I had the best experience at the Swan Center. Ashely and Pana are so knowledgeable and kind hearted. I appreciate the time they took to teach me how to work with the horses and answer all my random questions. I also loved hearing the beautiful and sometimes heartbreaking stories of where the horses came from and how they found the Swan Center. It’s amazing to know they are all loved and well cared for now. I highly recommend volunteering at the Swan Center! You’ll enjoy the fresh air, gorgeous views and priceless one on one time with these magestic horses. Thank you Swan Center!
I was blessed to be a photographer invited to take photos of the Swan Center Outreach horses and grounds. Driving up to the ranch, the scenic beauty and good energy just kept getting better. John Longhill spoke to our group about what to expect, and what was expected of us, before we would begin any activities on the ranch. I looked this man in the eye and listened from my heart, as he spoke. John shared what the center was about, and how we should be in touch with our own energy arond the horses. I was touched by the kindness, and spiritual awareness of John as I also fully embrace the oneness of of life. Later when actually moving around the center and taking photographs I just felt how nuishing the atmosphere of the entire experience was to myself and others. This is a wonderful place serving, and connecting animals and people each with their respective needs to be healed in some way.
I had a great opportunity to see this organization function at its best. The people were kind, caring, and always ready to do what was best for the animals in their care. I was able to get some great photos of the animals and staff. It was personally rewarding as well as seeing the good to the community. Anyone who is in the area would feel they are contributing to the greater good by volunteering or donating money.
I have been involved with many non-profits over the years, but this one has been the most special for me personally. The owners, John and Rose, are extremely compassionate and loving towards the animals they care for, as well as the humans that volunteer! The positive energy that is put forth by everyone involved consumes my spirit when I am there, and the horses exude equally healing energy that is shared among all. The owners, trainers and caretakers knowledge on training and behavior is vast and it is evident that they want to affect not only the lives of the animals they take in, but the community members that take part in learning and caring for the horses as well. The work days offer an opportunity for anyone, any age and walk of life, to experience the essence of unconditional love at the most basic level, as well as a connection with nature at this gorgeous, quintessential Colorado ranch.
I volunteer at Swan Center Outreach to learn about horses. Yes, I am receiving incredibly training about horses and yet I keep going back because of so much more. The training techniques include becoming aware of how your demeanor and energy effect the animals. The animals behavior provides instant feedback about how we are perceived. The horses definitely are great teachers!! The community attracted to Swan Center is an amazing group of people. The land the ranch encompasses is stunning. The fun and good times I have when I am at Swan Center plus the other things mentioned keep me coming back. Swan Center is truly extraordinary.
My family has been volunteering at the Swan Center Outreach for two years. The experience has been educational for all of us, especially our 8 year old daughter. Our daughter has developed a personal sense of confidence around these large animals and a deep love for them.
The animals are rescued from oftentimes sad or tragic situations and placed in healthy environment where they receive loving care. A symbiotic relationship develops between the animals and the people that have that opportunity to learn from them.
I have been a volunteer at Swan Center for the last 15 years I have seen many children and adults alike benifit from their many programs for youth at risk and wounded warrior programs. No other group I have ever worked with has done as much as SCO to create awareness for the needs of the community and world. God bless the SCO and the work they do.
Swan Center Outreach is a great organization for both the volunteers and the animals. The volunteers are taught how to care for the animals in great detail which results in all of the animals being well taken care of and the volunteers being happy and confident in their skills. I would highly recommend this facility for all humans and animals!
Swan Center Outreach is wonderful caring place for anyone who loves horses.
You can learn how to feed and handle their 30 + horses with no prior experience. Some of which have either been abandoned or abused. They offer youth and adult leadership programs, riding lessons and trail rides.
You can also learn how to densensitize the horses so they can be ridden as well as cues and round pen training. From my experience, all the horses respond exactly as expected from the positive energy directed at them.
Donations to Swan Center Outreach will go directly towards purchasing animal feed and supplements, veterinary care , and other necessary supplies.
Our children started coming to the Swan Center for Saddle Club this past summer; it was amazing to see the positive difference in their energy, self confidence and focus after each of those days working with and learning about the horses. Continuing to be involved in the Swan Center (working with the small animals and the horses) has provided our kids and our whole family with the opportunity to be more aware of the world around us, and to understand how we can create positive outcomes through our thoughts and choices.
