My son Cooper attends Rose of Sharon weekly. Not only has he bonded with wonderful horses, he has also bonded with the staff. They teach him important lessons about life.
I have been involved with ROSES as a parent of a student, a volunteer and a board member for the past 15 years. I have seen the miracles that happen when children with disabilities have the opportunity to interact with horses. Personally, my daughter gained self confidence, independence and self esteem along with an ability to work with others. ROSES has made a huge difference in my life and my family.
I have been involved with ROSES for many years. First as a parent of a student, a volunteer and now on the board of directors. There are many wonderful stories of the students connecting with the horses, especially those with autism. ROSES changes the lives of these special kids. Joan does amazing things and truly makes a difference!
ROSES is such a special place where wonderful things happen for children with disabilities. I saw it in my daughter when she was a student. Joan has created a safe haven where children gain self confidence while interacting with the horses and learning to care for them. My daughter became more confident and was proud of the work that she mastered at ROSES. There is no other place like ROSES!
My name is Brooks Taylor and I am a Vocational Program assistant at a school that is provided services from rose of Sharon. First Joan and her assistants are fantastic people who truly care about the students success and they really are tuned in to the special needs of our children. With my school being a behavioral school their have been many situations in which I thought there was no way some of our students would benefit from attending the horse farm. Every time I thought this I was proven wrong. It is amazing to see kids who normally can not sit in a class room with other children, or has trouble dealing with animals, trouble with doing work, and etc... come to this program and shine so bright. Sometimes just because a student was able to attend Rose of Sharon they were able to make even more progress back in the school environment. This is because of the many skills they learn at the horse farm. Responsibility, team work, staying calm, caring for animals and other people, all these things are taught and absorbed like a sponge by even our most difficult students and has positively impacted our students lives. We could not be more grateful for Rose of Sharon program, Joan and all her help!
We took our students to the farm and the experience was great. The staff was helpful and everything was organized and we were able to work on skills relevant to the student goals. There were a number of activities that I believe benefitted our students in a variety of ways. Students also enjoyed working with the staff and seeing the animals. I highly recommend the Rose of Sharon Equestrian School for students of all ages who have special needs. It was an outstanding and unique experience for students and staff and we look forward to our next trip.
My experience with Rose was truly amazing. I run a program for students with special needs and my students had the great pleasure of attending Joan's program for many sessions. From the first day I meet Joan I knew her program was a good fit for all student young and old. Her organization is run professionally and with great care and compassion for the horses and the clients. Joan takes great care to ensure that all have a good experience on the farm. She worked with my staff to set up individual programming for students that needed extra planning and support. The horses themselves have special needs and this too makes it a special place to be. I highly recommend it!
ROSES is home.
The horses will always be my daughter's special siblings, and there is no place on earth that offers serenity to all like ROSES.
Joan has done so much for so many, and is a true blessing to all.
Rose of Sharon Equestrian School has been providing many gifts to my daughter for many years. She has learned compassion, patience, endurance, structure in addition to how to care for and ride horses. Joan Twining and her staff/volunteers ensure that each child has an experience that is wonderfully unique and well suited for them. It is a safe, structured environment with a breathtakingly beautiful facility and location. How lucky are we that we have found such a wonderful place!
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
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!
I participated as a chaperone with students attending a special needs school. We traveled to ROSES once per week and spent the morning there. The staff were very accomodating and knowledgeable. The farm and facilities were safe, well-organized, clean and comfortable. The horses were calm and well-mannered and staff made sure that safety was paramount. The students truly enjoyed the program and learned a great deal. The program helped students make progress in other areas of their lives as well, such as socially, emotionally, and behaviorally. The ROSES program has been a highlight for our school and I recommend ROSES highly.
My son was speech delayed and had VERY low muscle tone. He had been getting services through the county infant and toddlers program but I was looking for something more. I found Roses on my own through an internet search and could not have been happier with my luck! My son was only about 2 and a half years old at the time but was focused and able to follow directions so Joan agreed to work with him. He rode Izzy once a week for about a year. At first, he was too shy and afriad to do much but groom her and muck out the stalls - a chore both of my boys enjoyed as much as riding! So Joan allowed his brother, who was a year and a half older, to ride in an effort to coach my little one onto the pony. Soon, both were riding quite comfortably. One of the only drawbacks with the program was the weather. As he was so small, he got cold easily and oftentimes had to settle for only grooming Izzy and then riding the mechanical horse indoors. Other than that, it was a fantastic experience! His tone and speech improved dramatically. His core stength became so good that he rode a 2-wheeled-bike without training wheels at 4 years old! His self-confidence improved and he even came out of his shyness at bit. We haven't been there in several years but the memories and experiences gained have made a lasting impact on my boys and our family. They often ask when we can go back to see Ms Joan and Izzy!
I heard about Rose of Sharon during an MS meeting when our guest speaker, Joan Twining, spoke of the therapeutic benefits of horseback riding for people with disabilities. I had to try it! I was not disappointed. Joan really knows what she is doing! I learned to groom, ride, and love horses. She utilized the horses in a therapeutic way to help me deal with my MS. The therapy I received was not only beneficial in strengthening the weaknesses in my legs, but also in giving me a feeling of pride in knowing that I could handle and ride horses, despite my disease. I have been a horse lover ever since and a believer in their therapeutic value.
My daughter has Aspergers syndrome, anxiety, and coordination issues. She is strong willed, and used to doing things her way. She was also terrified of animals prior to working with Joan. Who would have thought that soon she would be following Joan's directions on how to care for these huge animals? Joan is an amazing person, who has the perfect balance of respect, love, and firmness to work with kids on the spectrum. I could go on and on about how much she has changed our lives for the better, but will share just one story. When the time came for my daughter to mount "her" horse Izzy for the first time, she froze. I was outside the ring watching. She tensed up, and she started repeating “I’m scared, I’m scared, I’m scared.” Those of you who know children on the autism spectrum may recognize this moment as the moment before a melt-down. If I had been the person by her side, I know she would have refused to get on, no matter how much I encouraged her. I watched from the distance. Joan just said “It will be OK” and my daughter got on Izzy! That was a miracle for me. Joan had somehow unlocked the door that had gone up in my daughter's mind. She didn’t push her through the door. She didn’t say “come on, get on!” She just made it possible for my daughter to believe she could do it. My daughter rode for at least 10 minutes that day, praciticing to start and stop, to keep good posture, and to tell Izzy she was a good horse. All I could think was "I'm soooo lucky to have found Joan"!
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!