Coming Out – Where Dressage Meets Spirituality

gato nov 3
Catherine Louise Birmingham with the remarkable stallion Gato. Photo taken by the talented Nabila Putri Shariva.

Not long ago I published an article with LinkedIn on the ego in our industry and if our love of horses could overcome it. I wanted to share it here but with some more detail and personal additions to it.

Slowly the equestrian world has begun to part waters and form a rift between two worlds – one of professional sport and the other of naturalists and therapy work.

I believe in both.

Unfortunately for me right now the vast majority of the world I work in still does not. I believe we can change this, we will and it is becoming thankfully, inevitable. When people begin to stand against the abuse, torture, dis-respect and freedom of our animals, we begin to take a step forward towards empathy and compassion towards our planet and fellow human beings. The empowering shift is in the awareness, love, compassion and respect of our own Self.

Empowerment and the Voice of our Souls

How many times have we held back the voice of our gut feelings, the voice of our hearts truest desire, the voice of our soul speaking so loud and clear, all for the sake of fear?

You have at every moment the choice to be who you are and grow and learn in the direction of your Soul.


You can choose to be who others want you to be and learn the repeated lessons of someone else’s ego.

I seem to have chosen the former – I have chosen to be me and listen to the callings of my Soul.
Although I have noticed a rebellion of ego’s in others around me – including my own, I believe that our Souls are present and pushing through regardless.

I have always been strong and able to train hard but I am also extremely sensitive and Spiritual. I have had desires for Enlightenment, Self Mastery and Love as well as riding my heart out with every horse that comes my way, towards the hope of Grand Prix but without the desire to compete. I have had the unbelievable chance and opportunities in the past to nurture, learn, discover and work with Classical German Dressage training, equine behavior and psychology together with the freedom of my own intuition, feel and animal communication by learning on my own to ride, as a child, bareback with my trusted friend Tonto. But being sensitive in a hard business world did take its toll on me too, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. The hard days were draining and going against the grain often wore out the life in my heart. It closed me off from my sensitivity and at one point broke my body to the point that surgeons said I would never ride again during my time in Germany. It forced me into bankruptcy in Australia where I lost my training Stables and home and took me away from the very thing I loved most in this world – my animals. All because I had a deep love, a love for horses, a love for training but most of all a love for truth.

There was nothing anyone was going to say or do that would make me live a life contrary to what I knew in my heart I had come here to live. Even after all the travel, the loss, the new beginnings, the gains and the loneliness, for the growth and effect it made in myself, my Soul, the horses and many of the amazing people I have had the opportunity to coach, I would not change the lessons I have learned and the choices I have made for all the glory of the world.

The choice to honor and respect who I am, the choice to honor and respect the divine horses that I am able to work with and the choice to honor and respect the higher purpose of the people and places I have been so fortunate to have moved through.

'There is no finish line, life is the experience and fear is the force of growth. Love is waiting on the other side.' Catherine Louise Birmingham with Landetta
‘There is no finish line, life is the experience and fear is the force of growth. Love is waiting on the other side.’ Catherine Louise Birmingham with Landetta at Arthayasa, Indonesia.

Whatever your part is within this ‘horse world’, know that we are all in this together. We created it as a whole from each individual. We came into horses as a career because of the love for them and having them in our lives.

Whether it is Racing, Dressage, Showjumping, Western, Spanish riding, Equine Assisted Therapy, naturalists, professionals, grooms, owners or hobby riders – we are ALL responsible for the health and happiness of the horses we have brought into our lives.

Short term gain will always lead to long term loss. Leading from pride, greed and ego create pain for all involved. Before you point a finger and blame someone else’s doing or the particular industry you work with, ask yourself every day what choice you are making –

Am I honoring my own heart?


Am I being who someone else is telling me to be?

Although my own ego, fear and pain still arises for me to grow from, if I can trust my spirit enough, I know that each small step each of us can take towards our own hearts truth, we will all do our small part in making this world and these amazing horses that have come here to teach us, a brighter place for the hearts, minds and souls of both horses and humans to be in.

Success and respect for our horses and the people who work with them, no matter their position – CAN co-exist.

my mission
One of my hearts missions

Your Soul knows the right answer for you at every moment of your life, take the risk and start to listen to its messages, the world needs – especially the horse world – a few more hearts leading the way instead of fear and egos. Do your part, for you if not for anyone else xoxoxo


Please feel free to comment below, this is a beautiful place where Dressage meets Spirituality and I would love to hear your thoughts on what I write and what it may bring up in you.

Always my love to you all xoxox

2 thoughts on “Coming Out – Where Dressage Meets Spirituality

  1. Hi Catherine,

    I love reading your posts sometimes I read the same one twice, but that’s just my head probably these daysJ Just reading your post here and the first sentence below , stuck out, as there are ego’s in every profession, especially in Australia I’ve noticed the tall poppy syndrome in business which has been on a rollercoaster (so to speak ) for many many years, individuals ca of course choose to be part of that or not (follower or a leader), the latter (leader) is the road to stay on. My choice was to leave this world behind and hence why it may have seem to some my quietness this year. My next career move has been in transit for many years.

    Email you again soon.

    Have a good day,


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello Michelle!
    It is a common thing, in most of the world, where certain parts of any place are overrun by souls still stuck in the illusion of life and their ego’s take over, I am only glad that for you individually, your life is making that shift towards the true desires of your Soul and the rest of the world is lighting up because of that. Wherever you go Michelle and whatever it is that you or anyone do with that inner change, if it is in alignment with your heart, you can never go wrong! hehehe
    Big hugs to you and I am so glad you enjoy the articles here 🙂
    Much love to you xoxo


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