The Swan Center is a wonderful place where my whole family has enjoyed volunteering and learning about horses and other animals. It has been a great place for my 8 year old daughter, who is a horse lover, to earn her riding lessons and to volunteer her time to help the animals at this ranch. It was important to me for her to learn about giving back to others in a safe and fun environment and this place has been such a blessing for us. We have the highest regard for the owners of this ranch and the senior people in this organization. We just love them, we love the animals there, and love the Swan Center!
The horses are great. The people are great. I enjoyed my time there. I' volunteer to take care of the horses.
a great place to learn about horses and ranch work
It is so refreashing to know that these horses are well cared for and loved and will never be abused ever agian,what a great place to volunteer
Our organization took our teen girls from Houston to Denver, and one of our activities was at Swan Center for an experience of a lifetime. Some of our girls had never been on a horse. They were able to groom the horses, feed them, and then ride them. Mr. Longhill educated our group before we interacted with them because we learned that not only can interacting with the horses be therapeutic for our girls, but for the horses as well. It was an amazing experience and Mr. Longhill was so kind.
Swan Center Outreach is a rescue for abused and neglected horses, as well as some llamas, sheep and goats, set on a beautiful ranch in the Rocky Mountains. Training sessions for volunteers are run regularly, along with continuing education for both the volunteers and the animals, which keep a focus on safety and respect for the animals' thought processes. The staff are extremely dedicated to providing a caring, nurturing, and healthy environment for the animals, and are truly grateful for the financial donations and hours of volunteer help received. I cannot imagine a more pleasant place to be with these lovely animals.
I only donate to nonprofits that I can connect to on several levels. This organization helps so many horses and other unwanted animals. The staff is very caring of the animals and they teach children of all ages how to take caring of them as well. I treated my 9 year old neighbor to a day camp. She exercised the smaller animals, fed and groomed the horses and then had a riding lesson before the day's end. Her comment, "I no longer want to be a singer when I grow up, I want to be a cowgirl!" I realize it must cost a lot of money to take care of just one horse and their herd is at least 15 or more, plus the goats, llamas, sheep, donkeys and ponies. I can my time, any thing I can afford and donate items to their thrift store. Please look at their website and if so moved, give as much as you can, they will thank you for it.
Volunteering with the Swan Center Outreach not only provided me with a fulfilling way to spend my summer, but taught me valuable lessons about myself and how to see myself reflected in the animals that we work with. I also had the opportunity to work with outstanding people and meet some of my first friends in Summit County!
The Torch Club, of the Boys & Girls Cub of South Park in Fairplay, CO had a fantastic experience with the Swan Center during the summer of 2012. The Torch Club is a leadership program focusing on enriching their lives and the lives of others through service, leadership and by demonstrating good character. We were participating with the Swan Center for our National Project "PAWS", Protecting Animals With Service. We worked with the horses along with the learning the Ranch Management Program. This program is a perfect opportunity for a worthwhile cause, along with achieving personal growth. I know that our group had a life-changing experience with participating with the awesome staff and other volunteers we worked with. I don't know who received the most benefit, us, or the horses?!
The atmosphere of the Swan Center Outreach is professional, organized and so much fun! It is obvious from the minute you set foot on the ground that you are touching into something special, with people and animals who dedicate themselves to help others grow in awareness of their lives. It's wonderful to be around such loving energy!
My husband and I went through a thorough and enjoyable volunteer training program at Swan Center. The trainers were patient, friendly, knowledgable and fun. The goats, sheep, donkeys and horses are treated with the utmost care and love. The programs they have at Swan Center are spot on for educating children and adults and for leadership training. Swan Center is inspirational for horse and animal lovers who are able to help with the care of the many rescued animals. The ranch setting is in a beautiful valley where the animals are safe.
I love Swan Center Outreach because of the wonderful programs it has to offer to youth and our community. The best part is the volunteer trainings and one-on-one work with the animals. Every time I leave the ranch, I feel completely energized and ready to save the world. The animals are cared for and happy which makes the Swan Center's story that more amazing and personal.
Swan Center Outreach is an exceptional non-profit benefitting the animals that are rescued and the people who come to work with the animals. I am a very happy volunteer who has worked with a number of animal rescue organizations. Swan Center Outreach is one of the best I have encountered. The people that run the organization, the volunteers, the medical personnel, all folks involved in the organization are very professional and work well together. The systems in place to ensure that the animals receive all the proper care they need. Often when I arrive to volunteer, young people are there from many organizations helping out. I can not recommend this organization highly enough.
