I love everything about Rose of Sharon! From the moment you arrive you feel a sense of quiet and calm that makes you want to sit on the bench outside the barn and stare at the hills all day. As an educator, I was able to set up volunteer work-based learning activities with Joan and her staff (who are all incredible!). Our students have learned valuable experiences that include; moving and spreading mulch, cleaning stall doors, heavy manual lifting tasks, and custodial work. The staff at Roses always pay special attention to our students and work with them every step of the way to complete given tasks with greater and greater independence. Not only do our students enjoy volunteering each week, but our school staff love visiting Roses with them as well! We could not ask for a better partnership for our school and our students.
I met Joan and learned of ROSES through my Girl Scout troop. My Cadettes (7th Grade) were looking to complete their Animal Helpers Badge and I was looking for a unique and interesting way for the girls to complete the badge. When I reached out to Joan, she was more than willing to help and the result was nothing short of amazing. Joan put together an experience for the girls that they will never forget. She is a wonderful teacher and the facility is nothing short of stunning. I cannot say enough to let Joan and ROSES know how appreciative I am of the experience that was provided for my troop.
I got involved with Rose of Sharon through the purchase of a horse I sold, Stella, who is now in their program. Joan Twinning is an exceptionally diverse woman with extensive knowledge of horses and horse care. I got the opportunity of visiting Rose of Sharon when I delivered Stella to Rose of Sharon. The operation is amazing.... well thought out with every detail addressed. Although I didn't get to meet any of the students, there was a flow of positive energy that filled this operation. Joan and her staff are certainly the roots that make this operation so wonderful and successful.
I learned about Rose of Sharon after meeting Joan and becoming acquainted with her extraordinary work. Any program that serves the needs of children with disabilities is in essence a program for and about women, since the effort of raising a child with special needs falls most heavily on mom. Being an animal lover and a mom, I cannot help but be impressed by Joan's generosity of spirit as well as her commitment.
My twin sons, age 27 yrs. are mentally and physically handicapped and have been riding at Roses over the last three years. The boys love the horses and the volunteers, they act like they are in heaven. The therapy strengthens their core and they are very focused during their sessions. The guys haven't been on a regular riding schedule because of weather conditions and their ill horse. Joan is very dedicated, patient and gifted and deserves donations for this organization.
I had the pleasure of meeting Joan and the animals that reside at the Rose of Sharon Equestrian School a few years ago. I was immediately taken by the passion, love and commitment Joan had, and still has, for the Center. The work is tireless but the rewards for all those utilizing the facility is priceless. Joan and the animals of the Rose of Sharon help to change people's lives in a very positive way!
I had the pleasure of working with Joan Twining for graphic design work and meeting with her at her beautiful facility. Joan and all of the people I met there were so kind and full of life! I was so impressed by the serenity and visual beauty of the buildings and property. It is a quiet restorative place -- the perfect place to find healing in body, mind, and spirit. The barns and surrounding areas were amazingly clean and tenderly cared for. The horses are charming and gentle. Rose of Sharon Equestrian School does a tremendous healing work, and I recommend the organization itself as one of high quality and integrity. Simply wonderful in every way! Thank you!
My Aunt Barbara was diagnosed with schizophrenia over 40 years ago. Though now living in a group home, she had been hospitalized and under heavy medication for many years. Before her illness, Barbara had been a gifted artist and had been especially fond of horses. Several years ago, I started to regularly visit my Aunt. Knowing her interest in horses, I had hoped to find some sort of equestrian facility for us to visit together. How truly fortunate we were to have found Rose of Sharon. During our first visit to Rose of Sharon, Barbara would not even approach the horses, and would want to leave the barn after only a few minutes. Later, however, when I would ask if she would like to visit "Joanie and the horses," I would always receive an enthusiastic "Oh Boy!" Little by little, and with Joan Twining's love and patience, Barbara would spend a few more minutes near the horses. After a long absence, Barbara even petted Fancy's nose--a huge milestone for her. Under Joan's gentle guidance, Barbara's ability to confidently stand near the horses, to brush Izzy and to follow directions dramatically improved. I know it is not easy to operate a small, underfunded organization such as Rose of Sharon. However, I know that my Aunt's story is the norm, and not the exception.