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

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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?

Volunteer

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.

Stephanie Amick

Stephanie Amick

Executive Director

Stephanie is grateful to serve the Agape team and committed to its mission and growth. She is married, with three children, enjoys the outdoors, cycling and considers baking her creative outlet.

Emily Padgett

Emily Padgett

Program Director

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.

Doneta Wire

Doneta Wire

Finance & Operations Director

Doneta and her husband Ben were drawn to volunteer at Agape over 20 years ago. Now she is blessed to be working in her dream job at Agape. Away from the Barn she enjoys reading, hiking, cycling and traveling. Doneta and Ben have a fur baby, Gracie, who has them well trained.

Caroline Johnson

Caroline Johnson

Equine Director

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.

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!

Angie Hilton

Angie Hilton

Administrative Coordinator

Angie is married to her high school sweetheart and has 3 amazing kiddos. She enjoys living in the country with her 3 barn cats and dog. She loves serving Agape and keeping the whole ranch ticking.

Deb Usher

Deb Usher

Instructor

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

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

Instructor & Communications Coordinator

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.

Debbie Fornefeld

Debbie Fornefeld

Instructor

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.

Jill Thierwechter

Jill Thierwechter

Instructor

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

Trevor Norris

Trevor Norris

Facilities Manager

Description coming soon

Amanda Bocik

Amanda Bocik

Marketing & Development Consultant

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

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 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

Trisha Egleson, Chair

Client Services Manager, American Funds

Mark Lyons, Treasurer

VP, Controller, Invesque

Michelle Baker, Vice Chair

Facilities Operations Manager, Roche Diagnostics

Lisa Allen, Secretary

NP Organizational Management Consultant

Stacey Anderson, Immediate Past President

VP, Director of Property Accounting, Duke Realty

Amy Mitchell

Director of Marketing, CertaSite

Nancy Merritt

Senior Associate, Avison Young

Chance Benbow

Executive VP, JDA Worldwide

Kathryn Diener

Retiree & Volunteer

Tracy Johnson

Portfolio Manager, Pearson Education

Tammy Marrs

Financial Advisor, FORUM Credit Union

Kyle Lacey

Senior Vice President & Relationship Manager, Wells Fargo Commercial Banking

Jim Admire

Partner, Schafstall Admire LLP

Cheryle Cosgrove, Emeritus Member

Educational Therapist & Consultant, Cosgrove Partners

Ben Wire, Emeritus Member

Indirect Lending Manager, FORUM Credit Union