The farrier was out today and we were talking about racehorses and how horrible racing is for young horses. My mare Jubilee was an ex-racer but I'm not sure how long she raced for. But she has little flecks of white on her forelegs, at the front, in the space between her knees and fetlocks. I always thought that it was part of her colouring. But my farrier told me something interesting but shocking. Apparently some people inject their racehorses with liquid nitrogen to freeze nerve endings, in the knees and hocks as well. Obviously this will kill pigment in the skin. So do you guys think thats what the flecks are from? She's a bay and it seems weird that she has two almost matching white flecks on her front legs. They would be odd markings if thats what they are. Like, almost like a paint, except not cuz its not above her knee. Hmmmm .... :?
Here's a picture:
Thought I'd post this article about firing for you. Usually the patterns are a lot more regular. Looks more like an old injury, to me anyway.
and...one more. There's lots of info on all sorts of firing to be found on the web, freeze firing is just the newest version of an old practice.
I have taken several horses off the track. IMO, the marks you see are not from cyro or pin firing. I think Sara may be right: an old injury. Pin firing is usually a couple of line of dots and freezing is usually several in one location. I have had horses with either or both. If you want a photo, let me know and I'll go take a picture of my girl Lisa's legs. She had it bad, poor thing.
I'd have to agree with Northern Mama, I think it looks more like scars/marks from a previous injury. I know a horse that gets white marks on his legs just from a scrape. I'm not an expert in pin firing but what I've seen is usually a little more deliberate looking instead of a random streak here or there.
Yeah, I also agree. ;) Looks like a scar of some sort.
Hi guys, I was looking at her legs again today and she also has flecks at the back too. So it can't be scars. I don't think ...
You mean at the back of the same legs? It could be from hopples if she was a cart horse. What kind of racing did she do? It could also be from getting caught in something. I really don't think it's pin firing. I'll try to remember to post a photo of Lisa's legs for you. You'll see how different it is.
Hopples are "gadgets" that are put on the horses legs to encourage/promote a long stride on cart horses (pacers / trotters). But they are usually put a lot higher (above the knee). I was thinking that maybe in training at a walk they might have put them lower, but I still think that's pushing it too. I think your girl just got cuts from something and scarred. Could be almost anything.
Here is a photo of my newest OT horse's damage -- this is the freeze firing (cyro) method, smaller marks than pin firing and in a lump, not a row:
This is pin firing on my other girl in a neat row on the back of her leg. The "clump" of white marks is probably pin-firing that someone tried to pass off as freeze-firing. Notice her severly bowed tendon. This is what they were trying to "fix".
Notice the difference especially in the size of the scar, but either way, it is very clearly artifical -- very round marks... Pin Firing is illegal on the track now, but I don't know about cyro. Regardless, people do it anyway -- off track and bring the horse back for the next season. Ya, try to prove who did it when...
Anyway, your horse's scars are not from firing. Be happy!
Oh wow, that is crazy northernmama! Does it ruin their legs? Like, what happens??
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