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A Christmas Gift for Jitterbug

In 2001 a plucky little bay pony joined the Agape herd and began serving small riders in therapeutic riding and all manner of people in equine facilitated learning. Though he is only 13 hands tall, his personality is indomitable and his disposition always joyful. His name, of course, is Jitterbug.  Our dear Jitterbug is now 29 years old and has served in more than 5,400 lessons at Agape since 2001 (WOW!). While he remains joyful in his service and mischievous in character, we cannot deny that he shows a little less pep in his step. That is why we want

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Special Olympics 2017

Each year when the horses are groomed, and our volunteers are ready, and the glitter is shining as bright as our riders’ smiles, we take a deep breath of gratitude for Special Olympics. It is indeed a special experience: for our riders, who get the chance to experience a real horse show; for our instructors who helped them succeed; for our horses, who leave the barn and bask in the glow of the audience. And let’s not forget our riders’ caregivers and families! Glenn Speck was so excited to see his daughter Stephanie ride independently. “This is truly special,” he

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Introducing the Pint-sized Dynamic Duo | Thomas & Jitterbug

His physical therapist noticed it right away. “He has much more hip strength,” she said. Meet Thomas. You might first notice his tiny walker, complete with Hawaiian license plate, but you’ll quickly see his smile. You just can’t help but smile when he smiles, or laugh when he laughs. He is a tiny ray of sunshine and at four years old, one of our youngest riders. He’s also one of our newest riders. His mom, Mary Kate, drives him from Lafayette each week for his lesson, a trip she says she’s glad to make. “I see him using his legs

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Meet the newest tiny ‘Agapen’ – Eli Zander Bocik

On April 30, 2016, our family grew from 2 to 3 when we brought Ari home through the miracle of adoption. Adoption changed our lives in every way, but the most notable way is how it has shown us the deep love of our Heavenly Father. When we got the call on Friday, April 29th last year and only had a few hours to decide, we leaned in and we listened. We knew we were to respond with ‘yes’ even though we were terrified of the unknown, the suddenness, and the unexpected. Looking back on that night now, we are

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Wreckage before Resurrection

Today, Agape is closed. Don’t worry- we are still feeding the horses. But, otherwise today is dedicated to remembering and dwelling on what this season is all about. So what is it about? On Sunday, we will gather and celebrate Christ’s resurrection. We may have egg hunts, egg paintings, meals with loved ones – it will be a day of hope and thankfulness. Yes, we are a Hallelujah people, and redemption is our song. But… this is what keeps repeating in my heart and mind….. wreckage always comes before resurrection. Maybe this is because in many ways I feel like

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10 Ways to Experience the Helper’s High

Achoooo! Nope. Not going to apologize this time. Today, I’m sneezing random acts of kindness everywhere and I’m not going to apologize for it. In fact, I want you to catch it and then spread it with me. Why?

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Taking Unbridled Hope On The Road

They were sitting quietly, basking in the sun-filled courtyard, waiting patiently for Prince and Smokey to arrive. As we led the two minis in, the room was suddenly filled with chatter and excitement. Some were hesitant to say hello, while some eagerly pushed their walkers out of the way. Suddenly conversations about horses, family farms, and animals filled the air. We made our way around the courtyard so that everyone had a chance to get close. Some simply wanted to stroke their soft coats, some brushed their wiry manes, while others just observed. The joy was palpable, and the social

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Dear Future Agape

Yesterday, we shared with you a note that our founder wrote for the time capsule reflecting on our history. Today, we share a letter that our Executive Director wrote to our future leadership, staff and volunteers that was also sealed in the time capsule. Agape’s history is rich with grit and faith. Our present is overflowing with commitment, passion and hope. And we know that our future is strong and bright. For everyone who has walked with us through this journey – Thank  you. Again – we ask that at the very end of our 30th anniversary year that you

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All Things – A letter from our Founder

    As 2016 comes to a close, we are beginning to look ahead to the next chapters of our story. Our 30th anniversary year has been filled with so many wonderful memories and celebrations. Our founder, Cheryl Miller, reflected on the past three decades and wrote this letter for our time capsule. As we wrap up 3 decades of horse-assisted services we know one thing for sure – that in ALL things God works for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose. The difficult, the happy, the sad – All things have

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How far do the lessons learned from the saddle travel?

Everyday Agape instructors and horses zone in on teaching skills that strengthen someone’s life not only when they are in the saddle, but more importantly the skills they need to grow in every area of their life. While the goals vary from person to person depending on the challenges that one is facing – whether it’s communication skills, processing skills, coping with emotions, or even motor skills – the ultimate mission is that each participant that comes to our barn leaves better equipped with what they need to thrive in their world outside of the barn. We often battle the misconception

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