A friend pointed out a Saddlebred geldingthat was rescued from a broker and now up for sale. The ad says this horses fron legs have been pin-fired. I do not agree with this practice, but it's alrady been done and has healed. How does this affect the horse long term besides scarring?
We bought a gelding a few years ago that was pinfired. We didn't know anything about it, and he was sound when he bought him, but a year later, his injury came back and took another year to recover. The vet told us pinfiring was only a quick fix. He has now been cleared for trail riding and easy rides, but he isn't 100% fixed, so I would avoid the horse.
Personally... I am not sure, and I would be interested to see what someone else says about this. I do not agree with this method either IMO.
A friend of mine used to ride a Standardbred that was off the track, he had been pin fired, he seemed to go lame quite commonly and was fairly stiff, although, I was told it was because he had been PF'd, but I am not sure about this at all.
One of the nicest event horses I have ever ridden was PF'd on all 4 legs(OTTB). He is still going strong as a school horse doing dressage and small cross rails.
I also used to ride a 1.50 jumper who was pf'd on the front(OTTB) and was sound as can be.
Worked with a few Standies that were pf'd as well and had no issues.
Do I agree with it? Nope, not at all. Does it mean you are going to run into soundness issues? Possibly. Is it the be all end all to any chance of the horse having a sound riding "career"? Not at all. Many horses have been pf and still go sound and strong. But there are also some that don't stay sound.
My sister rode an off the track Standardbred, Killer, who had been fired in his fronts. He loved to race (pacing), but after a couple of miles of trail riding he'd go lame. He was a friend's freebie horse from the track because of the lameness.
The problem is that pinfiring (IMO, a barbaric practice with no therapeutic value) is used as a one size fits all response to a variety of soundness issues and lamenesses including bucked shins, splits and tendon problems.
The only way to evaluate the horse's long term soundness is with a veterinary pre purchase exam, pin firing marks aren't indicative of anything other than that the previous owner was an idiot.
As a general rule, if the pin fire marks are on the front middle of the cannons, and nice and symmetrical, they were probably done in response to bucked shins, which are purely a result of being worked too hard too young, and don't mean anything in terms of long term soundness. Other locations and patterns are more of a concern.