This fall begins my third year as a Rose of Sharon volunteer. Each year gets better. Joan, her staff, and all the other volunteers are wonderful to work with and the facility is spotless. When I started volunteering I was a very inexperienced and had no exposure to disabled children. I have observed first hand how much the time the kids spend at Roses means to them and how much their self-confidence improves as they work with such large animals. When they finally have the opportunity to ride "a real" horse, their faces light up. It's a blessing for all of us volunteers and children alike.
ROSES is a wonderful place, full of inspirational people and horses! Joan has dedicated her life to therapeutic horsemanship and has touched many souls along the way. The horses are so patient and understanding, no matter who they are working with. If you are looking for therapeutic horsemanship classes that are individualized and personal, ROSES is the place to go.
I was originally a Towson University Family Studies and Human Services intern at Rose of Sharon from January 2013-May 2013, became a donor in August 2013, and am now a volunteer. ROSES has not only introduced me to what I want to do but it has helped me grow and truly realize my full potential. From Jake the barn cat to Joan Twinning, everyone is warm, welcoming, kind, and nurturing. I have volunteered for other therapeutic equestrian centers and none compare. There is no better place to volunteer for or donate to. ROSES really works hard to be the best they can be and to benefit as many individuals as they can.
I recently became a volunteer at Rose of Sharon Equestrian School. From the very first day when I came to interview with Joan and see the facility, I was positively impressed by the environment there. The atmosphere is extremely pleasant and relaxing, with soft instrumental music playing in the barn which seems to enhance the well-appointed buildings and pastoral setting. The new indoor riding arena offers students an opportunity to work, while protected from the weather. The barn is the most clean and well-organized farm building I have ever visited. It is clear that these are not just animal stalls but the homes of the special equines which help to heal the spirit of all humans who come there. The horses receive the most exquisite individualized care, including specially tailored diets and meticulously groomed living quarters. Joan’s caring nature and gentle personality come together with the peaceful setting she has created to foster a positive learning and healing environment.
My schedule is very busy and although time constraints only allow me to volunteer a few hours per week. I look forward to going to work there, whether I am sweeping floors, cleaning feeding trays or watering horses. It has rapidly become a respite from the daily grind of rushing around town. I highly recommend the Rose of Sharon Equestrian School as place of solace, encouragement and growth.
Roses is an amazing organization for children with disabilities. The amount of time, effort, love, and caring that goes into making this such a life changing experience for their students is amazing. Joan is truly making a difference with not only her students, but every person that walks through her door.
My daughter volunteered at ROSES. She came for the opportunity to work with horses and stayed for the love of Roses. The program is very well run with such love and attention to detail. The horse and barn are so well cared for. There is even soothing music that plays just for the horses. This is a place where healing occurs not only for the clients but also for the animals and anyone who comes into contact with Roses. Such a worthy program that will leave an impact on you for the rest of your life.
I have loved every second spent at Rose of Sharon. It is really an amazing place. The barn and rings are very well kept and very impressive. The horses clearly love their jobs and it is awesome to see them during lessons and the way they interact with the children. Ms. Joan is especially what makes Rose of Sharon so special. I have always loved watching her during lessons, because the patient, caring way she works with every child makes every experience that much better. My two years spent volunteering at Rose of Sharon were some of the most rewarding experiences I have had. Rose of Sharon is truly a unique and spectacular place!
My experience of volunteering at Rose of Sharon has been nothing but amazing! The facilities and barn are extremely well kept and gorgeous. Ms. Joan Twining truly lives for Rose of Sharon. It is amazing to watch someone in action doing something they really love. Her constant positivity and happiness radiate through all she does. She cares so deeply for the horses, childre, and program. The horses are such beautiful animals that are gentle and kind in every way. Roses is a great place that is doing remarkable things to help inspiring children. There is no place quite like Roses!
When I first walked into the barn at ROSES, I knew it was a special place. Then when the children came, and I witnessed and experienced first hand the amazing relationship that built between Joan, the horses and the children, I knew I wanted to get involved. It has made me a better person. Having horses of my own, its made me a better horsewoman. During the program, we get so close to the children that by the end of the session we are sad to see them leave. When you see the progression of the children, you know good things are happening at ROSES. There is no coincidences. Everyone is touched.
Rose of Sharon Equestrian School is a fantastic place for children and horses to form a bond. The individuality of planning and kindness shown toward my students and staff was amazing. The experience, knowledge of both Joan and her staff contributed to an excellent therapy plan. The staff and students who participated from my class room looked forward to going. What an opportunity for all. I recommend their therapy program without reservation. Respectfully submitted by Michele Shanti special educator at the Glyndon Autism Program
Rose Of Sharon has been an inspiration to the community and all those they serve ! The kindness , love and encouragement shown to both people and horses is a true blessing ! Joan Twining and her staff of human and equine helpers bring joy to everyone who visits Rose Of Sharon !
ROSES plays a vital role in the lives of children with special needs. I'm very proud to support of ROSES!
ROSES is an incredible place to work with. Children are given a chance to grow and experience new interactions in a safe environment.
