Meet the Team

Deborah Shinner

Deborah Shinner

Executive Director

Debbie started volunteering at REINS in 1992 and became the Executive Director in 1995.

"I love the fact that at REINS we make a difference in people’s lives...whether it be our students and families, our volunteers, or our community as a whole. Everyday I want to come to work because I am always greeted with smiles, hugs, and a staff that is as passionate about what they do as I am!"

If you have any questions regarding fundraising of planned giving please contact debbie@reinsprogram.org.

Shauna Jopes

Shauna Jopes

Program Director & PATH Registered Instructor

Shauna started volunteering in 1993 and became the Program Director in 1997.

"I learn something new every single day. I learn from my students, my co-workers, the volunteers and even the horses. It is so refreshing to have new experiences daily even though I have worked here so long. I never get tired of rolling over that bridge to see what will happen next! The possibilities are endless."

If you have any questions regarding student enrollment please contact shauna@reinsprogram.org.

Kaitlyn Siewert

Kaitlyn Siewert

Program Manager & PATH Registered Instructor

Kaitlyn started volunteering in 1993 and became an instructor in 2001 and became our Program Assistant in 2013. Kaitlyn is now our Program Manager

What I love most about my job is… “That after being at REINS for most of my life I still love every minute of my job. It exercises not only my body, mind and soul but also my love for helping others. REINS keeps me alive!”

If you have any horse or program related questions, email kaitlyn@reinsprogram.org.

Kimberly Shinner

Kimberly Shinner

Marketing and Business Development Manager

Kim began volunteering at REINS at 12 years of age. She became our Marketing and Business Development Manager in 2014.

"I feel so grateful to have grown up around such an amazing organization. REINS changes lives on a daily basis and I fell so privileged to be able to come to work every day and know that I am involved in making a difference in people’s lives."

If you have any questions on fundraising, marketing or business development please contact kim@reinsprogram.org.

Maggie Kibler

Maggie Kibler

Volunteer Coordinator

Maggie started volunteering in 2000. Maggie became our Volunteer Coordinator in January of 2013.

"I love knowing that when I come to ‘work’ each day, I have the chance to have a positive impact on at least one person’s life. REINS was a safe haven for me when I was young, so I hope I can help provide that for others."

If you have any questions on volunteering, email maggie@reinsprogram.org.

Chris Merry

Chris Merry

Volunteer Coordinator

Chris started volunteering in 2001 and became the Volunteer Coordinator in 2003.

“With a background in Child Development and love horses and the outdoors it seemed like a good fit. Being involved with all sorts of people and horses in a beneficial and supportive way, is the best way to spend my days!”

Canece Huber

Canece Huber

Technology & Event Coordinator

Canece started volunteering in March of 2011 and became the Development Assistant in September 2011 and the Technology & Event Coordinator in 2015.

"I was fortunate that after six months of volunteering I was able to join the staff. Every time I arrive, I am greeted by an incredible group of people that are all there with a common purpose; to provide an amazing service to so many well deserving students & families."

If you have any questions about donations,fundraising, or events
email: canece@reinsprogram.org.

Cynthia Salazar

Cynthia Salazar

Administrative Assistant

Cynthia started volunteering in 2007 and became the Administrative Assistant in 2008.

“I enjoy watching each student progress. I love walking in a lesson week after week and seeing the changes firsthand. The change can be something such as a student learning a new word or another student sitting up on their own for the first time. Every change is monumental.”

If you have any accounting related questions please email cindy@reinsprogram.org.

Denise Erickson

Denise Erickson

Development Assistant

Denise started volunteering at REINS in 2011.

She first came to drop off her daughter to volunteer when she was 12, in 2009. Denise then decided to join her as a volunteer because her daughter seemed so happy after spending her time at REINS and because she wanted to get involved in the community.

“What I love most about my job is being part of a team who has such a passion to help the disabled student population in our community."

Ashley Arant

Ashley Arant

Marketing Assistant

Ashley started volunteering at REINS in 2016.

