Sunday, July 20, 2008

Pin Firing

Raven's hind cannon bones are heavily criss-crossed in fine scars where her solid black coat has regrown in thin white lines. Several people have asked whether these are the result of pin firing, for which I don't have a good answer. Pin firing is a common "therapy" for race horses who develop swollen shins, often due to concussive forces. Red-hot probes are used to burn the skin along the cannons, and then an aggravating agent is applied to maximize the inflammatory response. The quasi-scientific explanation is that the minor inflation is drawn out when the body heals the major inflation -- pure quackery in my opinion, but it's still widely practiced. Scars from "professional" pin firing would appear clean and even, but do-it-yourselfers have been known to use soldering irons. Most pin fired injuries occur around the front cannons so it could be that Raven simply got tangled up in something along the way, but these scars could also be a clue to why she never raced. I'm with Fugly on wishing that racing breeders would stand by their product if/when they cannot compete.


Anonymous said...


When I rescued Raven I asked the very same questions about the marks on her legs. I was assured that it was not the case and told that when she was taken to the "High End" english facility where they breed her because they couldn't control her... she had tried to escape and wrapped a barbed wire fence around two of her legs.

dp said...

Thanks, Jenn -- good to know!