NOT FOR ME! NOT YET! But I will — I will! — be undergoing this process sometime, so when Sharon asked me to accompany her to Kilkenny to check out a chestnut mare, I was not going to say no.

I haven’t been on a road trip in a while, and as corny as it sounds, the Irish countryside is still spectacular to me. I would have, in the main, headed for Cork or the Galway road on past excursions, so the road to Kilkenny made a nice change: saw a hill with a standing stone, and marvelled anew that this country has the respect for the auld ways [for the most part] and no one’s knocked it down and thrown up a B&B or a petrol station. Most of the trees you see in the middle of fields, plowed all round, are most likely fairy trees. A friend and I had a serious conversation about ghosts the other day.

I love it here.

And I love talking about horses for two hours straight. We deviated from the general flow for maybe about, oh, 12 kilometres, but without fail, the chit chat was all about the gee gees.

Kilkenny is a lovely city south of Dublin; Sharon’s MapQuest said two hours, but we were dutifully waiting in what turned out to be the wrong petrol station half an hour ahead of time. This worked out well: we duly followed the directions to the proper petrol station, and in turn followed the seller to the DIY yard where Molly was living.

A big, gorgeous girl, all 16 hands of her, she gleamed with tender loving care. I’d seen her picture on the site that Sharon had found her on, and she was even more impressive in person. Sharon and the seller went over all the kinds of points that must be raised; I got just about all of it, and learned a few new things. The only things was…

She’s thirteen. It’s an issue. Sharon rode her really well, and Molly looked great — you could just tell, even the minute that Sharon got up there, that the horse had the correct amount of spirit, meaning: not so much that she balked at an unfamiliar rider. I can see that it’s a pretty… hmm. Not ‘dicey’ proposition… but you’re taking a chance, getting up there, on a strange horse, even if the ad says bombproof or whatever.

The way home was noticeably quieter. A good horse, but not the right horse. In a nutshell. We stopped for a lovely meal in Kilcullen and that was that, really. She wasn’t what Sharon was looking for, but Molly’s a good girl — hope she finds the right home soon.

As for me, as I inch closer and closer to my own search… well, maybe I’ll just continue to shop vicariously for the next while. It’s a big step, a big buy — a big commitment, and I’ll take my time about it. It did bring up the vision of my dream horse, though… must go have a look at the website…