Krystallynne WLF

Purebred Arabian

July 2001 - September 2004

Krystallynne: A True Cinderella Story!

Krystallynne entered my life as a Cinderella story. I spent 10 years waiting to be able to afford an Arabian mare of such quality that she would possess the athletic conformation of a horse that would be my riding companion throughout a lifetime of adventures on trails and in shows, as well as possess the beauty, type and pedigree of an Arabian mare worthy of being the "foundation" broodmare for my breeding program. This mare would also have to possess the disposition to work with at-risk youth in my Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy and Learning program. I have my very first horse I ever owned, given to me as a weanling and now 13 years old, "Rafiq Al Amin" (meaning "loyal companion" in Egyptian Arabic). Being a gelding, he cannot quite be the mainstay of the breeding program, and having DJD, he can no longer be the sole riding horse. It took me 6months of searching across the US for the "perfect" horse, and I found her in a small ad posted by a woman with three horses who lived on the other side of the continent. She was in Wisconsin, and I live in South Texas! I saw the video and found myself KNOWING that this filly is THE ONE. I called my Dad and told him I had found THE ONE. He, too, had been travelling with me and we had so many ONES that were ALMOST "the one" that he dismissed it on the phone. When he came home and saw the video, he echoed my words. She was THE ONE. 

We flew to Wisconsin that weekend and bought her. She spent the entire Saturday with me poking and prodding, playing and testing - almost all in the hallway of the small barn. She never once acted impatient - when we let her out to show off, she knew it was time to put on "the show." And did she ever! Yet, when I stepped out into the field with halter on my arm and called her, she came running to be told how good she looked, looking for the love and praise she knew she had earned. When I shipped her down to Texas, she stepped off of the trailer and immediately laid her head in the arms of a young girl named Marina, adopting Marina as her pet human - and Marina adopting Krys, as well. This amazing show filly, already a multi-champion in halter, settled into the love and adoration of Marina, Veronica, my family and many others at the barn with no trouble. She never failed to make a friend out of anyone she met!

Krys gave new definition to motion...this filly demonstrated ability that crossed the lines of so many disciplines. She naturally would spin off her hind-end in play, she floated on air in an extended Arabian-imprinted trot, and she could dance sideways with no effort at all in a dressage maneuver of highest difficulty. She carried her tail like a flag and in a way that I've never before seen in 20 years of working with *great* Arabians. She never lowered it, it always flew straight, and never flopped to the side. Her neck was long and naturally arched - a fine throatlatch leading to a face with eyes and ears that were always expressing joy. I never - not even once - saw her pin her ears. She loved attention, and she loved to run and play. While Krys had many defining features of physical distinction, the most famous would have to be her "oreo cookie tail." She had black hair by the tailbone and just below, then it turned drastically white halfway down, and then again drastically returned to black. It was almost exactly stacked with 30% of each color. Krys was born with a perfect little white circle on her left hip that retained its perfect shape. She was a black-bay in color when I first laid eyes on her, and over the year that she graced my life, she remained a dark bay, with her bay color beginning to dapple, and with grey hairs increasing only in her mane, tail and face. 

In October, 4 months into her life in Texas, Krys had a severe colic, had to undergo colic surgery, and lost about a quarter of her body weight. She amazed the clinic and vets with her willingness to entirely trust them - even when going under anesthesia and awaking from it. Her disposition remained true - even when in the most painful moments of the ordeal, she did not lash out or lay back her ears. In order to put weight back on her safely, I sent her to a farm and trainer recommended to me by a friend, who is also a top trainer in the Arabian horse-show world. Under his nutrition plan and care, she was transformed - shining, radiating happiness, and always eager to show off, yet soaking up affection at every turn. So, we decided to take the journey to U.S. National's - entering a three year old "Futurity" filly class that is one of the toughest competitions a horse can face. She knew she had what it takes, and she gave those of us around her the confidence to reach for those stars. For me, it was unbelievable. I had spent years working as a groom and in client sales at a big Arabian farm while in college - working with these amazing horses that the "rich people" owned. And suddenly I was going to *THE* US National Arabian Horse Show with my own horse? The conditioning, training, hopes and dreams took root.

That Shakespearean Twist

In September, 2 weeks before leaving for Nationals, tragedy struck. We had chosen a small Arabian show in Dallas to use as a "practice" opportunity to fine-tune Krys for the National's show. While stepping off of the trailer, Krys broke her leg in a way that could not have been avoided or mended. My parents knew that all my dreams had been hinged on this mare, and their dreams for me were hinged there, as well. Bryan, the trainer who had brought her from a post-surgery thin 2 yr old to a glowing 3 yr old of pure radiance, was with her to the end. When the decision was clear, I quietly asked that Bryan snip just a bit of her mane off - not much, as I did not wish to take any of her beauty or dignity even in death. He stayed with her till she was gone, and shares equally in the pain. I was 5 hours away, just about to leave for the show, when he called. I was spared the sight of that final hour, and I know that Bryan never left her side. I see it in my nightmares, details that have no place here, and I ask how could this planet be even half of what it was with her joyful and loving spirit gone? The gifts she had to give, and gave freely, could have gone on for 3 more decades. In a misstep, all of that future of the two of us taking on the world suddenly was taken, a void and empty vacuum left in its place.

Krystallynne's Gifts and a Touch of "Majik"

Krystallynne inspired us to believe. She made me believe that I could reach beyond the stars and be so much more than I had dreamed - she gave me hope in a future that I didn't think was in my reach. She gave joy, hope and unconditional love. I see the world with better eyes because of her, and I am a better person for knowing her. Even though it seems far too briefly, her time here forever changed me, and her gifts continue as long as I stay true to the spirit she shared with me - joy, hope, love, and giving. 

While I have been trying to begin the path of healing, Krystallynne has sent me a gift. A yearling filly with whom Krys had lived snuck her way into my pocket, and my heart with me completely caught unawares. She somehow had grown in the past year into this filly that seems to have this heart of pure joy and playful abandon, and she soaks up affection at every opportunity. I realized that she was so much like Krys that it was as if Krys had whispered in her ear that I needed her. My dad even mused that it was as if Krys had hopped bodies. Even though I could never have afforded this filly, Bryan and the owner, Gary, decided to sell her to me for what I would receive from Krystallynne's mortality insurance - about a third of this filly's price-tag. I realized one day that to not buy this filly would be like losing a part of Krystallynne forever. So, "LF Majik Star" will soon be joining me, my family, Marina and Veronica, the EquiJourneys family, and Rafiq. I have to believe that Krystallynne has everything to do with putting us together, and knowing what I need to take that next step forward back into the sunshine.

In Tribute...

As I said above, Krystallynne entered my life for a tragically brief time, yet in that time she changed what I believed about the world around me and myself. She gave me better eyes through which to see my life and the lives and world around me. Thank you, Krys, I am a far better person for knowing you!

I never saw blue like that before
Across the sky, around the world
You've given me all of that, and more
And no one else has ever shown me how
To see the world the way I see it now
And I never saw blue like that before.

There is a quote that was sent to me that I believe truly lends tribute to Krystallynne the best... 

Your life was of the order true
Of Arabian eloquence...
The tale was brief, the words were few,
The meaning was immense.

Ibn AllKhabbaza (13th Century)

Shannon McCullough
(Krystallynne's human)

Two girls who Krys also called her own: Marina and Veronica

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