We first went to Roses when our son was five. He has cerebral palsy and pragmatic language challenges. Joan and the volunteers at Roses treated loved and accepted John exactly where he was in his development. There was no judging, no pressure, no goals to be met, just a chance to take in the experience and be transformed by the magical environment. His spastic muscles relaxed, his confidence grew and he formed a special bond with the pony that was unlike any other in his life. He learned caring, empathy, responsibility and became a more effective communicator.
What we did not expect was the positive impact that our experience with Joan and her beloved ponies would have on our entire family. Our toddler twin daughters lost their fear of animals. Their love of all things outdoors and animals began at Roses. They spent many days in the barn and outside in the beautiful surroundings while John had his lessons.
John grew up and became an Eagle Scout and did his pivotal project to give back to Roses. John and his baby sisters are all in college now, but our memories of our years at Roses are still vivid and very special. Roses is far more than an equestrian school...it is a place of peace and transformation...
Joan Twining instills in her students a sense of self confidence and pride through working with her horses. Students are challenged to move past their fears of the unknown with her gentle and encouraging approach. Their success gives them the true feeling of accomplishment. Everyone attending Rose of Sharon leaves a winner!
My son, William, loved his time with Cooper (a pony) at Rose of Sharon! William has ADD and was falling behind with reading when he was young. I believe William’s time with Cooper increased his self-confidence and helped push him towards wanting to read. He continued to speak about his time with Cooper for quite a few years after we stopped going. His time with Joan and Cooper were part of his self-identity when he was young.
Time with Cooper made William willing work on things that were very difficult for him to do, such as read a book out loud and write words. He also learned how to care for animals and feel special and capable because he was entrusted to help care for the horses. Despite the fact that he would have to do school work in the barn, William was always excited to go and be with both Joan and Cooper. He loved the entire experience.
William loved being part of the life of the barn—to the point that he even read the book Joan sent him to read at home!
William has just started high school and he does, in fact, read now. His comprehension is excellent, he just needed that extra push to believe he could do it and that it was worth the extra effort.
I hope that Rose of Sharon continues to grow, expand, and help others.
Rose of Sharon Equestrian School provides an incredibly welcoming and serene environment for students, volunteers, and visitors to experience the marvels of therapeutic horse interactions in a meticulously clean barn. As a volunteer at ROSES, I always enjoy interacting with the students and watching the happiness ROSES is able to bring them. ROSES is directed by an amazingly dedicated individual who exhibits respect and compassion for all individuals, regardless of their limitations. I truly believe ROSES has made a profound impact on all of it's students' lives due to its unique setting, dedicated staff, and admirable philosophy.
I have been involved with Rose of Sharon for more than 10 years and it is always a heartwarming experience. From the individuals with disabilities that develop new skills and and open up to the sensory experiences surrounding them when they come to ROSES to the volunteers who now have a new passion because of the relationships they have developed with the clients and the horses and now have a new perspective of how animals can sense, care and transform those they come in contact with. The environmental surrounds are also so relaxing. The sense of peace and tranquility looking out to the fields and forest surrounding the farm to the small details that went into the construction of the barn and arena that support the needs of those with sensory issues. An amazing facility that has created amazing transformations for those who take the challenge to get involved and those clients who have been given the opportunity to be involved.
Linda Hutchinson-Troyer, CTRS
a great non profit organization that was started more than 11 yr ago. Primary focus is providing basic horsemanship skills to persons with disabilities;primarily those on the autism spectrum. Through a grassroot approach they were able to build a wonderful indoor arena that was designed for the needs of those with sensory processing issues. It truly demonstrates how it puts the ability in disability; for the participants and the equine partners.
This is my 6th year volunteering at Rose of Sharon Equestrian School . I started as a 2 hour volunteer. Each year my commitment, time, talents and financial giving has increased.
Today I volunteer year-round , sponsor 2 horses, sit on the board of directors, and have become one of the top donors. I have seen the miracle changes from the interactions of the therapeutic horses and the students working with them.
