So happy to read this thread...THIS IS ME!!!!
3 years ago I had a very serious accident on my horse that resulted in a broken neck (3 fractures to the C2, hairline fractures to the C1 and C3)...post miracle recovery, we had my horse fitted for a saddle that ultimately almost lamed him, but in the 9 months I was supposed to be "coming back" from the seriouly broken neck, every single time he was ridden in the saddle, he protested the horrible pain by bucking and bolting and I went through even more trauma, resulting in panic every time ears go up and back tenses and new places - NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! because that = TERROR.
Long story short, almost sold the very talented horse, but love won out, got him in the right saddles and am riding him again...but emotionally have to take it very, very slowly. Happily I have Mary Bess Sigman Davis helping me and while she takes it ever so slowly, cm by cm forward, everything within those cm must be ridden well, over and over...oh yeah, long story short = my confidence is returning, my shaking is a thing of the past, and while the spectres of horror will likely never go away, never will the need to ride and be happy with my horse...ONWARD!!!! :)