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Pinfiring... need some info

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  • Pinfiring... need some info

    I am riding a gelding (he is not mine, and had this done long before I started working with him) whose right front is pinfired. Here are my questions:

    1. What diagnoses is/was this used for?
    2. What exactly is the procedure?
    3. What is the intended outcome?
    4. What side effects or complications are not that uncommon?

    He still has some issues with this leg, and I'm trying to understand what all happened in there. When I said something to the vet about his still having issues I was told "Of course he does, he always will". Not a real personable guy... or willing to come down to talk to us peons...also not my vet, but the horses owner uses him. The procedure was done in 2005.

    I know it's not commonly done anymore... but

    Last edited by FindersKeepers; Dec. 8, 2008, 05:38 PM. Reason: because I can't spell
    Strong promoter of READING the entire post before responding.

  • #2
    It can be done for pretty much anything- but I think some of the common ones were bowed tendons and bucked shins. I had one off the track that had the marks on a split too. That alone isn't going to get you to an answer though. If there is something going on, best to get an x-ray and an ultrasound to see if its just the effects of scar tissue, or if there is an unhealed injury.


    • #3
      This is a pretty good article about it: http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=2783


      • Original Poster

        Thanks Smikie.

        He's not my horse, so exploring diagnostics is not an option. I was just asked to keep him in work. The owner is terrified of him and the barn makes her shoes dirty...

        I know that it was not done for a bowed tendon, but other than that, I don't have much to work with.
        Strong promoter of READING the entire post before responding.


        • #5
          Is he a former race horse?

          Many Standardbreds and Thoroughbreds are pin fired at the tracks that they run at. Some old race horse people I have met think its a good way to increase circulation. I never really "got" this explanation, but hey, I'm not a vet so maybe there is something to it. Most OTTBs I have seen with pinfiring have had it done up front, wheras they SB people do it in the hind legs, too.

          Do not immediately blame lameness on old pin firing though....Many horses that are pin fired at the track go on to lead sound, productive, healthy lives

          Could be something else...

          Hope this helps


          • #6
            Where on his leg exactly was he pinfired?
            McDowell Racing Stables

            Home Away From Home


            • #7
              ding ding ding a winner Laurie!!! Where and maybe pictures???


              • #8
                Yup, knowing where is kind of vital. One of the things that jumped out at me most when I spent a few months in Europe last summer was that almost EVERY carriage horse we saw in all countries was pin fired on at least one leg. We actually learned alot about it from talking to some of the more knowledgeable drivers when we would stop to ask for directions.


                • #9


                  • #10
                    And pin or freeze??


                    • #11
                      Most of my OTTBs have come to me with pinfiring on the front legs. My new five year old gelding has pinfire marks on his left front. I usually don't worry about the pinfiring because most of the owners at the track will not authorize a pinfiring procedure unless they feel that the horse will certainly return to racing. So to me that says it was most likely not a major injury.


                      • Original Poster

                        The pinfiring was done on the inside of his right front, and it was firing, not freeze. I found the vet instructions for after care in the tack trunk. He is a TB, but never raced. The pinfiring was done after he was a hunter for 10 years. I have been calling the owner to ask about it, but I never get an answer or a call back. I haven't in the entire year I've been working with him, but I won't get into that here.

                        He is sound, but his right leg is not as strong as the left. He's not as balanced going to the right. His right knee is huge. It has been as long as I've known him. (12 years now) After he works, it's almost as if his knee gives out. He stands there just fine, but his knee will give a little, and he's a little unsteady when you pick up his left front. He never falls, never seems un-nervingly unsteady, just not real solid, like his knee won't lock. After he stands for awhile, he's fine...it's just in the first 10-15 after exercise. He also tends to trip going to the right. Not bad, but enough to make him angry. He does that while warming up. When he's warmed up, he moves great, forward, strong.

                        He doesn't flex completely sound. You have to really look for it, but the first few steps off on that leg are a little wobbly.

                        I'll get pictures up by Wednesday, and maybe even a video. I'm not blaming the pinfiring for the issues, I'm just trying to figure out what could have been the original problem, and if it could be connected. By nature, he is a total klutz. He's 18 hands, and a tank... and tends to perform acrobatics and could have a completely new and unrelated condition. I've only been riding him for the past year, and he had soooo many problems when I started. He had been wearing a martingale that tied his head to his chest, and he couldn't move forward, couldn't stretch out. And as a secondary result, his stifles were a disaster. Through tons of flat work and massage and stretching, I finally have him relaxed, moving forward, soft in the bridle, responsive, and not in pain. He finally will stretch his neck and move like a horse again... All those other problems way overshadowed an unsteady leg. This is just the last thing I want to straighten out for him... but I think there might be a lot more going on in there than I could possibly figure out on my own, or fix with old fashioned elbow grease and exercise.
                        Strong promoter of READING the entire post before responding.