Alice E. MacGillivray of Gabriola Island was born in London, Ontario on November 20, 1952. She has been employed as a management consultant and a university faculty member. Her self-published book Riding Horseback in Purple (2014) addresses the questions: 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?

Alice MacGillivray moved to the coast of British Columbia as a young adult and felt instantly at home. Her love of nature shaped her writing of newspaper columns, as well as environmental education books for children, created as part of her work with park organizations. Her parks career constantly exposed her to new areas of learning, so she returned to school, initially to become a biologist. As a born systems thinker, she realized biology was not broad enough for her interests, so she created an interdisciplinary undergraduate degree that also focused on Aboriginal cultures and issues, and adult learning and education. This led to MA degrees and recently a PhD in Human and Organizational Systems with a focus on leadership. She is the Former Director, Knowledge Management Graduate Programs @ Royal Roads University.

Over the years, MacGillivray has published papers and chapters in several journals and non-fiction books, but craved more personal writing. In late 2012, a serious shoulder injury kept her from working or riding her new horse for some time. Friends kept commenting on how much she had learned about horses and that she should write a book. So she took on the challenge.

"I hope this book will help even a few women be better prepared for horse ownership. So many give up because they weren't ready, they hadn't developed learning communities, or they got the wrong horses. This book enabled me to weave together my expertise with adult learning, leadership--which is central to work with horses--and my growing understanding of horsemanship."

Riding Horseback in Purple includes stories and photographs from Gabriola Island where Alice lives and works from a straw bale home.

Review of the author's work by BC Studies:
Captain Alex MacLean: Jack London's Sea Wolf

Riding Horseback in Purple: Re-Awakening the Dream of Owning a Horse. (Gabriola Island: January, 2014).

[BCBW 2014]