Hi COTH forum! This is my first post, so, hopefully I’m doing this right.
I’m the current owner of Starla (m) 2014. Based on her Equibase profile, she was raced in Florida and Pennsylvania, then retired in 2019.
I’m hoping someone either knows this horse’s medical history or can help point me in the direction of where to find her track era medical records.
I know she had bucked shins and had been pin-fired at one point, but this isn’t where she seems to have the most double. I’ve been peeling back layers of other body discomforts for the past year and am hoping someone can help me get in touch with the right people who can shed some additional light on other injuries she may have sustained during her racing career. My vet, trainer, and I are all trying to help her be as comfortable as possible in her new career, as well as assess what future limitations she might have. She’s a special to me horse no matter what her past looks like and appreciate any lead the forum hive mind can offer.
I understand that actual vet records are private to the person who requested and paid for them, so unless you can contact the track trainer directly you aren’t going to have access to anything. And track trainers play their cards very close to their chests, for good business reasons, so might not want to be open with you.
This horse was raced until she was 5 then retired for the last 4 years. Can you talk to the people who had her after retirement?
Also, most OTTB come off the track with tension and often ulcers that can translate into back pain if they are not conditioned properly to being a riding horse. What training has she received in the past 4 years? How was she kept?
Unfortunately I think her racing years and likely her retirement years will remain a mystery to you. Here on COTH I’ve been hearing a lot about missing spines and C5/6 vertebrae deformity in TB as a cause of lameness. You might want back x-rays.
Can you post a full body side on conformation photo and good photos of her feet, side view ground level and sole? Bad hoof angles can also cause body pain.
Is she a TB pr SB? I’m more used to seeing pinfiring in SB, and that doesn’t sound like a TB name.
Ok I Googled. She’s a TB. Her trainer and owner are up online. They would be the ones to contact. I would suggest keeping it light and positive and how much you like the horse.
She didn’t race very much.
Sounds like healed up bucked shins are NBD so I’d be looking elsewhere for a DX on persistent lameness.
Thanks @Scribbler I’ll reach out to them and see if they are willing to share any info. I don’t plan on breeding her nor do I want to flip her. I just want her to be comfy for my pleasure/low level jumping aspirations. And even though I’m low level I do enjoy riding most days of the week.
In case you’re interested some background below:
She had 2 trail homes off the track and was pretty out of shape when I purchased her. Not a lot of proper training but she was rideable. I’ve been working with a trainer since I purchased her.
My vet/chiro/acupuncture/farrier/etc etc teams have been working together to figure her out.
I treated for ulcers, she’s on good groceries with free choice grass in a slower feeder, and a flake of alfalfa at night. She has neighbor horses that are chill, which has been good for her brain. She’s also on regumate which has helped chill her out entirely, as well as has helped some back soreness (period pain is the worst, I get it).
Her conformation isn’t perfect but she moves nicely when she feels good.
I won’t go into the full treatment plan but she’s had the necessary x rays, mesotherapy, and joint injections in multiple locations. All this on top of some time off working on good rehab style walking (different surfaces, light hills, walk poles, light lunging, etc.).
I’m hoping that past trainers can help unravel the mystery of where to pinpoint our treatment plan. The good news, is that she’s making progress in terms of her movement and gait abnormalities are starting to disappear.
Honestly most OTTB have pretty decent functional conformation and good clean walk trot canter. However undermuscled they can look ewe necked and they can be prone to hunters bump on the pelvis. Neither of these are conformation faults per se.
Can you post photos and a list of what you’ve tried?
I think it’s just as likely much of this developed during her back yard trail riding life as on the track.
There are a lot of very experienced people with good eyes on COTH who may have useful suggestions.
Your mare’s last racing connections only had her in 2019 — in prior years she had a few different owners. I did not go through all of her starts on Equibase but it looked like she changed hands several times.
It’s certainly worth reaching out to people. You may get some recollections but probably not actual written records. Record keeping by track vets (and trainers) is just not as thorough in my experience. In some states the vet boards are giving vets a hard time over this. Not a wise move when we have a dire shortage of equine vets!
Interesting. This suggests she was NQR for multiple track people as well as going through two trail riding homes after retirement. I would not be looking for a specific track injury as causal but for something larger or systemic that was missed by everyone so far. Back and neck maybe.
I have a happy update for those interested.
TL;DR - she’s feeling good and I’m grateful for all forum contributors feedback/advice.
We injected her SI and PSOAS attachment at the lumbar and she’s feeling so much better. My chiro/acupuncturist recommended keeping her on robaxin while we bring her back into work too. Lastly we’ve put her in both front and hind shoes. Her front angles have been tricky throughout my ownership with her. I had hoped to find a farrier that could correct her angles barefoot since she has a nice sole, but that wasn’t meant to be. She grew too long too fast, so shoes it is!
She’s previously had her hocks injected, and has had them done a second time somewhat recently (April-ish). Last year, I had back rads (no diagnosable ks, but a close-ish process with no bony changes at the end of the saddle support area) and mesotherapy done to try to break her pain cycle, but it didn’t really “fix” the issues she was having. Around this time, I did a long treatment for ulcers and that helped tremendously, but again didn’t fix the problems she was having.
My trainer and I think she might need her stifles done too fairly soon, but she’s generally moving much more easily now. I’m just happy that she seems to finally feel better in her body. This horse hated being groomed when I got her, now she comes to her gate for full body scratches and grooms me gently in return.
As you all can read above, and have deduced, there’s been some funny-ness about her that has been hard to pinpoint, and my vet suggested I try to see if I could find anything out about her past medical care. Life has gotten in the way and I haven’t reached out to any of her prior connections. I also don’t have any great photos of her (I’m not a big picture taker in general). I want to thank everyone for taking time to reply to my initial inquiry & thanks so much for everyone who sleuthed a little for me
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