About connie@karattopp.com

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far connie@karattopp.com has created 70 blog entries.

Recent truck and trailer break-ins at Rivers Road Trailhead

Be aware that there have been several truck and trailer break-ins and thefts at the trailer parking area at the Rivers Road trailhead. As always, is recommended that you carry on your person your photo ID, insurance card, a credit card, emergency contact info and cellphone – don’t clip this stuff to your saddle!   If possible do NOT leave anything of value in your truck or trailer. Also don’t forget to carry a copy of your horse’s Coggins with you.

Memorial Day Weekend Campout at McCulley’s Farm

Everybody came in on Friday, set up camp and then most of us went for a short ride in the late afternoon. We got so lucky with the weather, because there was no rain the whole time, just strong breezes and lots of sunshine, with a few clouds to help keep the heat down. Those who came were: Herb and Sharon, Marianne, Wendy, Connie, Jud and Jennette, Chris and Peter, all of whom had a great time. We rode every day (Rick P. rode with us on Saturday) and of course had most interesting dinners, conversations and lots of laughter. Richard McCulley, Wimpie McCulley and Rick and Linda P. joined us for dinner on Sunday night. We watched Connie fire her Raku Pots with her portable kiln, and decorate each one with our individual horse’s tail hair. And of course, we all purchased at least one and then compared notes of whose was the prettiest. Impossible decision because each one was so different and unique. Thanks Connie for making those and thanks to Vince for helping her. The whole weekend was so relaxing and fun and we’re ready for another camp weekend; just have to wait for cooler weather now. — Sharon


Sharon and Herb Haughton will be hosting a campout and ride at McCulley’s Farm in Jasper, FL from May 22 through the afternoon of May 25, 2015.Saturday will most likely be a day of organization and rides on your own. However, I’m sure we can arrange a guided ride if requested. Saturday night will be a group potluck hors d’oeuvres dinner – bring your favorite appetizer for sharing, along with your drink. Sunday morning will be an organized ride along the Withlacoochee River and Sunday night will be a group potluck dinner. Bring your own drink and a covered dish or dessert to share, along with a serving utensil. Each person will be responsible for making their own campsite reservation. Call 386-938-1147 for reservations – tell them you are with the STA group. Cost is $20.00/person/night for a campsite with electricity, water and 1 covered stall. Please let me know if you plan to attend, so I can plan accordingly.

As a special treat, Connie Woodward will be making her horsehair raku pots which you may purchase for a minimal amount. Bring approximately 18 strands of your horse’s tail hair and she will incorporate them into the pot of your choice. Call Connie for more information – 404-939-3113.Directions: Take I-10 East to Exit #262 and go north (left) on CR 255. Go about 3 miles to Highway 90, cross Highway 90 and continue on CR 255 for another 3.5 miles to flashing light at intersection of CR 255 and SR 6. Turn right at this light and go 5 miles (past the bottling plant on right, cross over bridges) to CR 143 on the left. Turn left on CR 143 and go north about 1 mile. McCulley’s will be on the left. Look for the sign. Pull up to the barns on the left, park and come find us if you are unfamiliar with the setup. We will be past the old windmill in the fenced in camping area. Any questions, call Sharon, 875-3722 (Home) or email to smhaughton@yahoo.com

May 2, 2015 – Alford Arms

It was the last of the cool weather mornings for several months and three riders took advantage of it: Sue, Herb and Janet. All riders were on gaited horses which meant a livelier walk could be enjoyed for the 2.5 hour journey through the shaded trail. The fallen tree is still down on the far side of the single track trail, but all horses managed to step over it. We started the ride at 63 degrees and ended it at 78 degrees, with the slight breeze really being appreciated. The new park- ing configuration does seem to be helping! Certainly, the relocation of the “Trailer Parking Only” sign will help further educate those individuals driving vehicles without trailers to park in the cars only areas. We did notice our return to the trailers stopped a couple of cars from pulling through the remaining opening. While there are two openings, the one closest to the foot bridge was blocked by a vehicle parking right at its opening. Thankfully, the other parking entrance remained available to us and the other equestrians of the day. — Janet

April 25, 2015 – Springhill Road Ride

I had a very difficult time trying to determine whether or not to hold this ride on Saturday or Sunday due to the weather predictions for the weekend. To top it off, they were wrong. However, five riders showed up, braving the chance of rain and the odds were in our favor because all of the rain, lightning, and wind went north across Tallahassee and we ended up having a very nice 2 1/4 hour ride. It began sprinkling on us as we were almost back to the trailer and we were able to untack and get on our way without getting too wet. It ended up only being a small shower and was over by the time I got to Bloxham Cutoff. I know all of you who stayed home in Tallahassee thought anyone who showed up for the ride was crazy because of the heavy storms up there. One concerned husband called to see if his wife was OK because of the storm at home. She assured him it was not raining where we were.

