Puzzling Foot Soreness - Need Advice


To recap - back in August i noticed Relevante starting to develop a slight crest. It was in response - as I discovered - to new hay/first cutting from the farm - it had tested at 9.9 - technically below the safety cut-off but apparently too rich for him....at that time his numbers were: 
June ACTH test - 19.4 pg/mL
June 30, 2021 Hay Analysis - ESC 9.0, Starch .9
August 5, 2021 Insulin  - 44.74 ulU/ml
                     EMS Calculator - RISQI 0.15
Began soaking hay right away - retested insulin 8/25 and it came back at 18.71 uIU/mL from 44.74 ulU/ml on Aug. 5 - crest has continued to soften and diminish and appears nearly normal. He has continued to be walked during the week - starting at the end of September I began to ride him every weekend - carefully, slowly at first - more for my sake/security than his ...since although I've been cleared to ride ..my doctor said "Let's not fall off and no emergency dismounts right now."
This past Thursday I gave Relevante his first bath of the season. When I walked him out of his stall he appeared to be experiencing some foot soreness in his front feet (where he had laminitis almost 5 years ago). Today, when I took him out he seemed okay. I put the Cavallo boots with gel pads back on his front feet and walked him out to the grass and he seemed fine - in fact he acted quite frisky to the point where I walked him a bit before getting on. He even expressed himself via a few bucks. I got on. I was with another boarder who is a certified massage therapist for equines. She observed us from behind and from beside us and saw no signs of soreness. He wanted to gait so I let him blow off some steam and we just rode around the farm a bit until he relaxed - then we went on the trail. I know they don't always know what is best for themselves but since my friend continued to observe us and saw no signs of soreness - and i didn't feel any signs of discomfort I let him choose when he wanted to go - we stayed on grassy trails and gentle hills. A couple times he gaited faster than I've ever felt him go and it was smooth and collected. We were out about 2 hours and it was a wonderful ride. When we got back I left his boots on until I was ready to put him up - put some extra bedding in his stall etc. 
When I took the boots off and started to lead him into his stall he acted foot sore again. Should I be concerned? We were going to ride again tomorrow. Should I not try to ride him? I'm trying to build back his physical fitness for the purpose of helping to keep his insulin down but I don't want to do anything to damage his feet or work him if he's hurting. Not sure what to think about this.. Thanks for any advice. My case history is up to date.
Beavercreek, Ohio
March 2018
Relevante Case History
Relevante Photo Album


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