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Barrel racing after splint bone removal surgery

So I have a barrel horse who two months ago fractured her right hind splint bone and had to get the bottom portion removed. It was a clean break and only the bottom 2/3 of the whole thing so we’re all confident she’ll make a complete recovery. She’s already doing extremely well.
I know every horse is different but my question for you guys is, have your horse’s needed a splint bone surgically removed and how long did it take before you were able to barrel race or at least start loping on the flat?

She’s 100% sound and she’s just about had it with the stall rest and only twenty minutes of walking a day and has shown us all that she can move beautifully.

I’m just worried about how fast or slow to take getting back to racing. My vet says by beginning/mid-december she should be back at performance level.

I just don’t want to over do it but I don’t want to baby it too much either, you know?

Thanks in advance for your replies!

The bottom part of the splint bone is often not that important in support of the leg column. As a young horse, it is often not even fully fused to the cannon bone, which is why it is so often simply removed if it gets broken, and the top part of the bone, fully fused to the cannon bone fully supports the joint above without issue, once recovered from the surgery. Your vet will let you know the time schedule of returning to work, light work, then fitting up for faster work. Usually, this surgery is fully successful and without recurring issues or problems with soundness, even with demands like barrel racing. Of course, barrel racing in itself is high risk for injury and joint damage with horses who have not had broken splint bone removal surgery, so “your mileage may vary”.


Disclaimer: I’m not a barrel racer, but I have known 2 horses with very similar injuries. The first was my pony, who broke his LH splint bone after being kicked in the pasture. After surgery to remove the fragments, he was 100% sound and it never bothered him again. Granted, we weren’t doing strenuous work (jumping probably no more than 2’6"), but he healed very well. He was kicked on Thanksgiving, had the surgery mid December, and was back to jumping at the end of February. Now that I’m a paranoid adult, I would have probably waited longer to jump, but the recovery schedule must have worked for him. He never took another lame step his entire life - gotta love ponies!

The other horse was a GP dressage horse who broke one of his front splint bones. He too returned to work at the GP level after surgery, and the injury never bothered him again.