Who We Are

Horses, no other animal has done more for us. They are bigger, faster and stronger than we are. What makes horses and humans so perfect for each other? When I’m with my horse, riding or just being with him, I forget how big he is, as we touch and draw comfort from each other I forget the hurts I’ve experienced and gather strength to face the world. Has God created a perfect partner?

Pennsylvania Warhorse’s Mission

Pennsylvania Warhorse’s mission is to assist active military / veterans, 1st Responders, and their families suffering from invisible, psychological wounds by providing confidential, action-based, equine-assisted therapy initiating immediate and empowering changes.

Pennsylvania Warhorse’s Vision

Pennsylvania Warhorse seeks to be part of the solution to the growing number of suicides, post-traumatic stress and other barriers to those suffering and assist them with leading happy, healthy lives.

Our Goals

Help those suffering from PTSD; and Help Off The Track Thoroughbred horse transition from the track to a new career.

For those suffering from PTSD to provide a safe space for personal growth through equine assisted activities for active military, veterans, 1st Responders, and their families suffering from trauma and loss, and those who are struggling with cognitive and emotional challenges. Pennsylvania Warhorse initially plans to offer services to Active Military, Veterans and 1st Responders and their families and will expand to Victims of Sexual Abuse and their families using equine-assisted psychotherapy.

Retiring thoroughbred race horses, will be taken from the racetrack and Pennsylvania Warhorse will train and rehome them. As part of their retraining, these warhorses will help those suffering from mental stress and moral injuries. Racehorses are pushed to their absolute limit and when their careers end, finding their way presents challenges. This is very much like those faced by veterans when transitioning from military to civilian life. Our program will pair world-class veterans with world-class thoroughbreds.

Our Herd

Donna Simpson

Founder/Executive Director

Donna has worked in the legal field since 1990, starting as a Plaintiff’s Personal Injury Paralegal specializing in catastrophic losses. In the early 2000’s she transitioned to a Corporate Paralegal specializing in contract review. She currently works for Penn State Health at the Milton Hershey Medical Center / St. Joseph Penn State Health. She has been riding since she was 8 years old and has always had a love of horses and the special bond that develops between a horse and a person. She has a MA in counseling and currently holds a certificate in PTSD treatment and 2 certifications in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy. She knows how the interaction between a horse and a person can heal a broken spirit and is excited to share this experience.

Cindy Gidlewski

Board Member

Cindy has worked as an LPN since the late 1980’s and recently earned her RN. She currently works at a small nursing home facility which offers long term care to those unable to those unable to care for them-selves and assisting their families. Cindy has had a life-long love affair with horses and currently divides her time between her ranch, nursing duties and teaching young and old horsemanship skills.

Chris Lattanze

Board Member/Military Liaison

Chris is retired from the US Army, US Army Reserve and PA National Guard. He served as both a Commissioned Officer (Unit Commander, Platoon Leader) and as an enlisted service member (Special assignments, training action units and cadets). He holds a MS, Special Education, Lebanon Valley College 2016 and a BA, from York Collage of Pennsylvania in 1987. He currently works in alternative education and career exploration and environmental education. Along with his work in the public school he is an Adventure Group Leader (repelling, hiking, topography, firearms training).

Our Gang

Dillinger

2009 TB Gelding – unraced. Real Quiet – Numerous Kids

While being bred in Pennsylvania, Dillinger was in New York to train as a racehorse. He suffered an injury and his owner decided that he wouldn’t continue training for the racetrack. Dillinger came back to Pennsylvania as a 3 year old He’s lived with Donna since then and helped her through her own PTSD and emotional trauma. He’s outgoing and without him Pennsylvania Warhorse would be happening.

We’re starting with one (where everything starts) and we’ll build our herds – both people and horses.