Transition - Stall Rest to Pasture/Work
So my gelding Fox went off-and-on lame about 8 weeks ago - I took him to the vet about 5 weeks ago now. The lameness, heat and swelling were all originally on his left front (proximal suspensory ligament area), but he blocked to the right knee. So basically, after clean x-rays and perfect ultrasounds, they said they weren't sure what the issue was and told me to keep him on stall rest and hand walk for another 6 weeks.
Now he's been on stall rest for 5 weeks, the hand walking has progressed to about 35 mins, twice a day (which is difficult, he's extremely hyped up). I would like to start trying to phase him back into pasture and work at this point now. I was thinking I'd start walking him under saddle, progress to a bit of trot before letting him into pasture full-time. I was going to keep him in the smaller 2-acre part alone, with my other horse just across the fence. My neighbour has two young horses along the other fence that I worry will get my guy going though...otherwise I was thinking of making sure he had gone on his walk and was a bit hungry so he might focus more on eating, then gradually increase the time he's out, but I'm not entirely confident that will work. My vet suggested Ace too, but it seems like a pretty short-term solution, and I'd be hesitant to ride him with that...
Does anyone have experience/advice with this? I've looked up some ideas, but I'd be happy to hear how everyone else has been successful in preventing the "I'm free" explosion once out on pasture (or under saddle...which is pretty likely too, knowing Fox!).