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May 28, 2010

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May 28, 2010

My son was speech delayed and had VERY low muscle tone. He had been getting services through the county infant and toddlers program but I was looking for something more. I found Roses on my own through an internet search and could not have been happier with my luck! My son was only about 2 and a half years old at the time but was focused and able to follow directions so Joan agreed to work with him. He rode Izzy once a week for about a year. At first, he was too shy and afriad to do much but groom her and muck out the stalls - a chore both of my boys enjoyed as much as riding! So Joan allowed his brother, who was a year and a half older, to ride in an effort to coach my little one onto the pony. Soon, both were riding quite comfortably. One of the only drawbacks with the program was the weather. As he was so small, he got cold easily and oftentimes had to settle for only grooming Izzy and then riding the mechanical horse indoors. Other than that, it was a fantastic experience! His tone and speech improved dramatically. His core stength became so good that he rode a 2-wheeled-bike without training wheels at 4 years old! His self-confidence improved and he even came out of his shyness at bit. We haven't been there in several years but the memories and experiences gained have made a lasting impact on my boys and our family. They often ask when we can go back to see Ms Joan and Izzy!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

watching my sons core strength improve

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2006

May 24, 2010

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May 24, 2010

My twin sons, age 27 yrs. are mentally and physically handicapped and have been riding at Roses over the last three years. The boys love the horses and the volunteers, they act like they are in heaven. The therapy strengthens their core and they are very focused during their sessions. The guys haven't been on a regular riding schedule because of weather conditions and their ill horse. Joan is very dedicated, patient and gifted and deserves donations for this organization.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

accompanying my sons to their sessions.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

May 24, 2010

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May 24, 2010

I had the pleasure of meeting Joan and the animals that reside at the Rose of Sharon Equestrian School a few years ago. I was immediately taken by the passion, love and commitment Joan had, and still has, for the Center. The work is tireless but the rewards for all those utilizing the facility is priceless. Joan and the animals of the Rose of Sharon help to change people's lives in a very positive way!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have grown personally and spiritually through the connection to Joan and the School and all the work they do.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The compassion and fun they bring to every situation.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Reach an even greater amount of people and provide a unique and rich learning experience.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

May 24, 2010

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May 24, 2010

I am a Special Educator for middle school students with moderate to severe autism. Each of my students face many challenges on a daily basis; including toe walking, noise sensitivity, anxiety in unfamiliar places and with unfamiliar people, sensory needs and much more. Aside from being a teacher I also do in home services for children with autism. One of my kiddos has been riding with Joan for a number of years. I had always heard how wonderful the place was and wanted to check it out for myself. Back in March, I took my students to ROSES for a field trip. I had one student who was extremely afraid of horses and I was very worried about him on the trip. Weeks before the trip I met Joan at the barn and she wonderful in taking me around to show me the ropes and how the barn provides such a vast amount of accommodations. I took a ton of pictures including a picture of her and Ms. Molly so I could make a social story to allow my students the chance to know what to expect before we got there. With Joan’s expertise and my enthusiasm to bring my students to ROSES, we were able to put together a great trip. Each one of my students had the chance to meet the horses, feed them, brush them and walk them. My kiddos were using their words, being gentle and keeping a calm body. My one student who is extremely scared of horses did a wonderful job. I was amazed by his willingness by the end of the trip to want to “be” with the horse. Joan and her volunteers were wonderful! It has been a few months since we have been to ROSES and my one student, who was once scared of horses, still talks about them and still wants to look at all the pictures that were taken during the trip. For me, my favorite part of the trip was watching my kiddos be so gentle and calm. I wish I could keep a horse in my classroom all day long . Once we had returned from the trip the students continue to stay in such a relaxed state. It was truly amazing. ROSES is such a wonderful facility. They truly know how to provide and are equipped to provide the appropriate modifications and accommodations necessary for kids to be successful. Thank you ROSES for being such a wonderful facility and providing such a wonderful opportunity for those in need of alternative therapy!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

attending a field trip with my students and attending a fundraiser for ROSES.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the amazing effects it had on my students!

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

fantastic!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

finish of the new barn to provide the students of ROSES the opportunity to ride during the winter in a warm area. ROSES could also provide scholarships for students who are not able to afford therapeutic riding.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

May 23, 2010

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May 23, 2010

As a special educator and former therapeutic riding instructor, I know that many people in the field don't understand the particular challenges of working successfully with children and adults on the autism spectrum. I was immediately impressed not only with the facility and the horses, but with Joan. Many people come to this work with heart. Joan comes with a heart full of compassion , but also with a sharp intellect and creative mind. She understands how to maximize student learning, while fostering a love of horses and riding. She is a gift to the field, and precisely the kind of service provider that can change lives. In addition, she is committed to running the nonprofit well, which can be a challenge in itself. She is thoughtful about her fiscal and management decisions, which means that donor dollars are well-spent and channeled to program services not administration. Andrew Carnegie said that it's easy to give money away, but hard to give it away well. Giving to Roses is giving well.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Although I've interacted with the center as a professional, I've also personally been a donor.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

