Meet the Team
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!"
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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."
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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!”
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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."
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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."
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.”
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Maggie started volunteering in 2000. Maggie is now our Program Coordinator.
"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."
Devon started REINS in September of 2020 after graduating from Sonoma State University with a B.A. in Psychology. She has been teaching for two years and horseback riding for 16 years. She loves knowing that everyday lives are changed at REINS.
“I believe the bond between people and horses is extremely beneficial in helping overcome mental and physical obstacles in life. I enjoy sharing my love of horseback riding with people to help them experience this connection, gain confidence and trust within themselves.”
Chris started volunteering in 2001 and became the Volunteer Coordinator in 2003.
“With a background in Child Development and love of 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!”
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."
Cindy joined the team in July of 2020. With a background in media, Cindy is eager to bring fresh ideas to the table.
“There’s always something new at REINS and I’m thrilled to capture those moments and showcase them on our social media. It is a joy to work with people who love their job; it is even more exciting to see our students grow throughout the program. I am happy that I can be part of this organization and their mission.”
Ben started volunteering in early 2018 and was hired part time to our staff by the summer.
Ben is a huge help around the ranch. He is definitely our right hand man! He’s quickly made an impression on our staff as someone who will take on any task needed to make sure everything on the REINS property is working well and looking great.
Ben is currently studying Physical Therapy at University of St. Augustine.
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!”
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 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 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 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!”
Barbara began volunteering at REINS in November of 2017. She joined the staff as an instructor in September of 2019.
Barbara has a degree in Animal Health Technology. She has been riding since she was 7 and competed in barrel racing.
“There is magic here at REINS and I’m blessed to be a part of it. I’ve seen students find the strength to challenge physical limitations, I’ve heard non-verbal children find their voice and I’ve watched as those struggling behind emotional barriers embrace a welcoming world around them.”
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 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."
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 continue to support of our program."
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!"
Nikki started volunteering in 2008 and became an instructor in 2015.
“I originally came to REINS because of the horses but our students quickly captured my heart. I love working with our horses and getting them ready to be a part of our equine team so that they can help change the lives of each and every one of our students.
Even more, I love seeing each student grow stronger, build more self confidence, and become a better rider every week. Watching both horse and rider improve with each ride is truly incredible to witness.”
C.J. began to volunteer 2015 and joined the REINS staff in 2017. She has a B.A. in Theater Arts.
"When I came across REINS, I had ridden horses my whole life and was interested in the therapeutic side of equestrianism. I ultimately stayed for the clients, staff, and atmosphere.
What I love most about my job is the caring and safe environment that Debbie Shinner and the rest of the staff have created. I love working with such a diverse and incredible group of riders and their families."
Allison began to volunteer 2019 and joined REINS in 2021. She received a BA in Biological Sciences, minor in Sociology from USC. After going away for college and not able to ride, she was thrilled to find REINS when moving to Fallbrook.
“REINS has become my family here in Southern California. I am blown away every day by the persistence, compassion, humor and strength displayed by our staff and students. Magic truly happens over our bridge. Becoming an instructor feels like the most natural progression of years of work and love of therapy riding and horses and I am so excited to join this team.”
Melinda started volunteering in May of 2021 and became an instructor in September 2021. She graduated with a Ph.D. in Psychology.
"I am so excited to be part of REINS and help each student grow and achieve their individual goals. REINS is truly the happiest place on Earth! Seeing their happy faces of our students with their horses is the highlight of my week."
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 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.