Complaint / review text:
Please beware of Mike and Kathryn Smith who operate a horse selling business/training facility off their property in Vale, NC. I went with a friend to look at a horse last year that was advertised as being the perfect trail horse. Red flags went up for me immediately after viewing their website: theshirefarms.com showing many, many videos and pictures of men doing all kinds of stunts on these horses.
Standing on their backs, jumping up and down, a girl doing backbends underneith a horse, etc. A good horse will sell itself but these people seemed to push the fact with their claims of "hundreds of pictures and videos", A BIG RED FLAG!
After talking with Kathryn she also seemed to have an answer for every question and every horse was perfect according to her. After watching one horse being ridden by a young man I could tell the animal wasn't as well trained as claimed. He wouldn't neck rein but had to be pulled around and wouldn't back without throwing his head up. Kathryn claimed he was just having an "off day". She had an age and exact foal date for each one even though most were unregistered. She also claimed to be a trainer even though her facility was bare and a few of the horses in training were much too young to be ridden in my opinion. I told Kathryn we needed to think about it and left.
Please take an experienced horse person with you BEFORE you buy from these people as my gut feeling was not good. After seeing these past reports listed here I guess I was right on. Use commen sense and caution, this women is a good talker. I had no idea they were called Shire Farms as she never made reference to that name.