ROSES is so worth it. Disabled children are serviced as well as the elderly with the aid of the therapeutic horses. New programs are being developed from driving to occupational therapy to counseling. Roses also opens its doors to the community for meetings, workshops and clinics such as Alexander and Optimal Balance.
ROSES has a wonderful dedicated caring and talented director: Joan Twining. She is a very good steward of time, talents and resources , as well as an expert on horses and teaching the disabled and working with the elderly.
If you like kids, people, horses and helping: this is the place to be. ROSES could not exist without the help of others giving their time, talents, and financial support. This is an important time for ROSES as it looks to increase its services for a community in need. This can only happen with increased support.
This is my 3rd school year volunteering at Roses. Each year I become more financially committed and more time committed. I help out by working in the barn, taking care of the horses and working with the students. 2015 means more commitment as we all work forward to learning about and training the minis to pull a cart as well as getting Stella, the horse more involved in lessons. It is a very exciting time at Roses. I hope anyone reading this will consider joining us and helping out. Janet Knox, volunteer
I knew Joan, the owner of Rose of Sharon , as a teacher before she opened the Equestrian School and was always impressed with her passion for helping the kids. I've always wanted to find a funding source for Joan so she can fulfill all the aspects of her dreams ...the potential there is tremendous!!!
Haven't found the right investor but I've personally donated and helped a little around her property. BUT, you can never GIVE as much as you RECEIVE when you spend time with Joan and at Rose of Sharon!! Thanks for giving my grandson a lift when he needed it and for the marvelous care you take of all the kids who are lucky enough to find you AND the superb care you give to your horses. I believe the right
funding source is still just a few steps away!!! Bless you!!!
Previously unfamiliar with horse therapy, I saw the life changing effect Rose's had on a dear friend's granddaughter. She blossomed in ways far beyond expectations...ways other therapies, while helpful..could not achieve. In addition, Rose's is led by one of the hardest working, most caring individuals I have ever met. It is truly an exceptional organization!
Rose of Sharon is an amazing place! We have partnered with them for a year now to bring the benefits of equine learning to our residents residing in Retirement Community. The volunteers and staff are patient, kind, understanding and so supportive in their work to create lasting bonds and benefits for our residents during their experience. We are so thankful.
ROSES creates a personalized experience through every interaction with participants in their equine facilitated learning program. Participants have the ability to engage in so many different ways that meet their unique needs and interests. In my experience watching participants, it has been amazing to see the level of engagement in ways not always seen from participants in other settings. Their experiences at ROSES directly effects their quality of life in remarkable ways.
My daughter is 19 and has Down Syndrome. She has trouble communicating with others and has sensory processing disorder. I learned about Rose Of Sharon through a friend who spoke very highly about what they can do to help children and adults with disabilities. I felt that the schools weren’t helping Carly to communicate. They would tell me this is all she could do. We all know our kids and know when they can do more if given the opportunity. Well my daughter has been with Rose of Sharon once a week for 11 months. She has learned to communicate more in 11 months than she has in school. She has learned to follow directions with no prompting. She has been able to tell me what she did during the time she was there. She has learned math measuring by getting the horses’ food for them in different spoon and cup sizes. She has even learned to read a little. When she is there you would never know she had Sensory Possessing Disorder. Joan Twining, the owner , Is the most caring person I have ever met. Everyone that works or volunteers there are just the same. The horses even get to know each child and seem to communicate with them in their own way. If you know your child and you know they have more potential than what they are doing, this is the right place to start.
Rose of Sharon is unlike any other equine assisted therapy school out there. I know, because I have experience with more than one, and a lot of horse experience...Joan has perfected the environment, and this is reflected in her barn of happy horses and happy students. Amazing and almost miraculous things take place at this barn, and none of it would be possible without Joan's dedication and work ethos- which is supported by her dedicated volunteers and few employees. Being at Rose of Sharon Equestrian School is LOVE. What this place offers is love, unconditional, nonjudgmental, open hearted love and acceptance and I believe that is one of the most powerful healing offerings one can offer. I am honored to know and love Joani and the Ponies, and only hope that they continue to find the support so that the good work will continue to be done.
