It is not unusual for an OTTB to have small dot-like scars running up and down his cannon bones in several rows. These scars are the result of a procedure called pin firing. Though some people shy away from horses that have been pinfired, there are rarely long term negative effects. By the time the scar forms, the injury should have healed and is not likely to reoccur.
Pinfiring is a therapy that is used on injuries such as splints, bucked shins, curbs, or chronic bowed tendons. It is performed with a small, hot probe that burns the tissue of the injured or sore area. The purpose is to increase blood flow to the affected area which promotes healing by ridding the injury of inflammation. Usually, once the treated area heals it is no longer sore and the horse can return to work.
Though pinfiring has fallen out of favor with some people, others still use it as an inexpensive treatment for bucked shins and curb. Be assured that firing will not adversely affect the horse’s future performance -the only negative is the scarring it leaves behind and any complications from the original injury.