I love the Swan Center Outreach and volunteering there. The Ranch is located in a beautiful river valley with great views and is so serene. Just driving down the entrance road leaves my daily cares behind. I also totally enjoy working with the animals at the Ranch. Despite their previous hardships, each animal has its on unique character and personality and it is so fun to get to know them. Working with horses who outweigh me by almost a thousand pounds has definitely increased my confidence and focus, showing me it's never too late to learn!
Swan Center Outreach is the most wonderful organization. The animals are all very people friendly and all volunteers seem to really love working with these special animals - adults and children alike. The community has opened their hearts and pocketbooks to help raise the funds to support the animals and all the programs available at the facility. These are really one of a kind programs that are life changing. They are empowering and give people a positive perspective on themselves and their possibilities to have uplifting and productive connections with others. I absolutely give Swan Center Outreach a 5 Star rating!
I have been volunteering at the Swan Center for five years. It is a beautiful setting and each week I look forward to going out and helping with all the animals. They have several leadership programs that benefit youth and adults. Helping them learn about the animals and at the same time learning about themselves. It provides them a real sense of accomplishment and pride and also returns a great amount of love to the animals. I would like to see this organization grow and get more funding so that it could help more children in the Summit County area.
I give Swan Center Outreach (SCO) a 5-star review based on the importance of its work and because its philosophy so closely matches my own. The owners and volunteers of SCO genuinely care about people and animals, in providing a healthy, loving environment for abused and neglected animals, and in connecting the ranch and its animals with people to help the people overcome personal obstacles and realize their potential in life. I've been especially moved that SCO strives to offer their programs to disadvantaged, troubled and handicapped people (especially children). I’ve seen the ear-to-ear smiles on the faces of kids and adults that have participated in SCO programs at their success in working with the animals (and – more poignantly – I’ve seen some of them moved to tears as they’ve achieved something they never knew they could). It's a truly wonderful place!
Working with the animals (particularly the horses) at the Swan Center has been extremely rewarding to me for a variety of reasons: 1) There's the usual good feeling about oneself that comes with helping those in need (in this case the animals as well as the Swan Center itself). 2) As a person who always admired horses but knew nothing about them, the ability to work them and get to know them "up close and personal" has been thrilling and has given me a new-found appreciation of their intelligence and separate personalities. 3) Working with the horses effectively requires one to be a bit assertive and show them who's boss. That's helped me overall to be more comfortable in my dealings not only with the horses but with people as well. 4) As a "senior" volunteer, it has helped me to stay engaged in the community as well as to feel both intellectually and physically stimulated. While by no means overwhelming, it is "work" to work at the ranch and it's helping to keep me feeling young and fit. 5) Finally, it gives me a feeling of the "old West" being involved in an actual working horse ranch, putting on boots and digging into the tasks of feeding the animals and keeping the ranch up to snuff.
As a parent, I don't believe in role models - role models are just humans and if you put them on a pedestal, they fall.
But - I do love it when I've found a person or a group of people who inspire my child to make him see that he can be better and strive for better, and this is what Swan Center Outreach, and The Longhills do. Since we've started volunteering, my son understands what it means to be a leader, a friend, a helper and to show respect differently than if I could talk to him and teach him - it's because when he's at the center and around Rose and John, he sees it with his own eyes. The effect this has on him has changed him from the kid who gets negative attention in school, to the one who gets positive attention.
The horses and the other animals inspire him as well (all of us actually). My son has learned about responsibility by taking care of the animals and although we practice this at home, it's different at the ranch...my son gets back just as much as gives to the animals and this makes all the difference in the world. Thank you to John and Rose and all the people who lead and volunteer for doing what you do. Everything we learn and practice at SCO is real life stuff, it helps us all be better. I can't imagine our lives without it!
Rose says 'Look through the gate, not at the gate' when you are leading a horse, and this is a metaphor for any obstacle life presents. John, when talking about an unruly horse, says, 'He's just a horse being a horse.' A useful and profound way of looking at people, too. At the Swan Center I have learned how to walk with purpose, how to focus my energy, and how to use intuition to understand myself and others, not to mention all that i have learned about communicating with horses and other animals. There is a lot of satisfying hard work to do on the ranch. Nothing makes you feel more alive in our screen-filled technological world than wrestling bales of hay to put out for a herd of grateful hungry horses on a day when it's 20 below zero and the wind is picking up.