Ashley grew up horseback riding and understood the special bond that comes with being around horses. She thought for a few years that "maybe I’ll get involved with a place like REINS when I retire," but decided to make volunteering a few days a week something to do sooner than that. She quickly fell in love with the people and mission of our program.

“I love sharing our stories here at REINS with the world! Whether helping produce a new video or taking a snapshot of a lesson and posting it on social media, we have so many wonderful stories to share about our amazing students, their families, and our horses and staff all working together."

Jessica Swenson

Jessica Swenson

PATH Registered Instructor

Jessica started volunteering in 1993 and became an instructor in 2001.

"It is an honor to be able to make a difference. I get to be surrounded by such wonderful people. I’ve learned so much from the students and their families. I will forever value each and every lesson I’ve learned. I love REINS!”

Naomi Putnam

Naomi Putnam

PATH Registered Instructor

Naomi started volunteering in 1997 and became an instructor in 2003.

“I can’t imagine working anywhere else. I love the amazing staff and positive environment. I love watching new students go from being terrified to not wanting to leave. But most of all I love the huge smiles that come from our students when they accomplish something they never thought they could.”

Patricia Richardson

Patricia Richardson

PATH Registered Instructor

Patricia started volunteering in 2002 and became an instructor in 2003.

“I love driving over that bridge and knowing that my day will be changed once again for the better. There is nothing better than ending a day of work with a smile on my face. I truly feel I have the BEST job in the world for me.”

Michelle Price

Michelle Price

PATH Registered Instructor

Michelle started volunteering in 2005 and became an instructor in 2006.

“My background of working with “at-risk youth” sparked an interest with wanting to bring together horses and people with special needs. I love watching the laughter and growth of my students and being part of the positive atmosphere."

Lisa Almendarez

Lisa Almendarez

PATH Registered Instructor

Lisa started volunteering at REINS in 1994 and became an instructor in 2007.

“I have twin girls who have ridden at REINS since 1994. It’s an amazing program led by the best! I love the positive impact it has on my life and other people’s lives!”

Brenda Redfield

Brenda Redfield

PATH Registered Instructor

Brenda started volunteering in 2005 and became an instructor in 2006.

“I get excited when I see a child hold their reins for the first time and hear that a child’s first word was ‘go’. The smiles from our students and their families, and the friendships gained from my co-workers make REINS a very special place where everyone is blessed. I could not imagine working anywhere else. I love my job!”

Angel Minton

Angel Minton

PATH Registered Instructor

Angel started volunteering at REINS in 2007 and became an instructor in 2008.

“This is something I have always wanted to do ever since I was a little girl. We are so happy to share any knowledge that we have and to learn how to better ourselves as therapeutic riding instructors. I appreciate the love and joy that surrounds us here. You cannot come here and stay in a bad mood!”

Sandy Leuck

Sandy Leuck

PATH Registered Instructor

Sandy started volunteering in March of 2008 and became an instructor that same year.

“Having the opportunity to help someone else experience all the wonderful benefits horses can bring is a dream come true! I am very excited that the REINS Program is growing so that we can provide the best quality of lessons to as many students as possible.”

Heather Corcoran

Heather Corcoran

PATH Registered Instructor

Heather started volunteering in 2003 and after a brief hiatus in Hawaii came back as an instructor in 2009.

“I originally came to REINS as a volunteer back in 2003. I was really impressed by the friendliness of the staff and the great team of horses. I enjoyed volunteering and knew I wanted to return. After I got NARHA certified in Hawaii I became a part of the REINS team. I am very excited to be a part of a growing team with an exciting future."

Darcie Loescher

Darcie Loescher

PATH Registered Instructor

Darcie started volunteering at REINS in September of 2008 and became an instructor in September of 2010.

"By joining REINS I was able to combine my two loves, horses and being outdoors. I am so excited that REINS is able to serve so many students and that we are able to continue to grow and benefit the community. I am grateful to be spending time with the wonderful students, staff and horses here at REINS."

Jodi Pinhero

Jodi Pinhero

PATH Registered Instructor

Jodie began volunteering at REINS in October of 2013. She joined the staff as a PATH Certified Instructor January 2014.

