I want to ride MY horse again, not everyone else's!
Wondering if any of you have any different ideas on how to approach this.
I've had my horse about 8 years now, trained him, rode like crazy, and he was the perfect pleasure mount, but about 2 years ago, he dropped a lot of weight, and my saddle didn't fit him well. I attempted to get on him one time, and before my butt even touched the saddle, he took off, bucking, which was not like him at ALL. Tried again a week later, same thing happened. He wound up having a sore back, so I stopped ridding for the winter, had the chiropractor out a bunch of times, got his weight back up, and worked him a lot on the lunge line and over jumps, but still hadn't gotten on him, built up his top line and got him fit.
I decided to try to get on him bareback, since I still hadn't gotten another saddle. he was clearly nervous, it took me over an hour working with him to get him to calm down enough for me to get on him. Tons of standing on a mounting block, rubbing his back, leaning on him, putting weight on, swinging my leg over but not getting up, then finally got on him and walked and trotted for a few minutes and called it a day. I did that about once a week for a month. Recently I tacked him up with a friends saddle, which fit MUCH better, and even tacking up, he was real nervous. Took him down to the round pen, and took our time with him. I tried to mount up, and he took off, so I stayed on the ground and held him, reassuring him, and my friend tried to get up, and same thing, took off. We even had a guy hold my friend up next to the saddle, so the saddle wouldn't shift while mounting, and my horse stood there, SHAKING because he was so nervous that someone was going to get on him. I gave up for the day after that, I couldn't stand seeing him so scared.
I'm not sure what to do next. I was thinking of trying quietex, and seeing how he was, and if that helps, ridding a few times with that, then trying without again, but I've never used it before, and have never seen a horse that had it, how much does it actually help relax them?