The Circle of Life – R.I.P

Ciboney My Darling

Sunrise 17th of May 1997.

Sunset 10th of September 2015.

This week my very special lead mare Darling left us. Even though she is not running free with her herd anymore,  she is still present through all the lessons and love she gave to us.

I rescued Darling and her herd eight years ago. During this beautiful time Darling taught me and other students hundreds of life lessons. She brought us awareness to the nature around us, how to deal with fear, to speak with clarity, how to love the sunsets, to dance, to have fun and how to create a beautiful partnership between horses and humans.

DarlingDarling opened doors in people’s hearts to reconnect with themselves and question what is really important in their lives. Questions like; how important is branded shoes and dresses, new cars, fancy ear rings and winning the comparasing game… were pondered time and time again. She taught many of us to live with less, listen to the music from the birds, love the orchestra of the jungle, cherish the moment and reconnect with nature.

Reconnecting with nature and understanding our very own role on mother earth is perhaps the most important lessons we all need today. These lessons are beyond any riding, liberty or horsemanship lessons. Many of us share a dream of a more just world for horses, humans and all living beings.

The distance between our dreams and reality is called action.

Here is what one of my favorite philosophers, Jonna Macy, writes about “The Great Turning” which is a call for action for all of us.

da2“The Great Turning is a name for the essential adventure of our time: the shift from the industrial growth society to a life-sustaining civilization.

The ecological and social crises we face are inflamed by an economic system dependent on accelerating growth. This self-destructing political economy sets its goals and measures its performance in terms of ever-increasing corporate profits–in other words by how fast materials can be extracted from Earth and turned into consumer products, weapons, and waste.

A revolution is underway because people are realizing that our needs can be met without destroying our world. We have the technical knowledge, the communication tools, and material resources to grow enough food, ensure clean air and water, and meet rational energy needs. Future generations, if there is a livable world for them, will look back at the epochal transition we are making to a life-sustaining society. And they may well call this the time of the Great Turning. It is happening now.da4

Whether or not it is recognized by corporate-controlled media, the Great Turning is a reality. Although we cannot know yet if it will take hold in time for humans and other complex life forms to survive, we can know that it is under way. And it is gaining momentum, through the actions of countless individuals and groups around the world.

To see this as the larger context of our lives clears our vision and summons our courage.”

Death is a part of the Circle of Life. But.. it is anyway hard to accept as your emotions take control of your heart and mind for a while.

I will end this blog with a small poem and a few videos of my beloved mare and the dance I will always share with her.

Much sunshine, rain and tears


Dearest Darling,

I am so grateful for what you taught me

to listen to the wind
to dance in the wind

to listen to the rain
to dance in the rain

to listen to the birds
and fly with you forever
between the sunset and the sunrise.

From the rivers of tears we water the new grass.





Servant of Peace – In Loving Memory

SVG Horse School on FB


  1. Dear Stina, I read this with great sorrow to know that Darling has passed on. The only solace is that her suffering is past, and she can run free where ever she is now. I know how hard this is for you, because you won’t be seeing her every day on earth. But she will be in your heart forever.

    It is beautiful to hear how she touched so many lives. You gave her a really good life and that’s what is remembered. I will say that since Khami passed on (the anniversary of it is this coming Tuesday – one month), I think of him always, but I feel him running free and happy. And that’s what I hope for your girl.

  2. Dear Stina, My deepest sympathy to you. I loved Darling, too, from reading your words about her for the past 6 years. She blessed the world with her beauty, her depth of feeling and her intelligence. I know she will be forever in your heart. Run free, Darling and Stina.
    Blessings from the Plains and the herd at Spirit Horse Ranch,

  3. Dear Stina,

    Tears in my eyes…
    May all the fabulous memories Darling created in your and others’ lives live on, and may her beautiful spirit stay in your heart forever ❤ !

