Early 2001 I found myself newly graduated from UNH and working at a barn that imported Friesians from Holland. They had four weanlings, two two year olds and a four year old mare named Sientje. Sientje was imported in foal to the stallion Ildert 355.
I was able to ride her a little before she foaled. She was just 4 and not very knowledgeable of working undersaddle. Given the time of year and her in-foal state, we just tooled around the ring a little and went on nice quiet trail rides.
On February 26th, 2001, Sientje foaled the most adoreable filly. Curly coated, wrinkle eared and all legs, she was shy and curious....perfect in every way.
Tragically, Sientje was lost to colic when Daatje was only 28 days old. Great thanks to my vet at the time who helped me put together a bottle feeding schedule for the little filly. The barn owners set me to task thinking of a name for her.....
After searching online for Dutch baby names, I came up with a favorite: Daatje. Its meaning is "Dear One"; she certainly was that. I'll never forget my first day back to the barn after Sientje was gone. Seeing the little one in a stall, all alone, calling for her mother was so terribly sad! Poor mare, poor filly.
I'll never forget cradling her head in my arms while she vigorously gulped down gallons of Foal-lac. Oh how she loved her milk!
And so began the life of Daatje, the little orphan Friesian filly. In a small barn in Chester, NH. Naturally, I fell in love with the little dear. I worked out an agreement with the barn owners, and purchased Daatje in late summer, 2001.
She came home to be with me in August, at the age of six months.