Founded in March, 2008, Spirit Horse is a 501 (c) 3 Non-Profit Organization.  We are run by a Board of Directors and funded by memberships, donations, sponsorships and fund-raising events.


Spirit Horse is fairly unique in the world of equine rescue for many reasons:


  • Equine behavior and communication are the cornerstone of our efforts

  • We exclusively use methods of Natural Horsemanship

  • We provide lessons and clinics to teach these methods

  • In addition to physical rehabilitation, we also focus on mental and emotional health through the use of the principles of Natural Horsemanship

  • We primarily use the methods of Parelli Natural Horsemanship

  • We use Humanality/Horsenality to match potential adoptors to an equine

  • We have a nearly 100% success rate in our adoptions

  • We make a commitment to our equines for the duration of their lives

Spirit Horse Board of Directors  

Founder and President

DeeDee was always rescuing all kinds of critters, but her practical career was in teaching.  With a degree from UW-Madison she taught many subjects in both private and public school.  


Since 1994, DeeDee has been a dedicated student of Natural Horsemanship.

In 2008, she felt she had the competence and confidence to fullfill a life-long dream and established Spirit Horse.


She longs to see the day when all horse people embrace equine psychology, behavior and comunication and abandon fear, intimidation and mechanical devices.




Jeannie Welsh

Jeannie grew up with horses, participating in 4-H and shows. 

Jeannie believes in Natural Horsemanship and practiced the principles even before being introduced to the well-known clinicians we see today. She has attended numerous clinics and events to expand her knowledge.

While living in Kentucky, Jeannie remained involved with Spirit Horse. Working at an equine hospital allowed her to experience another aspect of the equine world. She brings that wealth of information and resources to the board. 

Now back in Wisconsin Jeannie is involved in foster care and commits time daily to Spirit Horse.


Susan Peterson
Vice President

Susan  has been a lifelong lover of horses. After moving to Wisconsin in 1999, she worked for five years at a boarding stable, doing chores in exchange for dressage lessons.

In 2005 Susan became a Certified Equine Massage Therapist. She first learned about Spirit Horse Equine Rescue in 2008. She met DeeDee at a fundraiser and offered her services as a donation to the rescued horses. Shortly thereafter, Susan was asked to join the Board of Directors.

Susan considers serving on the board and helping to rehabilitate these incredible animals to be the most rewarding work she has ever done.

Anna Baines
Founding Member

Anna  has been on the Spirit Horse board of directors since the organization was founded in 2008.


She is currently attending Veterinary School at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Anna is passionate about both the physical and mental aspects of horse rescue. She has taken many animal behavior courses and is also a student of Natural Horsemanship. At the UW, Anna works in both a research lab and in the large animal hospital.

Watching fearful horses learn to trust humans and become confident, responsive and happy animals is Anna's favorite aspect of her work with the rescue.

Carol Wellnitz
Member at Large

Carol also began her equine experience with Spirit Horse.  She also loved them, but had not had an opportunity to be around them previously.


Carol is a real fixer!  She loves to fix fences, machinery and whatever else she's challenged with.  She has done every category of work at Spirit Horse and has found it very satisfying.


Carol has a particular soft spot for the extroverts in the herd and only wishes Jet were younger so she could ride the fabulous former race horse.


Leadership seemed a natural next step, so Carol welcomed the opportunity to be on the board.


We would love to have you join us in our mission of saving equines and educating humans.  Please click here to find out how you can be a part of this rewarding experience!

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