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Riding Horseback in Purple

Re-awakening the Dream of Owning a Horse

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Are you ready for a horse?

How do you find the right horse?

How do you prepare for your horse’s arrival?

How do you learn together and build a relationship?

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.

Reviews of Riding Horseback in Purple

Reviews for Riding Horseback in Purple

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 into owning a horse of their own!”

Allan J. Hamilton, MD, Professor of Neurosurgery and author of Zen Mind, Zen Horse

horse eye
riding horseback
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horse love

Excerpt from Riding Horseback in Purple

There is no point trying to disguise an emotion around your horse. Sometimes if I can’t shake a negative emotion, I talk to my horse about it. I know she doesn’t understand the words, but it helps me to be in the moment and aware of what is going on with my energy. She really pays attention when we have these “conversations.”

Table of Contents

Part one
The Dream: Exploring and Building Readiness

  1. The Dream That Would Not Go Away
  2. White Wine and Carrots:  On Being a Mature Horsewoman
  3. Begin Your Search for the “Right” Horse
  4. Do You Really Have What It Takes?
  5. Narrowing Your Search for the Perfect Match
  6. Getting Other Essentials in Place
  7. The Big Arrival

Part two
The Awakening: The Relationship Begins

  1. Women and Horses
  2. Learning to Speak Horse: The C Words
  3. Learning to Speak Equestrian
  4. Learning to Make Your Own Decisions
  5. Fear and Courage
  6. Where Might This Road Take You?
Riding Horseback in Purple book

Alice’s Blog

Writing Riding Horseback in Purple

"Riding Horseback in Purple: Reawakening the dream of owning a horse" was one of those books that just had to be written. Friends pushed me into starting a draft, because they said I had learned so much about horses and horse ownership. At first, that made no sense to...

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Why Purple?

The title of Riding Horseback in Purple is inspired by the first line of Jenny Joseph’s cheerfully rebellious poem, “Warning”: “When I am an old woman I shall wear purple.” This book is written for women, like me, who are somewhat near what they think of as...

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Riding Horseback in Purple Cover

I knew I wanted a spectacular cover for my book: Riding Horseback in Purple. The book is about the beauty of relationships between humans and horses. When I see a beautiful horse, it still takes my breath away, just as it did when I was a child. I wanted the reader’s...

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