RADFORD — With Mother’s Day coming Sunday, some families may still be scrambling to find a gift for the lady of the house.
Reagan Miles, the owner and operator of Winterfrost Farm, hopes to help. Throughout Mother’s Day weekend, the farm will offer families one- or two-hour trail rides with a family photo for $35 a person. With horse available for all ages and body types, Miles hopes families will take advantage of the fundraising event for the farm.
“All proceeds will help support the rescue horses here,” Miles said.
The 60 horses on the farm were all rescued from throughout Virginia, she said.
“They come to us for a variety of reasons. Some people need help with the horses, other times it’s because animal control has stepped in,” Miles said. “Some horses have gone through neglect or have serious medical conditions that owners weren’t expecting. They come from all sorts of backgrounds.”
The horses are split up in a variety of areas, depending on their needs.
“Some of the horses I keep at my home. They are the particularly needy ones due to health issues. That way I can help them quickly,” Miles said.
The horses housed on their farm at 100 High Meadow Parkway in Radford are rehabilitated or on their way to being ready for the program. The farm then trains the horses for trail riding to help them become ready for adoption.
Miles grew up with horses and can testify to the benefits of working with the large animals.
“My mom had horses as a kid and we just kept with it. When I was nine or ten, we got our first rescue horse,” Miles said. “The state seized her. When we brought her home, I fell in love with the process of rehabilitating horses.”
After growing up helping the animals, Miles was convinced she would become a large animal veterinarian. Upon returning from college, she began to apply for vet schools. Throughout the long application process, Miles continued to help with the horses, and realized there was an opportunity to get more involved with local horses.
“I honestly fell in love,” Miles said.
Now, six years later, the program has helped over 200 horses find new lives. The program allows for volunteers from all over the community to help with the horses.
“We have college and vet students, parents, kids, bankers and factory workers that help with the horses,” Miles said. “But it’s not all fun and games. We focus on feeding and general maintenance with the volunteers to ensure that our volunteers are serious about helping.”
After learning to care for the animals, then, and only then, are they allowed to help with trail rides. Because of the care the program takes with the animals and the volunteers, Miles feels as though the program is safe for people of all ages. Not only are the animals safe, but they can truly help, she said.
“We have had several kids come out that have been very shy and this boosted their confidence,” Miles said. “We had one who we were lucky if she said one word around more than one person. Now she is in talent shows and multiple sports. We don’t see her as often, but that’s a good thing. We helped.”
The Mother’s Day event will be by appointment anytime between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. May 8-10.
Additionally, the farm will host an open house from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday. With free admission and activities ranging from $1 to $10, the open house will feature short trail rides, a miniature pony, games, a petting zoo, food, etc. This will also be a fundraiser for the farm to help fund the care of the horses.
“We buy over a ton of feed a week, ranging form $600 to $700. That’s no including facility or vet bills,” Miles said.
Those who are unable to attend the fundraising events, but may still be interested in helping the cause, can visit www.gofundme.com/ridearescue to help fund vet bills.
For more information, visit winterfrostfarm.org or call 320-1697.