Like most little girls, our daughter had been begging us for a horse for years. Unfortunately, we did not have the knowledge, time, space or financial means to own our own horse. When we heard about the Swan Center, we immediately signed up for volunteer training, in order to support our 8 year old. Turns out, I was captivated by the information we gained the first day. Since then, our family experience at the Swan Center has been life-changing.
My husband and I did not grow up around horses, and I have been somewhat fearful of them. Now, I am amazed at how comfortable I have become with the horses, and how much I enjoy working with them, as well as learning their names and individual personalities.
The biggest benefit has been for our daughter. She is passionate about the Swan Center, and if she could, she'd be out there everyday. She has become very confident with the horses and other animals, and she finds solace in their presence. For her, the horses provide non-judgemental listening, unconditional love, and as she's expressed, “a mirror for her emotions”. She's looking forward to starting with the Saddle Club in the spring.
One of the greatest gifts the Swan Center provides is the opportunity to convene with nature in a spectacular, cell-free setting.
We are grateful for the opportunity John & Rose have provided, and feel very fortunate to live in a community that supports an organization such as the Swan Center.
I learned about the Swan Center through my 9-year old daughter - who was referred there through another volunteer. Thanks, Doreen! Never before was I interested in horses. Now I'm headed to the trainings to become a volunteer myself, and we decided to sponsor a horse as a family! Just being there a few times to help my daughter and the horses and the center has shown me that it is about MUCH MORE than "horse time". It's about awareness, non-verbal communication, leadership, teamwork - and a community of people and animals I'm thrilled to have my daughter growing up with. ~Dr. Justin Pollack
Swan Center has been fantastic! I have learned so much about patience and learning to be more of a leader in life! I am so grateful this opportunity to grow was given to me! So grateful for the Swan Center Outreach in my life! :)
I think that people are looking for different outcomes or benefits when it comes to volunteering. Swan Center Outreach provides many opportunities for all of its volunteers. To me, volunteering at the swan center allows me to help out an organization with necessary tasks that must be done everyday, and in turn, I am encouraged as a person. I feel like a useful and integral part of the organization each time I am out there.
The Swan Center has given me a sense of focus again in my life. When I graduated from grad school I had more questions about life and its meaning than I had when I started my program. I've been searching and searching for a way to serve my community in a way I truly believe in and the Swan Center has given me that opportunity. Giving people the opportunity to care for these special animals and then giving animals the opportunity to reciprocate by being mirrors to our souls is an exchange that is priceless. This is a top rate organization, it approaches the core of so many social problems, ourselves.
The Swan Center has forever changed my life in so many positive ways. It has connected me to a community of people who believe in showing kindness and compassion to every human being regardless of their challenges; and being here on the ranch has taught me how to live a happier life through connections with animals and people. My relationship with the horses constantly makes me aware of myself in ways I never knew and they are always showing me new ways that I can improve. The Swan Center has restored my faith that people are good and kind and it's been a place where I have made many new friendships with both people and animals.
I am currently in a horse training clinic taught by Rose, John and Ashley. They have a comfortable, calm training style where they demonstrate a skill and then you get to practice with your own assigned horse. The training has gone well, and I recently realized that I was trying to fix a problem, but the issue was a step before my percieved issue. It is like a math problem, if you make an error in an early calculation it affects the outcome later so until you go back to correct that first slip up, you will not attain the result for which you are reaching. Each trip to the ranch is a learning experience for me. I love building a relationship with the horses and the comradery with the other volunteers.
L.A.P.S. (League for Animals & people of the Summit) is an important part of the volunteer, service and social life of Summit County, Colorado. LAPS provides financial and volunteer support to the local animal shelter. By helping to finance on-site neutering facilities, it helps keep our shelter a no-kill facility. LAPS sponsors several fund-raising events throughout the year. The two events I have volunteered for most often are: 1) Pets' photos with Santa and/or the Grinch; and 2) Annual K94K, held each August. This second revent attracts dog owners and non-dog owners alike from not only the mountains, but Colorado's front-range communities as well. My own daughter, who lives in southwestern Kansas, has made the trip twice to participate with her dog, and has pointed out how much both pets and owners enjoy this event. Among the beneficiaries of LAPS fund-raising efforts are pet owners who need assistance in paying for extraordinary surgeries or medical treatment for their pets. LAPS is truly a community service organization which significantly improves the quality of life in Summit County for both the human and pet population.