pin firing and long term effects? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 10-18-2011, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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pin firing and long term effects?

I just purchased a OTTB that i have now found out was pin fired. I was told that this causes the horse to have no feeling in his legs from the knee down. IS THIS TRUE?? And if not is there anything i sould worry about now that i know this was done to him.
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post #2 of 9 Old 10-18-2011, 05:08 PM
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I didn't even know they still did that.
No, he has feeling in his legs. He's fine. Tickle him & test for yourself.
Congratulations on your new horse.
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post #3 of 9 Old 10-19-2011, 11:10 PM
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Just curious how old is the horse? This is a very out dated practice and has been proven that it does do more harm then good.
Personally, I do not consider a pin fired horse to be clean legged. This was done to either treat a bow or prevent another from happening. It shows that the horse has had a bow in the past. There where a few old track trainers who would pin fire anything they had with a bow or without, but I think they were the exception not the rule. They still have plenty of feeling, but have scar tissue on that tendon. I have seen horses that have pin fire marks all over their lower legs go sound, but I always wonder how they would do under any real stress. While your horse is most likely fine, it would be something to look out for.
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post #4 of 9 Old 10-20-2011, 04:27 AM
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My boy has been pin fired on his back legs as well just below his hocks. He's only 3, so would have had it done very recently.
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post #5 of 9 Old 10-20-2011, 06:51 AM
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It's a barbaric practice that's still around, unfortunatley.

Crosby, pinfiring isn't and wasn't just done for bows. It was and is more commonly done for bucked shins. If the pretty pattern of dots is on the front of the leg, mid cannon, it's likely that's what it was done for, not a bow.

Pin firing for splints is stll around, too - it will be pretty clear from the location if that was the reason.

Pin firing marks for bucked shins do not concern me in terms of long term soundness; bucked shins are not truly an unsoundness, they are purely a result of a young horse worked too hard too soon while the bone is still flexible.

Pin firing for splints and bucked shins "works" because the time off given for the pinfiring to heal is the time needed for the splint or bucked shin to resolve, so the practice persists.

It does nothing to damage the nerves, the person who told you that was misinformed or perhaps confusion pinfiring with nerving.

Enjoy your new horse and good luck!
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post #6 of 9 Old 10-20-2011, 07:00 AM
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I'm surprised to hear that pinfiring is still around. The last horse I had that was fired was a retired racing appaloosa that I had well into his teens and I used to jump and trail ride him - he also drove a cart. Never had a soundness issure but his cribbing drove me crazy - refuse to have another horse that cribs due to him. (That was back in the late 80's).

I've bought and sold a lot of horses since, but haven't come across a fired horse in the past 20 years. Hard to believe that your 3 year old was done.

I'm not arguing with you, I'm just explaining why I'm right.

Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

It's not always what you say but what they hear.

Last edited by iridehorses; 10-20-2011 at 07:03 AM.
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post #7 of 9 Old 10-20-2011, 08:25 AM
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I was quite surprised as well when I saw the marks. Its a weird location to have them as well. I've seen it done on the lower legs for tendons, but never just below the hocks on the back side of the leg like my boy has. Wonder what it was done for...
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post #8 of 9 Old 10-20-2011, 08:36 AM
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The idea of "firing" is to create many small wounds that will encourage lots of healing fluids to be rushed to the area, hopefully also healing the original problem. The firing itself will have no long term effects at all. They are just little scars. It is hard to know what problem made them fire the horse to begin with. Most will be just fine, though.

I've never seen it at the hock, either. Were the hocks scrutinized well in the vet exam prior to purchase?

Yes, it is still done, though much less often.
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post #9 of 9 Old 10-20-2011, 11:01 AM
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His hocks were not checked by a vet as they show no signs of tenderness or anything abnormal. They are a little stiff, but we have been doing lots of stretching with him and it is helping. He is a bit sickle hocked though.
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