Honoring Agape South at Bradford Woods

By February 24, 2021News

On January 28, 2021, we announced the difficult decision that we would cease operation at our South site on the Indiana University Bradford Woods campus, and we shared this with you – our participant families, our volunteers, our vendors, and our stakeholders. We know that this has been a devastating loss to the entire community who were affected by this decision, and we want to hold space for that grief. 

To be completely transparent, the pandemic has significantly impacted every aspect of how our organization functions. This has included staffing, programming, horses, and finances. As a result, the Agape Team and Board of Directors have had to make key decisions to ensure the sustainability of the overall organization for the future. 

This decision was not easy to make for any of us. The entire Agape staff, along with the Board of Directors, met multiple times to discuss the future of Agape South, and ultimately we unanimously agreed that we could not sustain a quality program at South. We know that this will be a deeply personal loss for everyone involved; it is deeply personal for us as well. Bradford Woods is where Cheryl and Dawn Miller first started serving people through horses; it is where Agape was born. We were blessed to return to our roots in 2014 by partnering with Bradford Woods to provide equine-assisted services once again. And now–we’re saying goodbye again.

There are no other words except we are sorry to be parting ways with Indiana University Bradford Woods. It has truly been an honor to serve the Southside community. We want you to know that we will do all that we can to ensure the success of Bradford Woods and will be supporting them in finding a new equine-assisted therapies partner that is a perfect fit. It is incredibly important for the new partner to fill the ever-important needs of our South family.

To our Agape South riders, volunteers, community partners, and summer campers you are valued members of our community and are a huge part of our Agape family. We have loved, and we cherish, every moment of sharing your journey and are incredibly saddened to know how this decision must deeply impact you and your families. This place has impacted thousands of lives, which is truly remarkable

We will be hosting an Agape South Reunion at the East location in Greenfield on Saturday, March 27 from 12:00 to 3:00 pm. Please join us to share memories, gather with your Agape South friends, and spend time with the horses. If you want to ride at the reunion, please complete this brief form so we can prepare a horse for you. We hope to see you there as we reflect on all the wonderful people and impact that was made at Agape South. 

Right now you are probably feeling a great sense of sadness and loss. I want to assure you, we are too. We know this loss is one more among many. We are here to listen and grieve with you. We are mourning this loss too.

Please share your memories, pictures, and stories with Emily Padgett at programdirector@agaperiding.org.  All the pictures you share will be put together into a special collage and displayed for all who come to the barn. 

Thank you for walking alongside Agape as we walked alongside you and your family. It has been one of our greatest honors to serve you through partnering with horses. We could never express the fullness of our joy in being with you, our sorrow in this decision, or our gratitude in serving you.


  • sandy segneri says:

    It was here at Bradford woods during “The Mane Event”, that Julianna was first introduced to Agape and the horses. She had never seen a horse closeup and was a very sad and angry little girl who had lost her mom to a horrible tragic death. It was love at first sight! It was pouring down rain at the Mane Event and she insisted on staying! Umbrellas in hand, happily stomping through mud puddles she stopped to touch every horse she was allowed to. Watching her face as she watched the riders come out and perform, she’s turned to me with eager anticipation in her eyes and asked, “Will I learn to do all this?” Starting on her 3rd season with Agape she is counting the days to be back at the Greenfield barn and often asks to be taken by just to get a glimpse of the horses. Agape Transformed a heartbroken and angry kid into a confident, skilled and disciplined young lady. She gets so much from her weekly lessons that I never thought possible! The bond she feels with the horse she rides is like no other. We are blessed to be part of the Agape family and will always be so thankful that she was able to experience Agape South @Bradford Woods for her first equine experience!

  • Timothy M McGinnis says:

    Tim would love to that day.
    We love Agape very much. It is and has been a vital part of our life. The memories we made are outstandingly beautiful.

  • Michelle Cloud says:

    I loved volunteering at Agape South; it was close to home and being there was always relaxing and mentally freeing. I loved working with the horses, the kids during camp, and being apart of that family. I will miss this location, the people, the kids, and most of all the horses. My 23 year old son enjoyed his time there as well until we discovered he is either allergic to the hay or the horses. I have several fond memories of the activities and horses from Agape South and will continue to support this fabulous family; hoping to get back to volunteering this year now that I graduated college.

  • Bradford Woods was a highlight in my life. Lucky enough to be a riding and driving instructor.
    Seeing the kids faces when they saw the horses for the first time was a joy. Smiles were contagious
    from camp counselors to Moms and Dads.
    Driving in the field where the climbing tower is was our path. Ace and Jim loved their jobs
    especially when the geese were in front of us. The horse and carriage would turn heads.
    Handing the reins to a person who could not ride was a joy.
    Trail rides with the instructors were always full of laughs.

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