The Horse Connection

Tanner Marie Christoffers began riding horses when she was 8 years of age.
Five years later, she was named Junior Miss Rodeo Minnesota. And just last month, the 14-year-old received the prestigious overall high-point horse award at the 151st Jackson County Fair in Jackson.
Christoffers decided at age 8 she’d like to try her hand at riding horses. She enrolled in a 4-H horse clinic and instantly knew she wanted to learn more. Her parents agreed, and got a horse for her and her brothers, Preston and Walker, to share; the horse quickly became Tanner’s own.
She started taking lessons, joined 4-H and worked with her horse every day. Now she has five.
“Roxie” was her first horse. “Tarzan,” who is 19, is the horse upon which Christoffers learned almost everything she knows; he’s basically retired now. “Zorro,” a yearling, is in training. “Moe” is her main horse, and the one she planned to ride at the recent Jackson County Fair before he tore a muscle; he’s in healing at present. And then there’s “Profit,” who Christoffers uses for barrel racing, poles, her 4-H events, rodeo events and goat tying training, as well as her latest endeavor — mounted shooting.
Christoffers said the horse community is basically a big family. When she started riding, she had different groups of people take her under their wings and show her the way. The Holthe family of Jackson County was one.
Christoffers said when she started with horses, she was scared and intimidated, but members of the Holthe family came along and helped her out, literally leading her into the ring and guiding her along the way. She even rode one of their horses this year at the fair when her horse was injured, and still won the overall high-point award for scoring the most points on a single horse.
Christoffers also works a lot with Shelly Hotzler of rural Jackson, who has an indoor horse facility at her home that allows her to ride in the winter.
Christoffers’ mom, Stacey, said she is proud of how hard her daughter works and how far she has come.
“Tanner does everything for her horses,” Stacey Christoffers said. “She cleans up after them, she feeds them, she knows when we need to order more food for them, she gets them on the trailer when we go to shows, she sets up the trailer — she literally does everything.”

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