About Agape

Agape is a Greek word that means "unconditional love."


State of the Art Stables

Our state of the art stables not only provide shelter and warmth to our horses, they are used as an opportunity for students to learn about responsibility while helping to prepare their horses for each session. The outdoor riding area and trails provide a unique opportunity for students to interact with nature. Many activities are scattered throughout the trails to further produce sensory experiences.


A Heated Indoor Arena

Our heated Indoor Riding Arena provides an outlet for students who wish to continue their sessions during the winter months.


The Classroom

The classroom provides more opportunities for the students. Lessons and crafts that correspond with their riding sessions further develop new skills for students.


Now Serving 3 Locations!

In Spring 2018 Agape will open an east location in Greenfield, IN


Our Beginnings

Agape is a Greek word that means “unconditional love”. Cheryl Miller and her daughter Dawn were called to share unconditional love when they expanded their enjoyment of horses and love for children by developing a summer riding program for children with disabilities using the therapeutic value of horses to rehabilitate.As a result of parents\’ requests and therapists who witnessed the summer success, Cheryl and Dawn founded Agape in 1986, but they continued to dream of a year round program. That dream became a reality following Dawn’s tragic death in 1992. After seeking God’s guidance, a farm just north of Indianapolis in Cicero, Indiana was selected for the start of a therapeutic riding center. In March of 1994, Cheryl established a full-time program, serving individuals and schools throughout central Indiana.

Our Vision

We believe that lives can experience healing and joy in an environment where unconditional love and the wonderment of a horse connect, creating a haven for unbridled hope.

Our Mission

Agape cultivates personal growth by strengthening the mind, body, and spirit through unique horse-facilitated experiences.

Our Core Values: The Agape Way

We promise all we serve – horses and humans –  to strive for excellence. This is “The Agape Way.”

  • Trust and Respect

  • Integrity

  • Responsibility

  • Creativity and Flexibility

  • Acceptance and Understanding

  • Collaboration

  •  Patience and Kindness

  • Future-Focused

  • Unconditional Love

Want to get involved?


The Agape Team: We LOVE our jobs!

Each member of our team is here by choice. Driven by a passion for what we do, we are humbled by the miracles we get to be part of everyday.

Amanda Bocik

Amanda Bocik

Executive Director

Amanda is passionate about serving Agape. She is constantly inspired by the lives she sees transformed through the hope and love provided by the Agape team.

Cheryl Miller

Cheryl Miller


Cheryl is our fearless founder. She has dedicated her life to loving others. Committing over 28 years to Agape, she is the epitome of perseverance and courage.

Linda Hazzard

Linda Hazzard

Program Development & Stewardship Director

Partnering with horses and giving people opportunities to learn is the best job in the world. And lucky me, I even get paid to follow my passion!

Shirley Mascoe

Shirley Mascoe

Operations Director

Shirley lives in a farmhouse that has been in her family 100+ years, where she raised her 4 kids. Now she fills her empty nest with an English Shepherd named Cash, and a bunch of chickens...and Agape!

Lyn Penfound

Lyn Penfound

Finance Director

Lyn loves the process of hope and healing inspired by horses. She enjoys being “schooled” by our horses every day. She is also Canadian. We don't hold that against her.

Caroline Johnson

Caroline Johnson

Equine Manager

Caroline looks after the health and training of our entire herd - she supervises 28 horses! Outside of the barn she loves riding, hiking, riding, writing and spending time with her husband and son....and riding.

Luke Bogard

Luke Bogard

Facility Manager

Luke is passionate about serving others and seeing them reach their full potential.

Taylor Long

Taylor Long

Marketing & Communications Manager

Taylor graduated from the Herron School of Art and Design and loves to create amazing experiences for people to enjoy. Taylor, just recently moved to Martinsville, and she's excited to serve with Agape.

Emily Padgett

Emily Padgett

Site Manager, Cicero

I have 3 fur babies Nick and Shawne (horses) and Rosco (black lab). When I am not at the barn I am usually camping or boating with my friends and family or at an antique tractor pull with my husband.

Marsha Farias

Marsha Farias

Barn Coordinator & Instructor, Cicero

The horses, staff, volunteers, and students are an inspiration to Marsha. It is an honor to be a part of the Agape family, and make a real difference.

Sydney McGow-Russell

Sydney McGow-Russell

Volunteer Coordinator & Instructor, Cicero

Sydney loves to read and write, and a little birdie told us that she has a few books published!

Barb Sparks

Barb Sparks

Instructor, Cicero

Barb retired in 2014 after 18 years of teaching at Agape and then came out of retirement in 2015. She simply can’t leave us, and we are ok with that. (We think she just wanted the retirement party.)

Stephanie Sidoti

Stephanie Sidoti

Administrative Assistant, Cicero

Stephanie has been around horses her whole life. She even collected Breyer horses and showed them. She loves being outdoors and she takes amazing photography.

Christy Schmitt

Christy Schmitt

Site Manager, Martinsville

Christy has 6 kids. She basically lives in a zoo and works at a barn. She is a Super Woman.

