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heel bruise from easyboot

Hi - has anyone had experience with an easyboot causing heel bruising?
I'm pretty sure that's what I did to my horse this weekend. On Friday, I
came back from a business trip of a few days, to find that my 5 yr. old
gelding had pulled one of his front shoes in the pasture. We were at
6-1/2 weeks, so this wasn't much of a surprise. The farrier was due on
Monday (yesterday), but I really wanted to get one conditioning ride in
this weekend, so I borrowed an easyboot from a friend and "shoehorned"
it on. It did seem a bit tight - especially against the inside heel bulb
- but it was cut down low, so I figured it would be OK. I rode on
Sunday. The boot stayed on, and we did about 10 miles, at a walk and
trot - pretty slow. He seemed fine. That night, I left the boot on
because I had rope burns on my hand (another story) and couldn't bear to
try to pry it off until my hand healed over a bit. He did look a little
sore to me on Monday morning, with the boot still on, but I didn't have
time to trot him out, because the farrier arrived. He took the boot off,
and recommended that I try a size 2 next time ( I was using a #1 because
he wears a #1 shoe). We reshod him (he stood fine for nailing, etc.),
and he proceeded to gallop around the pasture, looking fine. This
morning, I tacked up in the dark, walked down the road, and all seemed
fine, although he wasn't as eager to go as usual. Then we trotted, and
he was head-bobbing lame on the right front (the foot that had the
easyboot). The heel bulb was slightly warm and a bit 'mushy' feeling -
he only barely flinched when I pressed on it. He seemed more
uncomfortable trotting on hard road and less on soft grass - no heat or
swelling anywhere else. So, is this a heel bruise? I've never
experienced one, so I don't know what to expect. How long will it take
to heal? I was hoping to take him on his first 15 mile CTR in two weeks.
Anything I can do to help it along? Anything I can do to prevent this
from happening again? Thanks in advance!

Chelle and Mystik Star (serves you right for making me wear that funny

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