Oh, my poor boy. Sorry, long. UPDATE last post
I know that in the grand scheme of things this isn't earth shattering. But I feel SO bad for my poor horse. I had no idea things were this bad in his poor little head.
Yesterday I was in his stall with him taking his sheet off, when the (really wonderful) barn worker appeared outside his stall with the hose to fill up his water bucket. That's all she did - put the hose through the bars and filled his bucket. He FREAKED. Jumped around, trembled. I out loud wondered what on earth could have freaked him out and she told me he does this every. single. day when she fills his water bucket.
Now he has been there for almost 4 years and to the very best of my knowlwedge no one at this barn has ever treated him unkindly. It's a wonderful place. I love the BO, she's great. He IS a nervous nelly - has to be sedated for the farrier, has to be sedated heavily to be clipped. I only gave up and went this route after years of trying to work with him on these issues, WITH professional help.
I have tried him on mare magic with no results. He's very calm with me for the most part, but still a little spooky under saddle when we encounter something unusual - for example, yesterday out on the trail we met two other horses under saddle that he had never seen before. Freaked him OUT. He was nervous and weaty and jumpy for the rest of the ride.
Does anyone have any suggestions?