About Agape

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

 

Our 13 Acre Farm

Open year-round, our 13 acre facility is located in Cicero, Indiana and includes beautiful wooded trails for outdoor riding and educational opportunities as well as a heated indoor riding arena, a classroom, a viewing area for families and care providers, and much more. We believe the experience of coming to Agape is one for the entire family, and we provide a variety of activities and opportunities to explore for family members while visiting.

 

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 Offering 2 Locations

Agape is happy to announce a new partnership with Bradford Woods to provide a second year-round location.

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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.

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

Founder

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

Interim Site Manager, Bradford Woods

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!

Deb Usher

Deb Usher

Special Programs Coor. & Instructor

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

Becca Funk

Becca Funk

Volunteer Coordinator & Instructor, Cicero

Becca came to us from Sunrise Inc., another PATH Intl. Center, in Richmond, IN. She is excited about the opportunity to focus on recruiting, coordinating and building relationships with the dedicated Agape volunteers!

Lyn Penfound

Lyn Penfound

Bookkeeper & Instructor

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.

Luke Bogard

Luke Bogard

Facility Manager

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

Cody Bogard

Cody Bogard

Equine Specialist & Instructor

Cody manages the health and training of our herd. He has a passion for helping people excel in their strengths and proclaiming the Gospel.

Kate Spanke

Kate Spanke

Development Director

Kate is honored to serve others at Agape and is so grateful for all of our amazing champions! Outside of the barn she loves reading, sewing, fixing up her house, and spending time with her husband and son.

Joe Sullivan

Joe Sullivan

Stable Assistant & Hopalong Cassidy

Joe not only cares for our herd, but he also portrays Hopalong Cassidy. He has performed all over the US and is a real cowboy.

Emily Padgett

Emily Padgett

Program Coordinator

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

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.)

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!

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.

Marsha Farias

Marsha Farias

Barn Manager & 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.

Jill Thierwechter

Jill Thierwechter

Instructor, Martinsville

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

Melanie Hilton

Melanie Hilton

Volunteer Coordinator & Instructor, Martinsville

Melanie is a key part of growing our volunteer team on the south side. She and her husband have 2 horses of their own and live close to the woods.

Jaci Zook

Jaci Zook

Stable Assistant, Cicero

What doesn’t she love about Agape?! Well... manure... but besides that, everything. It's great to be able to have 20+ horses and get paid to take care of them!

Christy Schmitt

Christy Schmitt

Stable Assistant, Martinsville

Christy has 5 kids- 4 boys 19, 16, 11, 10 and 1 girl who is 8. She basically lives in a zoo and works at a barn. She is a Super Woman.

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

Sara McClammer, President

Partner, Bennett & McClammer, LLP

Cheryle Cosgrove, Immediate Past President

Partner, Cosgrove Partners

Stacey Scofield, Vice President

AVP, Regional Controller, Duke Realty

Doug Sharkey, Treasurer

AVP Loan Administration, Eli Lilly Federal Credit Union

Lauren Paladin, Secretary

Conditioning Specialist, Hoffacker Health & Fitness

Ben Wire

Indirect Lending Manager, FORUM Credit Union

Charles A. Hyde

President & CEO, Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site

Trisha Egleson

Client Services Manager, Capital Group Companies

Mark Lyons

Controller, Mainstreet

Nancy Merritt

Senior Associate, Avison Young

Joe Chapman

Sales Executive, Gannett

Kelly Ann Janssen

Dir. of Marketing & Business Development, Charles C. Brandt Construction