Eileen Stewart

A Helping Hoof was founded by Eileen Stewart, who endured three spinal injuries, and the accompanying pain and depression. Her chances for a full recovery were remote, but due to a little ranch gelding's patience and encouragement, she has recovered the life she loved so much. For the precious moments she is on her horse, she is 'whole' again.

Dani teaching a horse to carry himself balanced and correct - and making it look effortless.    ~  Photo by Bobbi Jo Lampman (fb:Sweet Tea and Mascara)

Dani teaching a horse to carry himself balanced and correct - and making it look effortless.

~ Photo by Bobbi Jo Lampman (fb:Sweet Tea and Mascara)



Dani is the owner and founder of Crystal Cross Farms, in memory of her beloved sister Crystal. Dani began riding as soon as she was able to climb up.  Her introduction to horse training was gleaned from experience preparing horses for the auction barn, as a means to pay the bills. Eventually, Dani relocated to Texas after running the Southwest Nebraska Equine Center.  Along the way, she had great opportunities to learn from master trainers in various disciplines, including cutting, reining, pleasure, roping, and starting colts. Even after Dani found her niche training horses for barrel races and pole competitions, she never forgot the hours spent preparing horses for auction. She utilized the skills she honed to recover these horses, and those that paid attention began to seek her out to train their horses.

A barn sale is the end of the line for horses, and they have little chance at a good life. Dani’s experience with these misplaced animals drove her to specialize in rehabilitating horses that have been pushed beyond their physical or emotional limits or those that are misunderstood and are at risk for an auction or an abusive home. She goes beyond training a horse to exceed in their sport, and endeavors to recover their spirit and restore their trust. Due to the above, Dani is a critical member of the team.



2014 World Champion


Crystall Petry

Crystall has trained horses for the show ring since she was thirteen years old. She quickly demonstrated her talent by earning the Canadian Reserve Champion title in Youth Halter in 2004. Crystall was born in Washington but relocated to Texas in 2012 and became a Certified Veterinary Assistant shortly thereafter. Her experience spans numerous equine sports, of both Western and English disciplines. They include Hunter/Jumper, Huntseat, Halter, Showmanship, Western Pleasure, Arena Trail, Barrels, Poles, and Team Roping.

One of her finest achievements is a beautiful Paint stallion named “Bam Bam Jose” who she trained and showed to win the Paint Horse World Champion title in 2014.  ‘Bam Bam’ is a testament to the type of trainer she is, and confirmation of the depth of her passion for horses. Her varied experience is what makes her a valued member of our team.


Butch Martin

Butch grew up the hard way as a bull rider. Over time he found his niche with horses that were pushed beyond their limits, horses that were too fearful to understand their job.  Butch found a way to reach them and make them successful, and as a result he has earned many awards, paychecks, and trophy buckles. He has kindly offered to assist us in our cause and repay individuals that have put so much on the line, for people they haven’t even met.  Helping Hoof is honored to have him on the team.