekend for a Patrick King clinic. Everyone is having a great time!
It’s a beautiful morning at Briar Creek! Must be breakfast time as the line at the gate is forming! We’ve been starting lessons early to beat the heat. Are you riding today?
I am always amazed how beautiful Two Socks (our Nokota) is. Stunning boy enjoying the sunset tonight at Briar Creek. From wild to being the absolute snuggliest horse in the barn.
That's a wrap! As always a phenomenal week of learning and fun (and perhaps some wine) with a great group of ladies here at Briar Creek Farm! Thank you Patrick for providing great materials and hand outs and for the coaching in the saddle.
Reese ate Patrick’s head… sorry students!! (For us old people remember “I’m crushing your head”??)
Mind blowing evening of hoof and circulation information with Daisy Bicking and Patrick King. Daisy does such amazing work, the case studies are fascinating! She blew expectations out of the water!
• 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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