Foster Hope. Uplift Downtrodden. Transform Lives.
WHO WE ARE
Stir-n-Up Hope is a 501(c)(3) Therapeutic Horsemanship Center, founded in 2002 by Tommy and Kelly Epperson. We exist as a place of hope! We have seen this hope uplift the downtrodden, help people reach goals they once thought were impossible, and change individuals, families, classrooms, and even our community. This hope is fostered through relationship-centered programs where participants connect with our equines in divinely-inspired ways. The relationship between the equine and individual can lead to healing transformations at the physical, emotional, and spiritual levels.
Stir-n-Up Hope was founded in 2002 by Tommy and Kelly Epperson in Rockport, IN. The Eppersons’ vision for the organization emerged when a close friend was searching for a therapeutic riding center to help their daughter who had a physical handicap. Her doctor knew that horseback riding could improve her core strength and balance, and believed it was the key to helping her be able to walk. Their family had been on a waiting list for three years at the nearest center, which was almost two hours away.
The friend approached the Eppersons about using their family’s horses to help their daughter. In response, Tommy and Kelly began to learn about the many benefits of horsemanship and how thousands of people have had their lives enriched at Therapeutic Equine Centers. With a giant leap of faith, Tommy and Kelly said, “YES!” Thus, Stir-n-Up Hope had its humble beginnings in the backyard of a Rockport family who followed God’s prompting to meet a need in their community. God inspired the details, including our logo, mission statement, and agency scripture.
Stir-n-Up Hope grew quickly. What started as an organization meant to serve one child, quickly grew to a client list of a dozen individuals a year. For well over a decade, God continued revealing ways He could use this organization until it became clear that the need exceeded the capacity of our location.
In 2017, Ken and DeNae Mulzer generously donated the funds needed for Stir-n-Up Hope to purchase our current barn and pasture. Our facility includes an indoor arena, which allows us to serve our participants in rain or shine!
For over two decades, Stir-n-Up Hope has been committed to pursuing our mission and serving our community however God leads us. Since 2002, we have developed several new programs, added three additional instructors, extended our service schedule, and have assisted hundreds of people in Spencer and surrounding Indiana and Kentucky counties.
For the first 16 years, Stir-n-Up Hope provided all services for free. While we cannot continue to provide all our services for free, our scholarship program involves a commitment to our community that we will never deny a participant due to inability to pay. God has sustained us and allowed us to keep that commitment for well over two decades. Stir-n-Up Hope exists, and has continued to exist, because God has planted it as a place of hope. All are welcome!