Part of my work involves visiting horse facilities all across the country. I have seen horse showing and rescue barns, equine assisted therapy centers and sanctuaries. None of them can compare to the beautiful and exceptionally well maintained stables of Rose of Sharon Equestrian School! Right when you step foot on the grounds of ROSES you can tell that a great deal of work, dedication and love goes into both the horses and facilities. A truly warm, clean and inspiring place.
I've been working at ROSES for 5 months now and I absolutely love it. The people are amazing and the therapy has an incredible impact on participants. The joy and dedication with which ROSES volunteers and employees work is inspiring. The horses are also amazing! Izzie, Midnight, Stella, Cooper, and Ginger give it all they've got and are the best therapeutic horses anyone could ask for. The work done at ROSES is so very important and I am so glad to have the opportunity to be a part of it.
My son Cooper attends Rose of Sharon weekly. Not only has he bonded with wonderful horses, he has also bonded with the staff. They teach him important lessons about life.
I have just just been a volunteer in a pilot program bringing dementia residents from a local CCRC to ROSES on a once a week basis. I was greatly impressed with the layout of the facility, the planning and thought that went into building it with cleanliness and safety in mind at every turn. As a lifelong horsewoman I know how much peace and joy equines can bring into people's lives, and these residents were no exception. It was obvious that being able to stroke, brush, comb, braid and talk to the horses brought them pleasure and hopefully enriched their lives.
The personalized equine facilitated learning program that ROSES creates for every one of their clients is remarkable. I have witnessed participants engaging life more fully as a result of their time at ROSES. The program seems to give each person their own "space" to engage actively as they feel called. As a result participants exercise their independence and through cooperation a unique experience is created that has an impact on their lives.
The first time I visited Rose of Sharon I knew I had found a special place, Just walking through the barn and seeing the horses has an immediate calming effect and I (as a volunteer) always leave with a sense of well-being. This effect is carried through to the students that visit. By working with the horses and the wonderful owner Joan I see the students gain self-confidence, and better people skills. I have watched a student go from standing in the corner to making jokes and holding entire conversations with others.
Joan is one of the most passionate and compassionate persons that I have ever meet. She deeply and truly cares for the animals and the people that she meets. She and the school have a deep impact on all the people that interact with them.
I am a volunteer at Rose of Sharon and have found it to be a very worthwhile way to work with both horses and people with special needs. the barn is immaculate and the horses are patient and appreciative of the attention. I greatly admire the owner, Joan, for her for her organizational skills, compassion and willingness to devote herself to this worthy cause.
My grandson is on level one of the autism spectrum. His social skills are impaired and he has difficulty connecting with peers. He is unhappy about his lack of friends. He has never enjoyed sports and found BSA a bit overwhelming. As soon as he began at ROSE OF SHARON, we saw an immediate improvement in how he feels about himself and he is genuinely happy. He really looks forward to coming to Rose of Sharon every week. Joan Twining has unique gifts in terms of understanding each child's strengths and reinforcing them. I recommend her unconditionally!
I love everything about Rose of Sharon! From the moment you arrive you feel a sense of quiet and calm that makes you want to sit on the bench outside the barn and stare at the hills all day. As an educator, I was able to set up volunteer work-based learning activities with Joan and her staff (who are all incredible!). Our students have learned valuable experiences that include; moving and spreading mulch, cleaning stall doors, heavy manual lifting tasks, and custodial work. The staff at Roses always pay special attention to our students and work with them every step of the way to complete given tasks with greater and greater independence. Not only do our students enjoy volunteering each week, but our school staff love visiting Roses with them as well! We could not ask for a better partnership for our school and our students.