    Lots of love and strength,

  4. Dear Stina! I had to read it two times to actually realize what was said with your words and i couldn’t stop crying because I knew Darling myself- she was amazing soul and she taught me so much about personal boundaries and how to be in the moment. I am beyond sad and so sorry you lost not only your best friend but your greatest teacher as well. I know it is a circle of life and death is part of it but it doesn’t make it easier for ones who stay. I am sure Darling now is running wild and free in a horse paradise with all other horses:-) Her body may not be there with you and other herd members but its her soul that lives forever and I am sure that wherever you go and whatever you do she will be right there with you, watching how you play with other horses and giving you love every step of the way!!!
    Darling will always be in our hearts and memories…
    Sending you my love and support


  5. Oh no, so sorry for your loss. She’s in my heart and I see her running happily on the meadows somewhere over the rainbow now.
    But I feel so sad.
    Darling, you will always be remembered.
    ❤ ❤ ❤


    • Thank you Amanda, I really appreciate your support. I remember the lessons with you and Darling very well and how she danced for us under the rainbow.

  6. Even though I’ve been here the whole time, reading your blog, and especilly the poem, made it final for me. Darling was a great teacher, I will remember all the lessons she taught me and I will miss her a lot.

  7. How sad, I’m so sorry to read this! She had such a sweet face! Hugs to all of you who gave her a good life! ❤

  8. Stina,

    Darling offered so much to so many. She is an incredible teacher of
    love and all the parts in between-the bliss, the fear, the hope, the
    pain. Today I sit thinking of all she offered me, of how she enabled me
    to walk a bit taller and speak a bit louder, how she made me take a
    hard, long look in the mirror even when I didn’t want to. I think of her
    friendship and the shoulder that was always available, of how she kept
    my company and let me keep hers. I think of you and her and I and
    everyone all together and I am so grateful for what I’ve experienced, so
    grateful that our paths have crossed.


    A wish of freedom, the quiet of wild, a dash of thunder in pouring rain.
    Thank you.

    I love you.


  9. Dear Stina,
    I am so sorry for your loss.
    Ciboney My Darling, I remember the day you were born in my back yard. Your long legs and pretty face. The miracle of birth and seeing you grow up to run with the other horses was a great joy. Through circumstances you were taken from me. I can never thank Stina for rescuing you and the others.
    And what a marvellous life you had together!! You were a great teacher and student. Now, healthy again, run little horse with the spirits in the sky.
    Never to be forgotten,
    Know that you were loved!


  10. I hope this little poem will bring you some comfort….

    From the Heart Of The Horse

    If I go, you may cry
    But really gone I’m not
    My body now is a thousand things
    Together we shared a lot
    I am the wind, I am the rain
    I am the sun, the young grass
    I am the snow, and thousand things
    I am who I once was……

    And if you wake up, than view the trees and the blue sky
    See the Butterfly’s and flowers
    Look at the birds in their flight……..
    In a thousand things you’ll see and find me,
    Since I left my body behind
    These thousand things are now my life

    Listen to your heart, and you’ll find me whispering from my heart
    And you will know……..Really gone I’m not…..

    I wish you strength and Love…..


    • Dear Petra, what a beautiful poem. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. I will see you soon. Looking so much forward to work with you. You will get to spend alot of time with Darling’s herd – Jack, Spirit, Elena, Magic and Moonlight. The sunrise and sunset will take to a new place of peace and deep love for our common planet.

  11. Dear Stina,

    I really sorry darling’s death, I know you love these horses and they are more than your companions in this life, I’m sure someday you will meet again with darling with her soul, as eternal souls as we all are.
    This article is beautiful, the reference to the letter of Jonna Macy is inspiring and is completely the spirit of darling’s life, I remember once a therapy with me, darling and jack, Darling was a great teacher, I will remember all the lessons, she will be in my heart forever. RIP DARLING.

  12. Oh Stina… I am so sorry for your loss. I can only imagine the pain this must be for you and the herd. I feel that Darling had a great mission which she accomplished with grace; she helped you learn and, in return, teach humans around the world… Her dance of life has touched and even changed people’s perceptions and understanding around the world, including me. What a great soul! I am cradling you in my invisible arms right now, trying to ease your sorrow a little.

