Calm, Forward, Straight

Calm, Forward, Straight

Sunday, July 11, 2010

There is some SUPER exciting news which has kept me from posting in a while. It looks like I will be buying the property that Val is boarded on. Closing on August 1st. It is the opportunity of a lifetime - I truly can't believe my good fortune. My running around doing real estate errands all week leaves very little to report on the training front. We've had a couple of nice rides and lunging sessions in the evenings when the weather was cool enough. In the meantime I thought I'd post a few odds and ends...

In the last month or so these marks showed up as Val finished shedding out. He was pinfired at some point. I'm assuming it was when he was training for the track. I've done a bit of research, and the placement suggests he had a bowed tendon. This could be why he doesn't appear to have raced.

Here are excerpts from a 2006 Thoroughbred Times article"Pinfiring Proves Obsolete":

"Due to relatively few treatment options to effectively and swiftly treat lameness issues such as tendinitis, many veterinarians and trainers continue to fire horses' legs and hope that it helps. Trainers often feel they are wasting valuable time when they cannot see healing in injuries such as sprained tendons, as the healing process is extremely slow. These trainers often ask their veterinarians to fire their horses' legs in an effort to be proactive in healing the injuries."

"A five-year study conducted through the University of Bristol in England compared treating tendinitis with firing to treating it with rest alone. Results showed that linefiring did not appear to have an effect on the healing process of the tendon.
In addition, clinical cases of pinfiring in which the cautery iron was extended into the tendon itself caused permanent changes in tendon structure. These changes were confined to the tracks of the firing pin.

However, no evidence was found that linefiring or pinfiring of the skin had any marked effect on tendon healing, with the exception that in a few cases it appeared to delay the overall healing process."

 "...the American Veterinary Medical Association has upheld its acceptance of veterinarians using firing in horses and presently described the use of thermocautery or pinfiring as having therapeutic value for horses under certain conditions."?????

If we won't do it to ourselves, why would we do it to our horses?

We've had numerous visits from the death dealing wild bunny recently. I'll have to rename him as he no longer leaves panic in his wake. He let me get really close when I took these pictures. I wondered if wild bunnies knew what carrots were... I threw him a piece of Val's breakfast carrot, which was gone a few minutes later - so I guess they do.

                                              The only good fly...


  1. Wish there were a lot more 'good flies' than just that one. They are torturing us this summer.Glad the Death Dealing Bunny liked his carrot, he's cute.

    We've rehabbed some ex-racehorses and some of them were pin fired. You could see the spots on their legs where it was done. I see no reason for it, especially now with new information saying it doesn't really help. Then again there's always an owner with big money and money rules at the track, so it's not that hard to find someone who sees no harm in doing it.

  2. p.s. Sorry, I forgot to congratulate you on your new purchase. How great is that. You'll love being a barn owner and being able to do things your way.

  3. Very exciting news! It'll be marvelous to have your own place.

    Pin-firing is one of those not-so-smart things people do to horses because they can, and because it's "traditional".

  4. Thanks Arlene and Kate - Looking forward to getting beyond the buying part and on to the owning part!

    Regarding the pinfiring - before I found those marks I had no idea there was a previous tendon issue. You can't tell by looking at his leg. I'll know to be careful about working him in the deep sand now...

  5. Hi Christian! Val was bred and foaled at this facility, pretty big racing establishment in Texas. They seem to mostly breed QH's, but they must have had some TB's back then. He was sold as a yearling and that's how he ended up in San Antonio. His next owner, the one before us, purchased him when he was 3. Katie rode him all that year and we bought him when he was 4. I saw a lot of things in Texas, both good and bad, including pin firing and blistering, neither of which seem to accomplish anything except a lot of pain for the horse. Blistering is one of the worst things I have ever seen done to 'help' a horse. No way to know what happened when he was 1-3, but from 3-7 he didn't have any tendon problems, so I hope you don’t have any in the deep sand. Happily, whatever they did to him, it didn't seem to leave any mental scars. :-)
    Congrats on the land purchase, how wonderful for you! He looks very, very happy!


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