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Posh Paddy
16 Apr 14 14:50
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Date Joined: 24 Mar 05
| Topic/replies: 386 | Blogger: Posh Paddy's blog
As you know my beloved horse has suffered damage to a tendon (digital flexor tendon) in his near fore.  His leg is currently in a cast and I'm hopeful of getting him back to Ireland by the end of the month.  The good news is the trainer thinks as he is young he will race again - given a year off and some luck.

A good friend of mine mentioned getting his legs pin fired and is in favour, my trainer is in favour but Mrs PP is against it.  I know this is a practise not widely used in the UK anymore but is still common in Ireland

Just wondering if my friends on the forum had any views?
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Report proxygene April 16, 2014 3:45 PM BST
I was always told the only place for a firing iron was the arse of the person that wanted to ride such horse too soon.

Are there not 21st century options rather than a 19th century one?
Report yer ma April 16, 2014 8:58 PM BST
Sorry about your horse pp.

We've dealt with quite a few horses that have done tendons and attempted to race again.  Ten years ago firing was very common. Usually about 2/3 mths after injury then at least year off. Mostly jumpers do time less an issue.   You'd almost always do both legs, not entirely sure why. Getting vets to do it now is much harder. Honestly I don't think it altered the success rate and it's almost impossible to say if other factors impacted more (eg. Immediate care (I've never been fan of casts and immobilising unless v bad in which case horse shd b retired), severity / type of lesion, time off, recovery exercise/treatment, etc). 

Now of course u can inject stem cells, ultrasound, all sorts.  IMO find out exactly how big in % terms the hole is, if it's central or at edge and just how lame the horse was/is after a reasonable time.  If it doesn't sound too extreme I'd do so e rehab then out for 9mth then rehab then training. Otherwise in field for 18 mths then try with fingers crossed.  Pin firing will prob not make difference and will defo mean 15-18 mth off.
Report ovalu April 16, 2014 10:15 PM BST
Alternatively you could have  retired him and bought a fast company colt tonight at the breeze up for 5k, out of a listed placed mare who has already produced 8 winners,
Report Lairy Mary April 17, 2014 6:55 PM BST
I've always been anti-firing as all you are essentially doing is creating scar tissue and what little decent fibres do remain are impossible to keep a check on as a result.  My Dad who's a retired vet was also anti it and would tell you they only do it to enforce the rest.  When I was training I had a lovely bumper mare who was 2nd in her first start then got a leg a week before she was due to run (just after I'd sold her to a new owner for serious money).  I did everything by the book - hosing, ice followed by bouts of in-hand walking and gradually building her up by loads of roadwork all recommended by my vet.  He re-scanned and he said the leg looked amazing.  Eventually she went back into proper work - and went further up the leg.  I then retired her (to be fair the owner was berludy amazing and I got him something else).  My vet reckoned she just had very poor quality tendon fibres.

However fast forward a few years and I am now down in the West Country amidst the pointing fraternity and they fire everything.  I am no more convinced it works any better than before.  I am still seeing pin-fired horses break down.

As Yer Ma says - there are multiple factors, once the most important being immediate care.  For me getting the heat out of the leg as quickly as possible is imperative as is the management of exercise resumption.  And keep scanning!
Report potentialmillionaire April 17, 2014 9:51 PM BST
Without doubt Lairy Mary and yer ma are far more qualified than I in this respect but my limited knowledge agrees with them anyway.
I think it is a sense of desperation that keeps firing an option because as we can all acknowledge, tendon injury and recovery remains such an inexact science.
My understanding is that scar tissue is always weaker than the original stuff, why would you possibly want to create more?
As we say on here time and again, this is not an industry known for its ability to grasp the nettle and embrace progress. It is hardly surprising therefore that when faced with something so very tricky as 'a leg' that if progress suggests much less invasive therapy than previously applied, well let's stick with the gung ho, shouldn't we?
Whatever happens PP, you have a lengthy, expensive road ahead with no guarantees. Keep your options open as to potential alternative outcomes for The Blade.
I personally wouldn't be looking to race on I'm afraid, I don't think the odds are in your favour and realistically you would need to accept the next 24 months as part of your hobby, not just the delay before you can recommence because they are sure going to cost and the re commencement might not materialise.
Mind you, my opinion was not asked for and these decisions are purely personal always aren't they!
Having stuck myself with a foal that looks like it did the splits in the field this week and not quite knowing where that journey will end right now, well there's always someone in this crazy game in exactly the same boat isn't there.

Good luck Posh!
Report Posh Paddy April 18, 2014 9:25 AM BST
Thank you all for taking the time to respond.  It's good to know that you all have the same answer which makes things clearer.

When the injury happened and I spoke to the racecourse vet he was fairly adamant that he was unlikely to race again and I had come to terms with his racing days being over and having to find something else for him to do eventually.  Nearly 3 weeks later and after being re-examined the trainer is adamant that he will race again so the rollercoaster continues on....

I suppose we'll just take one day at a time and see how he comes along.  If he comes back racing brilliant, if not, so be it.

PM, hope your foal comes right too.

Report mepoor April 22, 2014 5:19 PM BST
all you can really say  here is if I was training you to run, and you pulled a bad muscle and I told you to carry on its ok, or the doctor told you to stop running as could cripple you who would you listen to.
Report Lairy Mary April 23, 2014 11:40 AM BST
Yes I agree - listen to your vet! He is the one who spent 5 years at Uni training!  OF course the trainer wants the horse to be fine - you have been paying him training fees! (and as a former trainer I can say that and no, I never ever kept a horse in training under false pretences simply to pay the bills).  The horse's welfare should come first and if you love him as much as I think you do, he owes you nothing.  Imagine the scenario when you get him back into training, you are told he's fine, he is ready to run....then you get to the races and he breaks down again but this time with fatal consequences.  You can always sweeten your trainer with the promise of getting another horse to have in training with him!
Report truehoncho April 23, 2014 12:42 PM BST
PP

I have a mare that has been pin fired for sore shins. She's 9 now and it made no difference. I thought the practice had been banned in the UK.
Report proxygene April 23, 2014 1:12 PM BST
Hi Mr Honcho, has your PC been broken?
Report Posh Paddy April 23, 2014 1:38 PM BST
As I understand it pin firing is banned in the UK, however my horse will be going back to my inlaws place in Ireland (hopefully early next week) where pin firing is legal.

As it happens my inlaws are both very much anti firing and so it will be very unlikely that he will be pin-fired.  Their view is as previously pointed out by Lairy Mary, it is done to enforce rest.

MP & LM have no doubt I have the best interests of my horse in mind.  I have no interest in rushing him back Racing.  He will only come back IF a vet and/or a specialist in all things horse tendon thinks he is able to race again.

Anyway I saw him on Monday and he looked remarkably relaxed considering:

Report proxygene April 23, 2014 2:00 PM BST
He looks sensible enough to give himself the best chance, unless he's a dipstick when turnout time comes?
Report truehoncho April 25, 2014 5:01 PM BST
Hi Proxygene,

I have been a little distracted lately. Just been to Showcasing with a mare. 950 mile round trip. Fingers crossed!!
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