Hill Top Stables

Farm History:

Hill Top Stables at Hunter’s Meadow Farm is a working farm located in  Spotsylvania County just minutes from historical downtown Fredericksburg, Virginia.

Hunter’s Meadow Farm is 60 acres of beautiful farm land that is located on Massaponax Creek.   According to the book, “A Early History of Spotsylvania” by James Roger Mansfield, “Hunter’s Meadow” is in the deeds of 1794 and 1798 from Jeremiah Morton to William Morton. This tract was part of Mill Garden, a large farm on the east side of Route 208 around Massaponax Creek. It was the lower portion of Mill Garden that was known as “Hunter’s Meadow”. Morton’s Mill, later known as Cannon’s Mill, was on this tract.

In 1961 the land was purchased by Warren L. Hicks.  The remnants of a mill were found on the creek.   Mr. Hicks reclaimed the land and was awarded First Place for Best Non-Quarry Mine from the Division of Mines and Minerals Virginia Aggregates Association.   Hunter’s Meadow Farm now combines portions of acreage from what were known as the Mill Garden and Gildea Tracts. The name, Hunter’s Meadow Farm, was chosen in recognition of the land’s history.

Philosophy & Goals:

At Hill Top Stables we believe that children will capture their talent of working as an individual and as a team, while having fun learning and acquiring skills to unlock the gate to a field of equine knowledge.  Our second goal is providing a safe, nurturing and fun learning environment for our students.  The trainers and instructors at Hill Top Stables (KAT,LLC)  individualize the training programs for your horse and our students.  Our philosophy is that we are all individuals and as individuals we learn in our own way and pace.  Thinking outside the box is a method that we take pride in and will provide a well rounded learning program for our clients and their horses.

“It’s not about the ribbon, it’s about the ride. Remember riding is an individual as well as a team sport.”—Katharine Tharp

This is the motto at HTS! You will hear it come out of your team member’s and instructor’s mouths constantly. 


At Hill Top Stables our sessions focus on safety, horsemanship, enjoyment, progress and individual attention.  As a former school teacher customizing lessons to reflect the rider’s unique instructional, remedial, rehabilitation, or competitive goals is my goal..  Lessons are individual as to focus on the rider’s goal.  Riders may also move onto a group lesson with no more than three riders , as to keep the individualized instruction at its best but also having the rider acquire the feel of riding in a group setting.

We encourage our riders to have fun as well as observing their environment and using their prior knowledge of horsemanship and riding methods  to make good decisions while in and out of the ring.  Our common goal is…”It’s not about the ribbon, it’s about the ride. Remember riding is an individual effort as well as a team effort.”

Hill Top Stables also conducts camps and clinics to enhance our student’s knowledge of horsemanship and riding.   Hill Top Stables is also home to The Boy Scout Horsemanship Merritt Badge Camp in the Fredericksburg area.

Meet the Trainers:

Katharine W. Tharp

Owner, Manager, Trainer and Instructor for Hill Top Stables (KAT,LLC)

Kathy is a native of the historical Fredericksburg area.  She began her riding career at Hazelwild Farm under the instruction of Mrs. Elizabeth A. Morrison.  Kathy has shown locally and on the “A” rated show circuit for the past 20 years before widening her knowledge of the horse industry by learning, competing and working in other disciplines.  This education broaden Kathy’s knowledge of other equine disciplines and over the years has sharpened her knowledge of equine care, maintenance, training, and instruction.

Kathy has trained in the Hunter circuit under Mr. Wayne Eubank and Mrs. Carol M. Hawley.   Under the instruction of Mrs. Carol Hawley is where she learned the fundamentals of running a well organized training/boarding/lesson facility and again showed locally and on the “A” circuit.   Kathy’s knowledge of farming, farm maintenance and care has come from her grandparents, the late Mr. and Mrs. Warren L. Hicks.   Twenty plus years as  an equestrian, farm maintenance experience,  prior knowledge of her family’s business in the areas of construction and excavation, 10 plus years as an educator and coupled with a degree in Finance and Economics from Virginia Commonwealth University has enabled Kathy to grow her business from the ground up in every aspect.