I am an equine veterinarian that provides provide care to the horses and ponies of the Rose of Sharon Equestrian School. The barn and riding arena provide a lovely environment for horses, students and staff to do their job in a safe, comfortable and cheerful environment. The stable is impressively maintained with attention to cleanliness, neatness ,compassionate care to the animals and providing an efficient productive learning environment for students.
Rose of Sharon is a magical place. It is a no- judgment-zone full of healing presence. I came to the barn as a volunteer and have loved every moment I've spent working the the people and animals. True miracles happen with the work Joan and the ponies and the rosebuds do at Roses. I believe the world is better because of Roses.
Rose of Sharon Equestrian School is an amazing place. It is a place of wellness, safety, compassion, humility and love. I found the barn and Joan and the fourleggeds when I first moved to Baltimore and it was a grounding force in my life. I have been privy to see many amazing things happen with people and animals in this space. And, I can only hope that the positive impact this facility has on the people who touch it/are touched by it and the community that surrounds it will be a ripple effect. A deep bow to Roses, and all who make it happen (people and animals, alike).
I have really enjoyed my time as a volunteer at Rose of Sharon so far and it has been a very valuable experience. Joan is wonderful with both the children and her horses and her farm is absolutely beautiful. I love how the children's eyes light up as soon as they enter the barn and see all of the horses (and miniature horses!!). Joan has come up with many creative and innovative ways to incorporate horsemanship into fun activities that the children love. I volunteered during a group of preschoolers' first session at ROSES. I have seen first-hand the impressive progress they have made in a very short amount of time. Their confidence has risen and they have become more self-assured as they complete the various activities. I cannot say enough positive things about Joan and ROSES.
It's very difficult to really understand the impact that Roses has had on my daughter's life. Starting at a very young age, she began her work at Roses. She learned how to brush using various brushes and strokes. Clean hooves, prepare meals, give showers, give treats and the list goes on. Throughout the process, she even learned how to ride her horse (actually it was Izzy the Pony). She learned how to be gentle and in return gained confidence when riding or even being around her Pony. When she started she was very quiet and said very little. Today she loves to talk about riding and spending time with Ms. Joan and the other helpers at Roses. The experience has truly given my daughter a greater appreciation for animals and other beings and enabled her to develop in ways that would otherwise not have been possible. We owe so much to Roses and the staff, and a special thanks to Izzy!
Our granddaughter was originally diagnosed with POD NOS at the age of three. Most people are more familiar with the term :AUTISM" after doing much research we were lucky to find a place called Roses (Rose of sharon Equestrain School). Mrs Joan the director, and her volunteer staff who work with children with learning disabilities do and unblievable job ,you would have to be there and see it with your own eyes. Our granddaughter loved her horse "IZZY" she learned how to groom her and take care of her horse. After a morning ride "IZZY" was always waiting for her treat. we went to Roses from 2005 to 2011. She was always ready on Saturday mornings to go see "IZZY" , now she is very busy on Saturdays with her social life , she is out with her friends and has dance classes and drama classes Who would have ever thought this day would have come. She now has a social life. When I asked Joan about her she said, "we launched your granddaughter ,now we have all these other kids to take care of . I never left I still get out there about once a week to see and here whats going on with the other kids. I once took a close friend out to see this place and on the way back he said to me," where did you find this SAINT? " I'll probably never leave, I can't get enough of this good feeling I get out there.
I have been in the field of Special Education for 36 years-I have met indivduals whom I have taught or served in some capacity and I have met many professionals in this fiels along the way. I had read about Joan Trinings "Roses " program a few years ago and was curious but this year I had the opportunity to directly work with her because of my students.My students, in a high school life skills type program, raise $ every year for a charity of their choice, After much research and conversation, they chose "Roses" as their focus this year. I met with Joan and she gave me ideas for lessons I could do with my students to learn about her program and the horses and the care they needetc. We had about 8 weeks between the time she and I met, and when the students took a trip to meet Joan and the horses and ponies. During that time, they learned everything they could about the animals as well as how horses and ponies could be therapeutic for them and others with Special Needs. They raised over $500.oo to donate to the farm for a special blanket. Finally the day came to meet Joan , her volunteers, and her employee who is a graduate of the class I teach!!!! That in and of itself was so inspiring to the students.. bt there was more. Joans wonderful gentle way with humans and animals touched all of us to the core. Her appreciation of the students efforts: their reports which they had put together into a book and read to her, and the money they presented, was heartfelt. She was astounded by them and what they gave of themselves for her program. There was not a dry eye in the barn. It truly was an amzing experience for each and every one of us.
Review from Guidestar
I started to volunteer at ROSES my junior year of high school. I thought it would just be a way to earn my service hours but after my first day I realized it was so much more. I saw first hand how effective equine therapy is and how excited the students are to come into contact with the horses. I look forward every week to come and see the students and watch them grow and become more confident in their abilities. I never realized how much this experience would mean to me. ROSES is a place of learning and growing not only for the students but for the volunteers.