Riding Horseback in Purple has been described as a "MUST read for ANYONE considering buying a horse," by horsewoman Patti Jo Walter, "well-researched and perfect for the beginner equestrian," by dressage coach and judge Deborah Fox, and a "journey chronicled with insight, wisdom and humor," by trainer Lori Albrough.
Many readers enjoy it simply as a good story.
“Alice MacGillivray has done us all a great favor by writing Riding Horseback in Purple: She has given us the exhortation to follow our passion for horses but tempered it with some of the soundest and most sage advice about how to do it. This book should become the bible for those wonderfully enthusiastic middle-aged souls who are pondering whether to return to their life-long passion for horses and finally making the jump to owning a horse of their own!”
Allan J. Hamilton, MD, Professor of Neurosurgery and author of Zen Mind, Zen Horse
“The author’s journey from total newbie to full-fledged equestrian and horse owner is chronicled with wisdom,insight, and humour. This engaging book lights the way for other mature women who are hoping to realize their own equestrian dream, while avoiding the pitfalls. A useful and practical guide, with a touch of the mystical that horses bring into our lives.”
Lori Albrough, Bluebird Lane Fjords
It is increasingly common for women to get their first horse-or first horse in decades-around retirement age. Some of these woman-horse matches are successful, but too frequently they don't work out. Such failures can leave women feeling unsuccessful and leave horses in precarious situations. The author has set out to help women connect with great horses so that they can grow, learn, and enjoy active lives as partners with their horses. The book covers basics such as whether you're ready for a horse, how to find the right horse and how to build a relationship with your horse. It also describes other ways of connecting with horses, such as volunteering with rescue centers.
The author is an expert in adult learning and many readers and reviewers have loved the book for the stories, the deep dive into learning and unlearning, the explorations of leadership, horses as ways of connecting with nature, and the beauty of relating to animals who see the world very differently than we humans do.
The breed featured most strongly in the book is the Norwegian Fjord: a rare and versatile breed often promoted as good for beginners. The animated horses in the movie "Frozen" were modeled after the sire of the author's horse.
Chapter titles range from "Do you Really Have What it Takes?" to "Learning to Speak Equestrian." Beneath the obvious topic of getting a horse, this book deals with healthy, positive aging; reflections on leadership; thoughts about male and female relationships with horses; and links between work with horses and connection with nature.