May 23, 2010

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May 23, 2010

I had a very informative visit to the school in November. As a long time horse owner and rider, I was anxious to see the facility and to observe the educational benefits of the school. The facility is immaculate and very well organized as to promote the health of the horses as well as their young rioders. Horses are a positive means to restore confidence in children with disabilities. The kindness and strength of the horse enables the most disabled child to grow physically and mentally. I truly enjoyed my visit and encourage others to visit and contribute in any amount to help Roses facility, staff and the children they serve to grow. Leslie

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Visiting the school.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

May 21, 2010

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May 21, 2010

I heard about Rose of Sharon during an MS meeting when our guest speaker, Joan Twining, spoke of the therapeutic benefits of horseback riding for people with disabilities. I had to try it! I was not disappointed. Joan really knows what she is doing! I learned to groom, ride, and love horses. She utilized the horses in a therapeutic way to help me deal with my MS. The therapy I received was not only beneficial in strengthening the weaknesses in my legs, but also in giving me a feeling of pride in knowing that I could handle and ride horses, despite my disease. I have been a horse lover ever since and a believer in their therapeutic value.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

many therapeutic ways.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

try to find more donors to keep it running.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

receiving therapy using horses.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

wonderful

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

expand this organization throughout the country.

Ways to make it better...

I could have gone more often.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

lack of money, keeping the horses healthy, and the weather

One thing I'd also say is that...

learning to ride horses is something nearly anyone, old or young, with or without disabilities, can and should do.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

May 20, 2010

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May 20, 2010

I had the pleasure of working with Joan Twining for graphic design work and meeting with her at her beautiful facility. Joan and all of the people I met there were so kind and full of life! I was so impressed by the serenity and visual beauty of the buildings and property. It is a quiet restorative place -- the perfect place to find healing in body, mind, and spirit. The barns and surrounding areas were amazingly clean and tenderly cared for. The horses are charming and gentle. Rose of Sharon Equestrian School does a tremendous healing work, and I recommend the organization itself as one of high quality and integrity. Simply wonderful in every way! Thank you!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

In my personal interaction with Joan Twining and my visits to the Rose of Sharon Equestrian School facility.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

May 19, 2010

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May 19, 2010

I have helped Joan Twining and Rose of Sharon for the past 6 months on their web site, and continue to do so. I had the pleasure of visiting the school about a month ago and was quite amazed at the facility. I always knew what Joan was doing was an amazing thing that helped others, but I finally "got it" when I visited the facility. It is in such a peaceful and serene environment, and I could sense that the horses knew how much they were helping. There was just an overall feeling of gratitude and kindness as I was walking around. It was extremely refreshing, and something I knew I wanted to be involved more with in the months and years to come.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my visit to the facility. I experienced a feeling that you don't get in your normal everyday life - complete selflessness and the appreciation for the amazing services Rose of Sharon, Joan Twining and her staff provide.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

May 18, 2010

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May 18, 2010

My daughter has Aspergers syndrome, anxiety, and coordination issues. She is strong willed, and used to doing things her way. She was also terrified of animals prior to working with Joan. Who would have thought that soon she would be following Joan's directions on how to care for these huge animals? Joan is an amazing person, who has the perfect balance of respect, love, and firmness to work with kids on the spectrum. I could go on and on about how much she has changed our lives for the better, but will share just one story. When the time came for my daughter to mount "her" horse Izzy for the first time, she froze. I was outside the ring watching. She tensed up, and she started repeating “I’m scared, I’m scared, I’m scared.” Those of you who know children on the autism spectrum may recognize this moment as the moment before a melt-down. If I had been the person by her side, I know she would have refused to get on, no matter how much I encouraged her. I watched from the distance. Joan just said “It will be OK” and my daughter got on Izzy! That was a miracle for me. Joan had somehow unlocked the door that had gone up in my daughter's mind. She didn’t push her through the door. She didn’t say “come on, get on!” She just made it possible for my daughter to believe she could do it. My daughter rode for at least 10 minutes that day, praciticing to start and stop, to keep good posture, and to tell Izzy she was a good horse. All I could think was "I'm soooo lucky to have found Joan"!

Photos

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

watching my daughter grow and reach beyond her comfort zone, learning to follow directions, to care for another living being, to listen to her own body, to be respectful of others.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

help complete the indoor arena!!

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the patience and persistence of Joan and the wonderful volunteers

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

excellent

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

build an indoor arena, and expand to reach out to more people, whose lives would be greatly improved, in so many ways.

Ways to make it better...

there were an indoor arena for riding in inclement weather

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

funding, funding, and funding. Joan is a very capable leader, with a great vision, and only needs funds to support what is already a wonderful organization.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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