Strengthening the mind, body, spirit


Kenya is a participant in one of Agape’s Equine Assisted Learning groups.

Submitted photo

Editor’s note: The Daily Reporter is partnering with the Hancock County Community Foundation to highlight local nonprofit organizations in the community, what they offer and how they could enhance their services through additional funding from Match Day.

Mackenzie Blake participates in horse-assisted experiences through Agape. Submitted photo

Featured Match Day participant: Agape

Executive director: Stephanie Amick

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

Community offerings: Founded in 1986, Agape is an accredited center offering equine-assisted services to individuals in need, including those with physical, mental, cognitive and emotional disabilities, as well as other life challenges. Agape provides therapeutic riding, equine-assisted learning, summer camps, and mobile visits. Agape has two locations: Agape North in Hamilton County (Cicero) and Agape East in Hancock County (Greenfield). Agape has served people from 20 different counties through nearly 7,000 lessons. The Greenfield location has served 137 individuals, all of whom received a scholarship or benefitted from reduced costs because of generous donations received throughout the year. As Agape continues to grow, the need for therapeutic riding services in Hancock County has also increased.

Match Day funding plans: There are two areas where Agape plans to use grant funds. The first priority is Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) classes, which are group classes that help participants develop life skills through tasks with horses. Coming to the Agape East barn gives participants a break from the chaos, stress, and struggles they face in their everyday lives. They have a chance to let down their guards and spend time outside interacting with the horses. Participants learn how to work together, support and encourage each other, become more confident, and for many their time around the horses helps them to find hope and healing. The other area for funding plans is the Rider Scholarship Fund. Lessons cost $45 per rider, per lesson. Funding from the operating grant would be applied to riders and families who need financial assistance and otherwise would not be able to afford equine therapy.