I'm glad I had gone that route because Lily was indeed slightly off, and it was in the left front. It was on & off when Dr. R's tech was trotting her, much like what I was feeling yesterday at the walk.
Dr. R flexed Lily's left hind, just to make 100% sure that it wasn't the injured leg acting up, then had her tech trot her off. Lily trotted off, moving beautifully even in the hind end on the barn's concrete driveway. The gimp was definitely in her front end.
We then moved her to the indoor, which had been watered and dragged, and the footing was nice and compact. Lily's movement was better here, but still slightly off. (She didn't care; she was SO excited to be trotting!) We decided to block her foot, just to make sure it was her foot.
It was. She was so sound after being blocked that Dr. R decided to call it a stone bruise, and told me to start trotting anyway. I was instructed to give her bute twice a day for the next 3 days, and hopefully she'll be better by then.
We had acepromazine compounded into an oral gel and the vet brought it with her for me today. The concentration of the oral form is 25 mg/ml, vs the injectable version that's 10 mg/ml. I was instructed to give Lily only 2 mls of the gel...which, if you do the math, is 50 mg total...which is the equivalent of five mls of the injectable form of ace...So I figured well, what the hell. We're supposed to trot for the first time in 2 months today and she was spunky, so might as well.
So after we were done with the exam, I gave her the 2 mls of ace by mouth. And waited.
45 minutes later, she still looked awake. So I sat in the tiki hut playing with the new phone (OMG...how on earth did we exist without smartphones??) and when it had been an hour since I gave Lily her sedative, I went back in to check on her.
Her face was like, "Oh hai! Where were you??" I should've taken a photo then. She was WIDE AWAKE STILL.
I didn't want to wait anymore. I tacked her up, put my helmet on, walked her to the indoor, said a little prayer to sweet baby Jesus and hopped on.
We started out with walking with contact, but in a lengthened hunter frame, then I picked her up and asked her to use her body correctly. We did this for 10 minutes, then we did 2 minutes of counted walk, in which she was AWESOME: I became very still in the saddle, lifted my hands, and she immediately slowed and her walk became deliberate and cadenced. We did a 20 meter circle at a counted walk, changed direction, stretching, and then I gathered her up again and cued the trot.
And we trotted. I sat the trot to keep her at something closer to a Western jog, and we went once in each direction around the arena for our first 2 minutes total. As we finished the second lap around the arena, I pushed her into a normal working trot and posted. She was fantastic, and she didn't feel off at all (I'm guessing the local block was still working.)
We then repeated the walk sequence as above, and called it a day at the 30 minute mark.
I was so happy with her! She did spook one time while we were walking at the end, but she only bounced 2 strides to the side then stopped when I quietly said, "Eeaaasyy..."
She was finally falling asleep by the time I had untacked her in the cross ties. So yeah...50 mg of ace, but it takes 2.5 hours to hit. I may not be using it as often as I would have liked...
To summarize, I was thrilled that I basically rode my 95% awake mare and we still had a great ride! Maybe we can just stop using ace altogether sometime in the near future?