Hope Reins
Therapy Helps:

  • Adolescents
  • Autism
  • Anxiety
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Counseling
  • Depression
  • Divorce
  • Parenting
  • Personal Growth
  • Relationships
  • Self-Esteem



"Since my daughter started with the horses, she is initiating play with other kids!" - mother of 10 year old with autism

"I really didn't think I could do this, but I can!" - 14 year old with depression










About Hope Reins

Team Hope ReinsFounded in 2005, Hope Reins is a team of professionals dedicated to providing mental health, personal growth and educational services by offering a variety of equine assisted psychotherapy and equine assisted learning progams to create positive change for children, adolescents and adults. We work with therapists, community agencies, schools, hospitals, residential treatment programs, government and military agencies, court services, families and corporations to achieve client goals.

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, Equine Assisted Learning and Development and Professional Education are the core programs at Hope Reins. Our facilitating teams include licensed therapists and equine specialists who are experts in horse behavior. Our therapists specialize with particular populations (i.e., eating disorders, ADHD, behavior disorders, depression, anxiety, etc.). Our team approach allows us to provide the highest quality services for our clients, and each individualized program is designed to meet your needs.

Staff at Hope Reins are trained by EAGALA, the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association, and hold basic and/or advanced certifications.


Debra HischbergDebra K. Hirschberg

Debra K. Hirschberg is founder and director of Hope Reins. She has a Master’s degree in Social Work and has been certified by EAGALA since 2003 and is a licensed clinical social worker. Her passion for over 25 years has been to find effective ways to help people find healing from past hurts and to find the purpose God has for them. She has a particular heart for strengthening children and their families. She founded Hope Reins in 2003 to help at risk families as well as the local churches and businesses that support them.

Kristine L Pienkowski

Kristine - Equine TherapistKristine Pienkowski is the owner/director of White Oak Acres in Burlington, IL. A city girl gone country, she discovered horses later in life. She is an equine specialist, certified with EAGALA and currently working on her advanced certification. She has her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and has worked with a variety of client populations through the years. Her horse training has been from many different trainers and clinicians, other horse owners, veterinarians and a lot of reading. But, with up to 14 horses at her stable at a time, it has been the horses that have taught her the most, about them and about herself.


Jean PflanzJean Pflanz

As a life-long horse lover, Jean is passionate about using horses as partners in therapy and believes that horses can facilitate change in powerful and applicable ways. Jean has a degree in psychology, has obtained EGALA Level II certification, and has been working in corporate training for the last 20 years. Her horse sense, psychology degree, and experience in corporate education provide a strong array of skills that she brings to her equine work.

Hope Reins serves the greater Fox Valley and Chicago, IL area including Elgin, Hoffman Estates, Barrington, Barrigton Hills, Batavia, Geneva, St. Charles, Hampshire, Huntley, Algonquin, Lake in the Hills Crystal Lake, Barlett, Carol Stream, Warranville, West Chicago and Wheaton.