"I became intersted REINS as I wanted to try something that sounded interesting. Not having any previous experience working with people who have disabilities, I had to step out of my comfort zone to see what would happen. Thankfully, it worked out in my favor. I gained a new perspective of the equine industry that I previously didn’t know existed. It opened up a whole new world of possibilities that has allowed me to build on my professional career."

Nikki Birchall

Nikki Birchall

PATH Registered Instructor

Nikki began volunteering in the 90’s, then returned to volunteer again in 2013. Nikki became an PATH Instructor in 2014.

"I grew up riding horses so it was the horses and Debbie Shinner that originally brought me to REINS. Once you come to REINS it earns a special place in your heart. So when my son was diagnosed with Autism, REINS was the first place I called. My son rode from the time he was 2 until he turned 8.

What I love most about my job is the wonderful new friends it has brought to my life.... Students, Staff, Volunteers and of course our wonderful horses. Thank you to the donors and community for the continued support of our program."

Alyssa O’Kelley

Alyssa O’Kelley

PATH Registered Instructor

Alyssa became a PATH Certified Instructor in April 2014.and came to REINS as an College Intern in June 2014. Alyssa returned REINS in January 2015, after completing her B.S.in Therapeutic Horsemanship.with a minor in Psychology.

"A college internship brought me to REINS, however the environment here made it too difficult to stay away. Everyone is so loving and accepting, that for the first time I feel comfortable being myself.

I am most excited about the new events that are educating the public as to the purpose and benefits of REINS and Therapeutic Riding. The more people involved, the more lives that are changed!

Watching the smiles on my students faces as they recognize their progress makes both our lives so much better & brighter!"

Grace Dickinson

Grace Dickinson

PATH Instructor

Grace began to volunteer in 2014. Grace joined our staff in June 2015.

"From my first day as a volunteer at REINS, I fell in love with the genuine care and loving atmosphere created by the staff and their interaction with each other, the students and their families. Now, as a staff member, I feel so honored to work with our horses and our special students, developing a relationship between the rider and their horse, that provides healing therapy designed to meet their unique needs.

I am excited about the new barn facility and the expansion of our horse herd and opportunities to apply new therapy techniques I am continually learning.

What I love most about my job is the smiling faces of my co-workers and the opportunity to make a loving, positive impact in people’s lives!"

Barbara Larsen

Barbara Larsen

Tack Shack Manager

Barb came to REINS as a Volunteer in 1991. After eight years of volunteering Barb recognized that the generous donations of used tack were accumulating faster than we could use it in the program. With Barb’s degree in Apparel Management, she opened our store, known as the "Tack Shack".

"I was introduced to Therapeutic Riding when I attended a riding demonstration at a another center. I was thrilled when I moved to Fallbrook and learned that REINS was so near to my new home and I was eager to become involved.

I am most excited about the new barn that has greatly improved the quality of life for our horses.

What I love most about my job is all the wonderful people I meet, the staff, the riders and their families."

Bonnie Haupt

Bonnie Haupt

Physical Therapist; MPT

Bonnie began consulting with REINS as our Physical Therapist in March of 2009.

Graduated from University of San Diego with a degree in Biology and received her Masters in Physical Therapy from Chapman University.

Bonnie has always been interested in combining therapy and horseback riding. In past years, she worked with the Special Olympics Equestrian Program and more recently received her Level 1 Hippotherapy Certification. "I love being a PT and I love being around horses-combining the two is a ‘match made in heaven!’"

Carrie Jacobs

Carrie Jacobs

Occupational Therapist; M.OTR/L

Carrie started consulting with REINS as our Occupational Therapist in January of 2007.

She is the owner and director of OT OuTdoors, a private occupational therapy practice in San Diego.
Licensed by the California Board of Occupational Therapy Certified Registered Occupational Therapist
Master of Occupational Therapy degree (Univ. Southern Maine)
Bachelor of Arts in Rhetoric and Communication (UC Davis)
Carrie specializes in sensory processing treatment for both children and adults and is qualified to administer the Sensory Integration and Praxis Test. She has Level I and Level II Hippotherapy instructor credentials.