Seamus is an Irish Sport Horse, brought over from Ireland in 0000. He was in the states just two weeks when he got loose in a barn and did such serious damage to his eye that it had to be removed. Abandoned by his owner after the accident, Seamus went from one bad situation to another until Carol Jordan found him in 2010. “We had to put 300 pounds on him and his feet were in terrible shape, but he is the most trusting, sweet and gentle horse I have ever owned. I even showed him in dressage and he did very well.”
This is the kind of heart you need for horses and horse people if you’re going to invest your time and resources into a successful small business, focused on serving the equestrian community. Which is just what Carol has done with Sesroh Tack Shoppe. (Children usually get it right away, but it seem to take adults a bit longer to catch the meaning of the unusual name. Sesroh in simply “horses,” spelled backwards!)
Although born on Long Island and raised in New York City, Carol attended James Madison University, and this city gal has remained in Virginia ever since. She and her husband, Vince, landed in Smithfield where they opened Sesroh in November of 2006, after recognizing a need for a full-service tack shop in the area. “We were tired of shopping on-line and returning items that were not what they appeared to be. There is nothing like seeing, feeling items, and having a knowledgeable person help you with your purchases. That was lacking in Isle of Wight.”
And the community has embraced their efforts. In 2007, after being in business for just six months, Carol and Vince were named “Entrepreneurs of the Year” by the Isle of Wight County Department of Economic Development. They were also selected as “Business of the Year” in 2011 by the Isle of Wight/Smithfield/Windsor Chamber of Commerce.
Carol says that one of the secrets to their success is that, “We offer EVERYTHING horse.” Walking into Sesroh’s new 4,000 square foot home on South Church Street (they just moved into the new digs in November of 2015), you will readily agree.
Room after room, upstairs and down, are filled with: horse tack, show riding attire, boots (both English riding and Western), helmets, blankets, grooming supplies, stable supplies, supplements, items for dogs, purses, treats, stocking stuffers, party goodies, mugs, t-shirts, sweatshirts, back packs, lunchboxes, hats, Purina Feed (dog, cat, goat, alpaca, chicken, horse and many more), orchard grass hay, even horse underwear! There’s also items made by local craftspeople such as horsehair bracelets, jewelry, paintings, drawings, books by local authors, and horse shoe art by a local welder.
Sesroh specializes in trail riding items. It also boasts the area’s largest selection of Breyer Horses and “Trail of the Painted Ponies” horse figures –favorites with children. The shop is known for their popular consignment section where customers can consign or buy gently used show clothing, saddles, boots and other horse items. Sesroh also offers leather repair through local craftsman, and have started a custom decal and personalization service for cars, walls, stores, boats, clothing and saddle pads! Check them out on Etsy at SD Custom Decals.
You can see why customers are loyal and some are willing to travel to Sesroh from as far away as South Carolina on a regular basis. But the large selection is not the only draw.
As Carol says, “I LOVE to talk to people. My family hates to go anywhere with me because I will be sure to see someone I know through the shop and stop to talk. We have so many great customers that have been with us for so long and they are always happy to share their horse stories with us. Like the woman who went out to move her horses to another field after a terrible rain. As she was walking in the mud she stepped into a giant mud hole, lost her boots and was stuck. She stood there in the hole, yelling for help for quite a while. Her horses just gathered around her looking at her as if she was crazy. A neighbor happened to be driving by on his tractor and heard her yelling. He had to tie a rope around her waist to pull her out with the tractor!”
Clearly Carol enjoys what she does and the people she does it for. It’s something she has been passionate about from the tender age of 10, when she took a job at a local riding stable, using her earnings to rent a horse to ride. Today, Sesroh is at the very center of the area’s local Equine community. It’s become a clearing house for the many activities in the area, offering a message board and Facebook page for posting information about equine services, sales and events. And with Carol at the heart of it all, this community is well-served.
Visit the shop today. Even if you aren’t a horse person, you’ll be greeted by Carol or one of her associates who will be happy to show you around and answer any questions you may have about “EVERYTHING horse!” Maybe you’ll be inspired to find your own Seamus.
Sesroh Tack Shoppe, 1607 South Church Street, Smithfield, VA 23430, 757.356.9234