Debbie Fornefeld

Debbie Fornefeld


Debbie loves horses and argiculture. If you can't find her at the barn she's selling farm equipment! You should ask her about it sometime.

Jennifer Armstrong

Jennifer Armstrong

Instructor, Martinsville

Jennifer loves the barn. She loves it so much that when she leaves Agape she goes home to her own barn with her 3 children, 3 ponies, 2 cows, 6 chickens, 2 cats and a dog.

Melanie Hilton

Melanie Hilton

Instructor, Martinsville

Melanie and her husband have 2 horses of their own and a precious little cowboy. Melanie has been a key part of our team for several years from communications to volunteer coordinating and now as an instructor.

Kaitlin Hossom

Kaitlin Hossom

Barn Coordinator, Martinsville

Kaitlin cares for our herd and barn in Martinsville She loves people, animals and helping people through working with animals. You should ask her about her work with elephants sometime.

Becca Spitzig

Becca Spitzig

Site Manager, Greenfield

Becca came to us from Sunrise Inc., another PATH Intl. Center, in Richmond, IN. She is excited about the opportunity to help operate our third location Agape East!

Deb Usher

Deb Usher


Deb loves to see her students grow in confidence & strength, while developing relationships with wonderful volunteers and horses.

Jill Thierwechter

Jill Thierwechter


Jill keeps everyone laughing! She is an avid IU fan. Don’t question her on that.

Interested in joining our team? We’re always on the lookout for good talent!

Career Opportunities

Meet Our Horses

These are our partners in hope and strength. They are gentle giants that bring tremendous joy to so many each and every day.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Therapeutic Riding?

Therapeutic riding is an equine-assisted activity for the purpose of contributing positively to the cognitive, physical, emotional and social well-being of individuals with special needs.
Are you interested in riding?

Start Riding

What is Carriage Driving?

Carriage Driving offers students with physical, mental, sensory or emotional disabilities the rewards of interaction and control of a horse or pony while driving from a carriage seat or in their own wheelchair in a carriage modified to accommodate their wheelchair.
Think carriage driving could be for you or someone you know?

Learn More

What is EFL?

Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL) is an educational approach to equine-assisted activities. EFL content is developed and organized by credentialed practitioners with the primary intent to facilitate personal growth and development of life skills through equine interactions.

Stirrup Success  Memory Lane

What is EFP?

Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy (EFP) is defined as an interactive process in which a licensed mental health professional working with or as an appropriately credentialed equine professional, partners with suitable equine(s) to address psychotherapy goals set forth by the mental health professional and the client.

What is Hippotherapy?

The American Hippotherapy Association, Inc., defines hippotherapy as a physical, occupational or speech therapy treatment strategy that utilizes equine movement. The word hippotherapy derives from the Greek word hippos, meaning horse. The term hippotherapy refers to the use of the movement of the horse as a treatment strategy by physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech/language pathologists to address impairments, functional limitations and disabilities in patients with neuro motor and sensory dysfunction. This treatment strategy is used as part of an integrated treatment program to achieve functional goals.

Hippotherapy as a Treatment Strategy

What is EAAT?

Equine Assisted Activities & Therapies (EAAT) – Equine-assisted activities are any specific center activity, e.g.. therapeutic riding, mounted or ground activities, grooming and stable management, shows, parades, demonstrations, etc., in which the center’s clients, participants, volunteers, instructors and equines are involved. Equine-assisted therapy is treatment that incorporates equine activities and/or the equine environment. Rehabilitative goals are related to the patient’s needs and the medical professional’s standards of practice.

Learn More

Does Agape take insurance?

Unfortunately, Agape currently does not currently take insurance.

Who Can Ride?

Minimum age for riding at Agape is 4 years old. Riders come to Agape with a wide range of physical, psychological, social, cognitive and/or emotional disabilities. Before participating, individuals need to consult with their physicians. PATH Intl. riding centers require each prospective rider to present a complete medical history and a signed physician\’s statement prior to a therapeutic riding session.

Learn More about our Programs

Our Board of Directors

Stacey Anderson, Chair

VP, Director of Property Accounting, Duke Realty

Trisha Egleson, Vice Chair

Client Services Manager, American Funds

Mark Lyons, Treasurer

VP, Controller, Invesque

LeighAnne Downes, Secretary

Director, DDWS Business Owner, State of Indiana

Lauren Paladin

Conditioning Specialist, Hoffacker Health & Fitness

Ben Wire

Indirect Lending Manager, FORUM Credit Union

Doug Sharkey

SVP, Mortgage Loan Operations, Centra Credit Union

Nancy Merritt

Senior Associate, Avison Young

Vicki Bruce Hansen

Chief Operations Officer, Bose McKinney & Evans LLP

Kathryn Diener

Retiree & Volunteer

Tracy Johnson

Portfolio Manager, Pearson Education

Lisa Allen

NP Organizational Management Consultant

Cheryle Cosgrove, Emeritus Member

Educational Therapist & Consultant, Cosgrove Partners