A week ago Friday, I decided to call the vet and schedule an appointment for the 11th since I have that day off. That would also have given Izzy another ten days to heal. While I was fairly confident that he was just bruised, I don't actually have a license to practice veterinarian medicine, so I figured I should seek the advice of someone who does.
Dr. Tolley felt that I was on the right track with my amateur diagnosis of bruising, but he threw in the possibility of a small fracture as well. The only way to know for sure would be to do an x-ray, but given that his recommendation for time off would be the same whether it was a bruise or a fracture, I decided to skip an appointment.
He humped up his back pretty good, but I turned him left and right and walked him around the yard for a few minutes. When the hump dissipated, we headed out into the neighborhood. I was absolutely delighted with how well he kept it together. Sure, he was tense, but he marched forward. The only time he threw a fit was when we got back to the corner of the property.
Izzy knew I was going to keep going, so he said no. He tried to rear and back us up into the trees, but I gave him several sharp jerks with the reins and popped him with the whip. We walked past the turn for home and then came back past the barn. I walked him down the street and stopped to chat with my barn owner who was hand walking Bailey. Izzy fidgeted, but when we turned back towards home, he walked politely through the driveway entrance.
As a side note, I was actually too nervous to hop up on him in the arena which is why I chose to hack around the neighborhood instead. Crazy, I know, but I feel 100 times safer out in the open.
He is totally sound at the walk and canter, with or without an adrenaline surge. I've quit testing his lameness at the trot. When he's turned out, I can see it ever so slightly when he pivots on the left front. I'm going to keep riding him around the neighborhood for the next week. It keeps his mind very much engaged without pounding his foot.
Hopefully he's back to full soundness in the next few weeks.