Kathy has taught riders of all ages on the fundamentals of strength, balance and communication between horse and rider. In addition to her methods of teaching also  include the philosophy of  using your prior knowledge of riding form , knowing your horse, making your plan when in the ring,  staying one-step ahead , and most of all having fun for improving your horse and achieving your riding goals! Her lessons include teaching riders while riding in the areas of , safety, horsemanship, ring etiquette, and sportsman like conduct.

Karen Simonie Burge

Assistant Trainer and Instructor at Hill Top Stables, (KAT,LLC)

Simonie is a Fredericksburg native. She began her riding career at Hazelwild Farms at the age of five. She rode and competed locally and at the “A” circuit for several years before widening her knowledge of the horse industry by learning and competing in the western pleasure and barrel racing divisions in the Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia areas. In high-school she returned to her hunt-seat and equitation roots as a working student for Carol M. Hawley. There she learned the fundamentals of running a top-notch training/boarding/lesson facility and again showed locally and at the “A” circuit. Simonie is a graduate of the University of Mary Washington where she rode and competed on the equestrian team.

She has taught riders of all ages on the fundamentals of strength, balance and communication between horse and rider. Additionally, her methods of teaching include the philosophy of “Form follows Function” meaning correct riding form is the foundation for improving your horse and achieving your riding goals! Her lessons include teaching riders about safety while riding and working on the ground. She also tailors her lessons to include knowledge about horse maintenance and tack care


Hill Top Stables offers clients various services for their equine companion, from backing young horses to maintain horses for show and pleasure.  Each horse and rider combination are unique and have different goals they want to reach.  Let Hill Top Stables assist you in reaching goals with ourt knowledge and expertise.

Additionally, we enjoy working with clients in the buying, selling, and leasing of horses and are happy assisting clients in finding the best equine match.  We also offer various sales services form assisting clients in prepping their horse for sale, to marketing t making the final steps in closing the sale!

Boarding and Amenities:

Hill Top Stables is a full care boarding facility with 50 acres of pasture and amenities for your horse that include stall and field boarding.  We individualize your horses care as to create an organized, relaxing and welcoming environment for you and your horse.  Maintaining your horse’s safety and health are our top priority.

Our stalls and aisle way are matted and well maintained.  We are looking forward to the construction of our new 250 x 150 riding ring to work in conjunction with our existing riding ring.  Our paddocks include two dry lots for those who cannot tolerate the grass, as well as three paddocks balanced with a run-in facility for those who like to live outside.  We believe that horses need their time outside to enjoy the fresh air and graze on a most important food source of all, grass.

If your horse finds himself ill or “laid-up”; our knowledgeable staff will be there to assist in nursing your horse back to good health.

Hill Top Stables continues to grow and provide a well balance life you and your horse in the Equine World.  We currently are taking students from beginners to advanced level.  Our student’s ages range from toddler to adult.   Boarding amenities are available. Please call Kathy for more information at 540-847-3078 or visit us on Face Book at Hill Top Stables. Our web site, www.hilltopstablesva.com, is still under construction.

For the month of May, we feature Karla Seidita, Home Economist and owner of Cheesecake Farms in Fredericksburg, Virginia.  An agri-educational farm for learning and refreshment!

Karla has a blog that features a “Daily Dish” that can be found atwww.CheesecakeFarms.blogspot.com

New – In the Kitchen with Karla Cooking Class Workshops, Karla’s Cooking Made Easy On Line Magazine and Karla’s Great Cheesecakes – www.CheesecakeFarms.com. A woman owned Virginia’s Finest Company Since 1989! Winner Virginia Newspaper Society Award for Food and Life Style Writers.

What do horses and cheesecakes have in common?


Each day, Karla and her staff turned mounds of cream cheese into yummy dessert cheesecakes, wonderful hors d’oeuvre cheesecakes and lovely, hand dipped cheesecake truffles(tm).

Karla’s cheesecakes were legendary.  Heads of state, landed gentry, corporate giants and movie stars all enjoyed Karla’s desserts.

Several years ago, Karla retired from commercial baking to tend her gardens and her ponies at her home, Cheesecake Farms.



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Random Quote
“A horse is worth more than riches.”
by Spanish Proverb