Winston Churchill once said, “There’s something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man”, and we believe you will find this philosophy fully alive at WildeWood Farm. Hannah Campbell Zapletal (owner), was born in Canada, but grew up in Haiti. She was the daughter of non-traditional missionaries who spent their time in Haiti doing everything from working with animals to building bridges to helping with water supplies. Although she visited the United States often, she officially moved here in 1993 to attend college at Reinhardt University.
Through “a series of divinely inspired events”, she found her current location and started out renting the space and working to improve it to match her vision. She purchased the 39.6 acre property in December 2019. In our visit to the farm, we observed it was a true full family venture! Hannah’s husband Petr and their three children were all out with the animals. Hannah believes everyone should have access to a farm. It’s a place to learn responsibility, ownership, to get you outside, and to feel a tangible sense of accomplishment. These are implemented in her Mane Event Equine Therapy program she uses to empower struggling youth. Hannah began mentoring in an unofficial capacity around 20 years ago. “Horses change people’s lives. They take you for who you are in that exact moment”. Her motivation was in noticing how shockingly high the suicide rates are. She believed that something more needed to be done, and this was the something more she was capable of contributing to exact change. “Animals don’t care about your socio-economic status, gender, background, or who your parents are”. She competed her E3A training 3 years ago and forged the program into reality. The equine assisted learning program includes all un-mounted and goal oriented exercises with the horses, with the objective of finding purpose. It is unique for each person. Her heart for giving doesn’t end with troubled youth. She also uses her farm to help positively impact the lives of veterans. “The veteran suicide rate is 22 a day. That is unacceptable”. Her mission is to create a safe space for those either home on leave or in transition.
WildeWood Farm isn’t simply a place for her philanthropic ventures. It also offers an array of fun activities for the entire family. They host birthday parties, riding lessons, clinics, and different camps throughout the year! You and your little ones can experience the magic of farm life, get a chance to ride a horse, take a hay ride, pet and feed the goats, and just enjoy being outside and unplugged for a couple of hours.
They also do several outdoor plays at the farm throughout the year for the community. Their next one is March 27-28 at 3:00 for Easter. If you would like to learn more about scheduling a birthday party, signing up for camp, or any of the other sensational activities at WildeWood Farm.”
E3A also asked Hannah some questions to share with our members…
E3A: When did you get your E3A certification and how has it helped you in your EAL work?
Hannah: I completed the certification in 2018. It offers credibility and makes people more confident in a “new” approach.
E3A: What are the greatest transformations you’ve seen in participants by using the E3A debriefing process?
Hannah: I love to watch the transformations of withdrawn/shutdown kids blossom into leaders and confident in their own actions. Kids that would barely make eye contact when someone addressed them, be able to talk freely and openly. Kids that were failing most of their school work, by the end the school year be on the Dean’s list for academic excellence. Families that were constantly at war with each other, learn more productive methods of communication. Then veterans who suffer with identity, purpose, and where they fit in, override all of those things and go on to new careers and satisfaction with their life.
E3A: Are you open to having other members contact you to find out more about what you do? If so, what is the best way they can contact you?
Hannah: Sure! 770-843-2478 or firstname.lastname@example.org