    Love and light,


  13. Beautiful. Blessings. Love.
    Peace is with Darling now.
    No more suffering.
    She will be alive in Spirit with all of us always from here on.
    Big hug Stina xx

  14. Dear Stina,
    You and Darling gave each other beautiful gifts.
    She will be missed so much.
    May her spirit live on in the many hearts she touched.

    • Monica, thank you so much. It’s just right what you write- we gave each other beautiful gifts. Hope to see you soon here. Looking forward to have you as a student.

  15. Emiliano, photographer and artist

    “I´m also very grateful with you, because the invitation to photograph her and seeing her shining brown shape full of energy and euphoria for life was for sure the most intimate connection I had with her. I also hope that everything is going very good and progressing with lots of joy.”

  16. Dear Stina, I was shocked to hear this news, and so saddened. What a huge, empty Darling-shaped space you must feel in your life right now. She was an amazing being, and a great teacher. Thank you for sharing her with your students and those of us who follow your work.

    She will always be with you.

    Sending much love and big hugs.

    — Kay

    • Dear Kay, thank you so much for your kind words. All the support really wonderful. We have followed each others journey for some years so thank you for writing in today. Hope we meet one day.

  17. Stina, I’m so sorry to hear about your loss.
    To read this fills my eyes with tears, you write so beautiful about Darling.
    I can feel your love for her in every word.
    “…to listen to the birds
    and fly with you forever
    between the sunset and the sunrise”

    Even tough I never met Darling her beauty and spirit has enlightend my life many, many times through your videos.
    I imagine that loosing her must have left a big empty hole both in your life and in the life of the herd.

    I wish I could write something to comfort you, I find no words… But I hope my thoughts of love and light will reach you.

    Hope to see you again someday.

    -Helene Backlund

    • Dear Helene, so nice to hear from you again. Just the fact that you are writing in is comforting, so thank you for taking the time. I will send you an email, I will be in Norway very soon, maybe we can meet.

  18. Dear Stina, I am so very sorry for your loss of your beautiful friend.
    Though we carry them in our hearts always, there remains {for me at least} such a deep longing for their physical presence. My heart is with you.

    Much love,

    • Dear Robin,
      Thank you so much for your comment.
      I so agree with what you write I will carry her in my heart always, but have a deep longing for her physical presence. I do think this experience inspire me to write more about the way of keeping horses and the way of being horses that is so beneficial for horses, nature and humans.
      Darling lived in her herd and could roam freely on big open spaces with great views, shade and something to eat.
      She could inspire her students to a new way of being with horses – she did this again and again and it was so beautiful to see.
      Much sunshine and love

  19. Dear Stina,

    I was so moved by your beautiful tribute to Darling. I have watched many video’s of the two of you, and her herd, and am flooded with the love that flows between you. I was hoping to meet Darling in person, but sadly that was not to be. Though I already feel I know her. When I read your tribute, and even as I stand from afar it is impossible to not to witness and feel the love between you. It reminds me that we are One with the One who created all things, and love is our operating system. Darling taught me even from the wonderful video’s of her majestic self, running free, dancing with life and knowing how much she was loved. She taught me never to postpone joy, or let my love flow free. Thank you for giving her such a wonderful life, and sharing it with us. God bless and much love, Pauline

    • Pauline, thank you so much. Your words are very beautiful, you will meet Darling through the other horses that are here and now. I look forward to have you here!

      • Dear Stina,

        I can’t help but feel sad when special animal friends leave their bodies behind. I have been sobbing about Darling’s departure and your video and words are tearing my heart. But I know that as a member of the Spirit Herd, Darling is still a strong energy in this world, here on this side, maybe even stronger. She will always be there for you if you need her.

        It was a joy to work with Lisa. It felt like I had a set of hands in the Caribbean.

        Sending my best wishes,


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