May’s book of the Month
Continuing the Ride: Building Confidence from the Ground Up.
"Waking up in the hospital after a freak accident with her horse, the doctors tell her that a small bleed in her brain has stopped and that she's dodged brain surgery. As the news sinks in, she realizes the facade of her confidence has crumbled. She’s at a crossroads: either find ways to overcome the fear that now engulfs her or give up on horses. Adrift in uncertainty and pain, she discovers that confidence unchallenged is a fragile notion, and that strength can be found in the rebuilding of it."
We are delighted to bring an exclusive interview with Crissi.
If you have read Crissi's book, let us know what you thought in the comments at the bottom of this page.
Hi, I'm Theresa Mccaffrey, Digital Content Editor for horsemanship journal. I wanted to welcome you to the horsemanship journal book club personally. I'm delighted to bring to you a video recorded specially for us from Crissi McDonald author of Mays Book of the Month continuing the ride.
Hi there. I am Crissi and hello from snowy Colorado. I am the author of this book, continuing the ride, rebuilding confidence from the ground up. I thought I'd take a moment this morning to answer some questions.
What inspired you to write about your experiences?
What inspired me to write about my experiences was that I am an instructor, and I'm a clinician along with my husband, Mark Raschid. Even before my accident, I had a lot of people coming to me saying they were scared and they would feel ashamed about it. Some people had been eventers some have been trail riders. But they all had this common ground of fear.
I started learning about fear; why we are afraid, how we get worried and how to work with fear, even before my accident. So I guess you could say what inspired me was helping people feel better, not just around horses but feel better in their life and in their own skin. There are some simple tools that I would share. They're here in the book. And there are ways of thinking that are helpful and ways of thinking that don't help us very much. So my inspiration was because I saw so much as we travelled around the world giving clinics, it was a widespread thing no matter the country we visited. Some people were frustrated by the fact that they were fearful, but they loved horses.
Once I had my accident in 2014, I had some tools to be able to help me navigate that, but knowing what I knew, I know I needed to know more. That whole process took years, and I realised that I had quite a few tools that could not only help myself but possibly help others.
How challenging was it to share your personal experience in a book?
So sharing my personal experience in the book was very challenging. I actually write a blog every month; I wrote some blogs about a couple of the tools that had helped me after my accident. After I wrote those I thought, you know, I have so much more to say about this; so I started writing the book.
I got about four chapters in, and I put it down for two years and then I picked it up again. I read through it, and I thought, Oh, I could add a couple more chapters. So I added a couple more chapters, put it down for a year. Eventually, it was five years before I sat down, and I could write the book with some sense of distance. In those five years, there was a lot of work that I did personally, and with horses and away from horses, and so it was challenging, but in the end, it was really, really good. I'm delighted that I was able to do it.
What do you hope readers will take away from your book?
What I hope readers will take away from my book is the fact that number one, being afraid is nothing to be ashamed of. It is a basic human quality that is very, very old. It's how we survive. So it's okay if you're afraid. If you pile shame and frustration on top of that, you're making things harder for yourself, your fears already a big burden to work through. We don't need to pile judgement and shame and all of that other stuff on top of it.
I think what it calls out for is to be looked at and to be recognised. If we can look at our fear, and work with it, instead of trying to shove it down, you're going to get farther along in your confidence. So the biggest thing that I hope people will take away from this is is not only is it okay to be afraid, but there's actually quite a lot you can do to help yourself, feel better about whatever it is, whatever it is you're afraid of.
I discovered after doing all the work that I did to regain my confidence that it wasn't just confidence around horses; I felt it was more confidence in myself. But that doesn't happen overnight, and I always say I'm a slow learner, So it took me a while, and I'm still learning.
I hope that you've enjoyed this time. I hope you enjoy the book, feel free to email me, my website is crissimcdonald.com and I'm happy to email you back.
Thanks so much.