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A letter from our founder

Dear Friends,

It is my honor to partner with God and our community in developing an equine therapy ranch to provide healing, safety, and connection for those who've experienced severe abuse, neglect, and trafficking. Welcome and thank you for taking the time to stop by and learn a little more about us!

It is no secret that developing a trauma-informed horse ranch from the ground up is an audacious goal. But that is part of what's great about The Wild Hope Equine Center for Healing! You see, we live in a world where we're constantly told we're not good enough. And our dreams suffer because of it. The Wild Hope has a unique opportunity to make dreams a reality! And we'd love for you to join us in making it happen!

I used to believe the lies I was told about who I was; not smart enough, not good enough, not qualified, too thin, too fat, too sick, not Godly enough, I'm a leach and a burden, I don't deserve good things, etc. 

But No More


Ironically, the very trauma I experienced in my own life is what's led me to believe WE CAN DO ANYTHING if we just never give up! I'm still on my own healing journey; it doesn't happen overnight. But now I'm able to share with others real hope that is not fake or void. It takes a wild and persistent hope to face the many challenges of our world. Thankfully, we were made to be overcomers and a life beyond trauma is possible!


can say this with confidence because God and a few close friends held onto hope for me for a very long time. I believed hope was a trick; a sick joke God was playing on me. I would long for something better just to be let down and crushed with disappointment. But I was viewing hope through the lens of my trauma and pain, not its true source. We all have access to this same wild hope for ourselves and for others but it often requires the help, expertise, and support of others to find it. Having hope for the hopeless is no easy task. But it is more rewarding than anything else in this life.  It wasn't always that way for me, however.


Others held onto hope for me

  • When my ravished body was dying from battling eating disorders for more than 2 decades.

  • When I would dissociate and forget where I was or how I got places.

  • When I tried to kill myself, over and over and over again.

  • Through multiple psychiatric hospital stays.

  • When I was homeless.

  • When I pushed them all away and so desperately wanted to be alone.

  • Through major depression, anxiety attacks, self-harm behaviors, fits of rage, nightmares, and flashbacks.

  • Through gallons and gallons of tears and heartbreak.

And then, slowly, I began grabbing ahold of tiny specks of hope for myself.

I cannot honestly say I remember that moment. I think it was kind of like a hot potato. I'd grab ahold of it just to toss it back because I was too frightened of being burned.


Over time I began to recognize that the potato was there to nourish me, not to harm me.  Now I have my own garden full of potatoes that I get to share with you! (I hadn't intended to talk about potatoes when I sat down to write, but, here we are!)

I carry this same wild hope that we will persevere and fund a thriving ranch of hope, healing, and freedom! We've just completed our first Pilot Program and are moving into the next phase of developing a sustainable business model to support a thriving organization.  I invite you to join us in holding onto hope for others until they are able to grab ahold of hope for themselves. It'll take our community uniting with passion, expertise, and funds to make a lasting change in others' lives. 

With Wild Hope,

Vanessa Schmidt

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Meet our Team


Vanessa Schmidt



Rhonda Shirazi, CPA



Jewel the Mustang



Anna Bradley, LCSW


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Fiona McInally

Attorney, Secretary

Allison Mandaville


Meet the Team
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