As a new volunteer who got started last fall, and is currently helping with weekly riding lessons, I've been consistently encouraged, delighted, and humbled by Joan Twining and her equestrian school. I'm particularly inspired by this organization's inclusive and holistic approach. Whether they're holding a curry comb for the first time, measuring out scoopfuls of feed together, practicing advanced skills in the riding ring, or helping hose down a horse in the specially designed wash stall, students (and volunteers!) are learning that all aspects of riding are accessible to them. At Rose of Sharon, the multiplicity of our experiences, and the spectrum of our challenges--urban and rural, horse and human, teacher and student--are not barriers to be met with resignation. They are variations to be explored, shared, and celebrated, with honesty, openness, humor, and courage.
Joan Twining has devoted her life to realizing her vision of a place of safety and calm for people with physical, emotional, and developmental challenges. Her work with the horses, children, volunteers, and the physical facility testifies to her deep committment and dedication to this mission. ROSES is surely a place where "miracles happen every day," and the students and families who experience its magic will feel its benefits long into the future.
My son, dx autism, absolutely loved to go to Rose of Sharon to ride his favorite horse, Izzy. Joan and Karen worked with him on his communication and on following directions. The physical movement helped him with his balance and core strength. I would recommend Rose of Sharon to any parent - my son was treated with respect and he had a fantastic time!
I met Joan when she asked me to mount a poster for a fund raiser she was having. It was when I delivered the posters that I saw the wonderful things that were happening at Roses. Joan works very hard to make sure that her students get the help they need and have fun doing it. When I started volunteering a month or so ago, I truly saw the time and effort that Joan puts into making sure her students learn, gain self confidence and communicate. I also see the other side of Roses and the time and energy that Joan puts into the administrative and logistical end of her functions as the Director. Roses is a amazing place where students thrive. Joan is a remarkable person (as is her staff) and I am truly grateful that our paths have crossed.
As evidenced by the wonderful facility and openness to a variety of modalities, this organization is extremely dedicated to the clients it serves. They make an extremely positive impact on people's lives.
These are the most caring and unselfish group of people I have ever met. Twice a week to help facilitate 5 autistic children, learn to ride. The center director and instructor are amaizing. This experience not only brings joy and a feeling of calm to the students, it has a very positive effect on me. I know I go home with as much joy as the children (Maybe even more). I truly look forward to a very long and loving relatioinship with this organization. Diane Miceli