Mark’s wife, Crissi McDonald, was born and raised in Arizona, met her first horse when she was two and began riding lessons at eleven. By the time she was twenty, she was a certified Camp Horsemanship Instructor, giving lessons and managing a Girl Scout riding program in New Mexico during the summer months. She also worked as a trail guide and horse wrangler for a ranch in southeastern Arizona, where she helped out with cattle work. Though she initially learned to ride Western, in the mid-1990s, she enjoyed learning and developing her skills in Hunt Seat and later, Dressage, which she continues to pursue. She has also trained in the martial art of Aikido.

Crissi is an accomplished clinician and has been an instructor and horse trainer for over 25 years. She currently divides her time between occasionally giving private lessons in and around Colorado, as well as traveling and teaching with Mark. While guided by the same principles of building trust, communication, and seeking softness, Crissi offers an additional perspective on the work to help people and horses fully understand the skills they wish to improve. In 2014, Crissi decided to train and study with Jim Masterson in his system of equine bodywork The Masterson Method®, which helped her to further her knowledge of equine anatomy. Crissi is now a Certified Masterson Method® Practitioner.

Continuing the Ride: Rebuilding Confidence from the Ground Up,” and “Getting Along with Horses: An Evolution in Understanding” are two of Crissi’s books that she has recently released. You can find them on Amazon or on her website.

Crissi offers private horsemanship and riding lessons as well as bodywork sessions for your horse at your home or barn. She can be reached through her website at www.crissimcdonald.com.

Due to their travel schedule, neither she nor Mark are able to do any colt starting or take in horses for boarding or training. Please visit our Student Instructors page to see if someone is in your area.

Photo: Chris Wolf