I just cannot express the love I have for ROSES on so many levels. I meet Joan when she allowed me to volunteer at her barn and spent time with her horses. The horses and the quiet environment was so therapeutic at a time in my life when stress levels were high. Life circumstances pulled me way from being able to volunteer, but God knew my heart and put ROSES back in my life when a friend I was helping with a brain injury began attending ROSES and I was driving her to her sessions. God found a way to fit ROSES into my life a handful of times in the past 8 years. Whenever I was there, it was to help ROSES but somehow I always left feeling like I was taking more from the experiences then I was able to give back. Now I have the privilege to take a few of my autistic students (I am an OT at school for children with autism) to ROSES each year and the love they show for the horses and the progress they show through the 8 weeks is always amazing and touching!! They display skills and abilities I dont see in the school environment and they seem to open up and let down their guards in a way I have never seen. I always leave smiling, trying to memorize the way the students engages in ROSES environment and always looking forward to see what the next visit holds! I cant not say enough about ROSES- the therapeutic environment, the amazing horses, Joan's obvious passion for her occupation, her caring for every individual that walks in the door on top of her knowledge and therapeutic use of self- being apart of ROSES is life changing!
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.
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.
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