Stonehouse Stables

Toano, VA

Stonehouse Stables is a hunt seat equestrian center located near Colonial Williamsburg with easy access from I-64. Our 17 years of experience providing lessons, boarding, sales and trails all contribute to our reputation for excellent horse care, exceptional lesson and trail programs, and family friendly atmosphere.

Tara Best is the inspiration and driving force behind Stonehouse Stables, located on Lakewood Farm which is owned by Tara's parents, Mayes and Cheryl Mathews.


Primary Breeds

Specialized Disciplines

Services Offered

Tara is the heart of Stonehouse Stables and its guiding force. She graduated from Christopher Newport University with a degree in Business Management in 1996, and was honored as the Outstanding Management Senior. Tara grew up in James City County and has been an avid equestrienne since she was eight years of age. Her strong interest in hunt seat equitation and everything about the care of horses has grown ever since that early start. Her original show pony, Le Bronze Fleur, carried her through many years of successful competition including a State 4H Championship Trophy in Equitation. Tara moved up to further competition with her horse Sir Lancelot, competing primarily on the CHSA Richmond circuit and local AA rated shows as a junior, adult amateur and finally as a professional with the establishment of Stonehouse Stables in 1996. More recently, Tara has coached her junior and adult riders to many year-end awards in the Capitol Horse Show Association as well as producting excellent results in the VHSA Associate Finals and at the Culpepper AA Rated HITS Shows. In 2006, Tara became certified with the American Riding Instructor Association. Tara and her horse Ironwood are pictured above. The pair were Champion in the Culpepper HITS Division AA Show in August 2010, Champion Special Hunter 2'6" at VHSA Associate Finals in Lexington, VA and the year-end Championship Schooling Hunter Division with CHSA for 2010. In 2010 she lead our Show Team to numberous championships. With a 16 member show team they were able to acheive 17 year end awards from CHSA (Capital Horse Show Association). It was a record success for Stonehouse Show team in it's first year of inception. Tara Best is a Level II Huntseat Certified Instructor

Stephanie joined our Stonehouse Stables family immediately following her May 2006 graduation from Sweet Briar College (Virginia). There she earned a degree in Biology with a certificate in Equine Studies Teaching and Schooling. She also served as a teaching assistant for three years at the Sweet Briar College Roger's Riding Center where she taught beginner riders (students and faculty), planned and carried out trail rides and games, and educated students on the basics of riding and horse care. She has worked as an instructor and as Recreational Assistant Riding Director at Camp Friendship Stables in Palmyra, Virginia. In addition, Stephanie has extensive experience as a groom and stable worker during summers and as a part-time weekend worker, working in stables of 20 to 40 horses. She is First Aid and CPR certified. In addition to her teaching, Stephanie manages the instruction program and school horses. She also coaches her students at home and away shows.

Stephanie grew up around horses on her mother's horse breeding farm in Natural Bridge, Virginia, specializing in riding and training ponies.

A graduate of Old Dominion University with a BA in English, Allison Harcourt brings extensive equine experience to the Stonehouse Stables staff. She is also no stranger to our barn family as her daughter Rachael is a long-term student and shower at Stonehouse Stables.

Mrs. Harcourt has in-depth horse experience in many areas including pony club (where she achieved a "B" level rating), eventing through the training level, professional coach and driving professional, hunt seat riding instruction, Hunter Trials and Hunter Paces, barn management, and amateur as well as professional hunt experience. She has also owned her own horses as well as showed ponies and horses at both local and A-rated hunter shows.

Trainers: Tara M Best, Stephane S McClassister, Allison A Harcourt
Rate: $575/Month , Number of Stalls: 28
Trail Access
A mile and a half long private lakeside wooded riding trail provides a pleasant diversion from ring riding and incorporates some hills and a bridge.
Other Services
Horseback Riding, Riding Lessons, Riding Clinics, Has a Riding Arena
Contact Stonehouse Stables at:
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