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.
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 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.
Whether the children are staring into the eyes of one of the precious miniature horses, brushing Stella's soft, buck skin coat, having fun in the wash stall giving patient Izzie a bath, or simply feeling the warm breath and soft muzzle of Big Midnight, Rose of Sharon creates a bond between human and animal like no other. It all starts as soon as you enter the cozy, welcoming barn, where your mind is gently transported to a place where the outside world takes a back seat. And it's all topped off with the smiles and caring personalities of the volunteers. The children, their aids and volunteers all feel the power of ROSES instantly, and those feelings stay with you long after you leave the barn. That is what makes it so unique and why so many children have benefited from its magic.
The executive director, Joan Twining, along with the sensitive and gentle horses have found a way to break through barriers in children's minds without them even realizing it. It's truly remarkable, and as a volunteer for the past two years, I am so proud to be a part of this wonderful organization.
My daughter has been volunteering at ROSES for a year now and asked me to come out this past spring to take a tour to see if I would also like to volunteer. The minute you step into the barn, you are captured by pure serenity. Joan Marie Twining and her horses have created the most welcoming, therapeutic safe haven where children and adults with special needs can come to gain self-confidence, inner strength and peace, which they rarely find in their daily lives. Her compassion for these unique individuals, along with the sweetest horses I have met, has transformed so many. I have seen first hand the once reluctant faces turn into ones with smiles and adoration for Joan and her horses. The past five months of volunteering have been some of the most fulfilling months of my life, and I will be around for a long time to help this great cause become that much greater.
ROSES is a very special and unique place. It is meticulously cared for by Joan, who lives to take care of the children and the horses. I immediately felt at home when I visited, and ultimately volunteered there. It is a real gem, tucked away in northern MD.
Rose of Sharon Equestrian School has a dynamic and dedicated director, hard- working volunteers and big hearted horses who create an environment built for the personal growth of students and in turn, a greater awareness throughout the community. Developing a bond with such an intelligent and empathetic animal like a horse has many positive physical, mental and emotional changes when cultivated in the right environment. ROSES provides this engaging space with a great deal of care and compassion towards each student and horse and excellent volunteer training. What a wonderful place to grow and learn!
When I first walked into Rose of Sharon Equestrian school I immediately felt a sense of peace. I had not met Joan, the horses or the other volunteers yet, so I could only assume it was because of the therapeutic atmosphere. I've come to learn after the 5 months I've been able to volunteer with ROSES that I was taking in so much more. The amount of hard-work and compassion poured into the school is very evident, and being a veterinary technician I notice it not only with the therapy program itself but also with the wellness of the animals. Each horse has their very own personality and needs and Joan, with the help of her staff/volunteers sees that these animals are beyond cared for so that they in turn can care for others. The horses at ROSES are naturally kind souls and it is a wonderful experience to interact with them. This is an inspiring organization that promotes wellness and empowerment in all of the best ways!
ROSES is one of those places that you go to for the first time and feel like you belong there. Joan is absolutely doing what she was born to do, and has created an amazing organization to showcase her passion. All of the volunteers are committed people who genuinely care about both the horses and the clients. Speaking of... the horses at ROSES are all so different, yet all serve such a specific purpose for the program. One of the best things about ROSES is that the environment and atmosphere in the barn creates a very welcoming and safe places for both the horses and the students to freely reveal their individual personalities. If you are already involved, thank you! And if you aren't, then you should be!!!
Volunteering at ROSES has been one of the best experiences of my life. The horses are all so sweet, yes, even the minis sometimes, and I know how much te kids love coming out there. It really is a great program that does a lot of good for the community and the kids whose lives it touches. Everytime I go out there, it puts my life in perspective and allows me to not only help myself, but more importantly help others. It is a truly remarkable thing they've got going on.
Rose of Sharon is a win win. The children are given opportunities to succeed in so many ways while the horses and ponies, many old and with varied health issues, are provided amazing care by Joan and her staff. If you love children and animals, this is the nonprofit for you. They couldn't be more deserving.
A wonderful organization that helps children with physical and emotional challenges feel empowered by connecting with horses. The immaculately maintained barn is home to a variety of horses and ponies with the very important job of teaching these special children things that could never be taught in a classroom.
I love the fact that Joan Twining, the director and owner, has combined her expertise to benefit children while providing a home and new lease on life to the barn full of horses and ponies that she lovingly cares for.
It is truly amazing to see the connection between the children and horses!!
ROSES is a wonderful school. I've had some experience with therapeutic riding programs, and ROSES exceeds them all. The curriculum is well thought out and holistic in its approach, the horses are very well trained and cared for, and the volunteers, volunteer coordinator and owner are welcoming and passionate about their work.
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
This will be my 3rd year volunteering at ROSES. Each year my commitment to the organization grows with more time spent helping-out as well as increasing my financial giving. That is because ROSES is a wonderful therapeutic riding program with dedicated and caring people who believe in the sanctity of life both human and animal.
To anyone reading this, I encourage you also to volunteer at Roses. You won't be sorry. There is plenty to do. You will feel welcomed and have patient as well as expert instruction. Joan Twining and her critters are the best.
Rose of Sharon is definitely the best nonprofit I have ever volunteered for. The program is very well-organized and the horses are given extremely good care. The other volunteers and the supervisors are friendly and devoted. It is not uncommon to stay extra time after a volunteering shift just because we don't want to leave!
I first visited Rose of Sharon and met Joan two years ago when I moved from Texas. Having owned a ranch in Texas with horses and longhorns, I was looking for a place to be with horses again. I was immediately impressed with the care the horses receive at Roses. Joan does a great job taking care of the horses and preparing for lessons with the children. Due to my work schedule I can only volunteer on weekends but would love to do more. I am very grateful for my friendship with Joan. Rose of Sharon is a blessing to our community.
I have know Joan my many years now and will always admire her amazing determination to make ROSES the vision she always imagined it would be. Through the hurdles that a nonprofit can go through, she focuses on the people she has touched in so many ways and the horses that are part of her soul. In the 9 years I have been involved it has grown into an even more amazing place with the gorgeous new arena. I never thought that day I walked into the barn to just volunteer once a week with one little boy, that Joan, the horses and all of the people I have met along the way have changed my life. At a time where I needed so much, this place gave me more than I ever imagined! The open arms of ROSES is always a place I know I can go to feel peace and appreciation.
I am in my third year of being employed with ROSES and I am so thankful that I found this organization. It has given me a new appreciation to families that face the challenges of having a child with special needs. Having a place like ROSES for their children to be a part of is so important. They are able to care for and ride horses in a safe place and learn skills they can not learn in a classroom. Being a part of the daily care of the horses, teaching the students and everything in between gives me such a feeling of accomplishment that I am proud to help ROSES continue to strive for the goals such as finishing the construction of the indoor arena so that more children can benefit from such an awesome experience!
When I had the opportunity to volunteer at ROSES it brought such joy and fulfilment being part of such an amazing program. I loved being able to experience things through the students eyes. Watching them overcome their fears and accomplish their goals was extremely rewarding. Joan was the most inspiring person to work with and learn from. Her love for the horses and her students was a part of everything she did for the program. My volunteer experience went far beyond my expectations when we were invited to a talent show at the student's school. I cried through the entire show because I was so overwhelmed with pride at the confidence the performers had in themselves. I believe ROSES played a part in that by allowing them to discover skills and feel proud of themselves by caring for the horses.
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.