Braving the weather and taking advantage of the opportunity to get in a Saturday morning ride were Ron and Minnie Mule, Nancy and Gypsy, David and guest Anne Marie riding Cinnamon and Belle respectively, and me and Miss Flashy. We rode loops along FR 362 that follow Fisher Creek, in case we needed to make a quick exit back to the trailers. This worked very well and I was checking the weather radar at completion of each loop. It was pretty amazing to watch the weather north of us as it moved across Tallahassee and how the skies changed. We finished up on a portion of the blue trail and then followed the USFS pink trail back towards the trail head, taking a short detour to show David and Anne Marie the lakes close to the trail head. Good ride and good company. — Pam

December 13, 2014 – St. Marks River Preserve State Park

Saturday, December 13 turned out to be a cold, crisp, but sunny winter morning, a perfect day for a ride. Joining ride hosts Pam and Flashy, Ron and Mini were Ambrose and Sabrina, Janet and Charlie, Jim and Ol’ Smoke Tuttle, Jennette and Trigger, Jud and Red, Sue and new horse Sadie, Lyn and Tally, and Cody and Hoss. Lynn was colorful in her Christmas attire. We rode down to the green loop, made the loop and then returned incorporating the red and yellow trails in our return. We were not able to cross the river due to water. There was water in all the water crossing areas where streams would be when not in a dry period, as well as water in the ditches along side the main (blue) trail. There was not much wild life stirring; however we did see evidence of recent bears.

By the time we returned to the trail head, the sun was high in the sky and the temperature had finally crept in- to the 60s. Jackets and gloves came off and we all enjoyed a pot of Ron’s famous chili for lunch. Lyn and I brought the accompaniments for the chili and cookies and brownies for dessert. Spirits and camaraderie were high and we all had a very enjoyable time, complete with some comic relief from Lyn.

Pam & Miss Flashy

Fort Braden Work Day

Saturday, December 6, 2014—Ft. Braden Work Day

Wow! What a great workday we had! Marti Miller, Recreation Coordinator for Ft. Braden, was there and explained what she wanted to accomplish, which was to
mark the west trail in both directions and do overhead trimming. Lyn Grant did a good job of organizing the participants and we broke up into three groups: Sharon, Herb, Ambrose, Janet and Terri teamed up to do the overhead trimming and started west from the trailhead. Lyn, her grandson Cody and I took on the job of putting markers up so we rode to the lake and worked back to the west. Since we
had such a good turnout, the other group, consisting of Jud and Jennette, Katrina and her daughter Sarah, decided to do some work on the east trail
that Jud had already scoped out. The workday was very successful and I encourage all of ya’ll to go ride the west trail as you will find it a lot easier to navigate. The heavy shedding of leaves has covered the treadway quite extensively so the new markers will help everyone stay on the trail. I invite you to talk to any of the participants to get their story about this workday that lasted for 3.5 hours! Many thanks go to Lyn for sup- plying the aluminum markers and pink paint for to everyone else for bringing tools to do the trimming.

Aenon Church Road – November 22, 2014

Saturday, November 22nd turned out to be a partly, cloudy morning, but both Ron and I had checked the weather and according the forecast, it would be partly cloudy and near 70 until after lunch, then getting more cloudy with rain around 5:00 p.m. However, that is not how it turned out. We all got wet.

Five faithful riders turned out for the ride: Ambrose with Sally, Katrina with Bandito, Nancy with Gypsy, Ron with Mini Mule, and me and Ms. Flashy. While we were saddling, I noticed a change in the wind and had planned to take my jacket off, but decided to leave it on. As we left the trailhead, I noticed the clouds to the south were darker than the ones to the north. However, spirits were high and we were all in the mood to ride. We were happy for Nancy to be back, her first ride with the club since returning from Wyoming. We headed north, crossed the water crossing which has pretty much dried up, and then turned west. We crossed the grate bridge – that is, everyone but Mini crossed the grate bridge and Ron had to take her on the scenic route. We kept going west, passing the old JK Stables property, which has been cleaned up by the new owners and was looking nice. We even saw some horses in the pasture, boarders – we later learned. About 45 minutes out, Katrina noticed that it was misting rain. We kept going, but I got my cell phone out and opened the Intellicast weather radar map and there was a big blob of green south of Tallahassee, moving north. We took the next right to start heading back to the trail head. I kept monitoring the rain and it was getting closer and closer and we were getting hit with intermittent sprinkles. We made it back to the trail head with only a little dampness on our clothes, but before we could all get our horses loaded in the trailer, the rain cut loose. All total, we did get a 2 hour ride in and I don’t know about the rest of the gang, but I was just happy to be in the saddle for a while, rain or no rain. The company was good, the horses and Mini were great and the ride was a success.

Pam & Flashy

Benefit Trail Ride at Crowder Farm – November 8, 2014

Saturday, November 8, 2014 Benefit Trail Ride at Crowder Farm

Twenty-six riders showed up at the Crowder Farm located in Lamont, Florida, in anticipation of a fun 2.5 hour ride and they were not let down. Jason Crowder and Terry Palmore worked very hard getting the property ready for our visit and it showed! The restrooms sparkled, the grounds were perfectly groomed and the trails were winding and beautiful. The group started out together, but soon spread out according to the pace each one wanted to keep. The sun was not shining, but who would notice when you’re riding your horse on this rolling plantation in the country and loving it. At the end of the ride, we were able to choose from a variety of lunch items from the Cast Net Food truck and enjoyed dining on the open wood deck. I heard lots of compliments about the food too (mine was very good). Many thanks to the people who helped put this event together. Also, many, many thanks to Jason for opening up the Crowder Farm to us, and to Terry for his hard work. Hopefully we can come back next year.  –Sharon

Article on Tallahassee Area Trails

Sue Noyes of the Southern Trailriders Association wrote an article about the great horseback riding trails in the Tallahassee area for the Equitrekking 50 State Trail Riding Project. Read the full article on equitrekking.com or here on Facebook.