I probably am a guilt feeder lol :) as for the hay this yr, I had a hard time getting hay because I am down to one horse at home and no one wante to deliver the small qty that I needed :( so I got the last of what was out there. I don't ride as much as I would like it is the bad thing about not being in a big boarding stable. I no longer like to ride alone. A few yrs back I was training a young mare under saddle it was our 3 ride, dhe had done what I asked we walked the huge out door both directions and we did circles and serpintines. I was happy with that. The barn owner ( the person I bought the horse from) came out and she was drunk started yelling for me to make her do more that she could do more. Well, she got a whip and she started snapping it at her from behind. My mare reared up I was too worried about that woman and my friend who was with me and the mare went up too high and flipped over on me. I broke my pelvis fractured my skull got nerve damage in my legs and tore all the muscle and whatever else is in your rib cage apart. The horse and I were nocked out and when I came too I was under her. I tried to get out then she started kicking me. My head was in between her front and hind legs.The lady grabed my arms and pulled me out than she took the mare and walked her. The lady told me to get up and I tried to walk twice made it a few steps then told them to call 911. It was a nightmare. I could not walk much unless I had a walker for 8 weeks. I used to be an accomplished rider, pretty good at it :) but since then I have fear when I ride. It is hard going from enjoying something you love to still loving it but having fear. No one understands, they all say I have to get over it. My sister used to call me a horse whisperer lol queer I know but I used to have a good thing with horses. I know my horse knows, he is never bad he just knows I am not who I was. I did end up selling my mare. I only got back on her 1 time after I got better. Sad, she was a beauty and well bred. So yeah it's guilt food but only because I don't ride like I should and I know he is bored.
My goodness that is, without question, the most horrific horse accident I have ever heard
I've been tossed off some pretty rank horses in my life and got back on but, never have I experienced anything close to what you endured.
I guess my thought is to coin an old time phrase that "a watchpot never boils". Meaning, in your case, don't worry about getting back on. Work and play with with your horse from the ground. Teach him fun things to do, go for hand walks with him, as if you were walking your dog.
There are better ways, IMO, to build a spiritual connection with a horse than from sitting on their back.
The day might come when your horse says to you "why don't you ride me?" and you will get on with a new-found confidence.
The things you experienced ended your way of horse life as you knew it - it was a like a death in a sense. We all deal with death in a different way so it's between you and your horse to decide when and if there will ever be a right time to ride --- not the rest of the world.
I can't ride anywhere near like I used to. The two mile hack down to the end of the road used to be big sissy stuff for me and was only a way to get my horse's lung power back up for spring riding. Now it's a miracle if I make that ride a couple times a year.
I spend 3 - 4 hours daily with my four just doing nothing but playing, grooming, trimming hooves, talking. Their response to all that, at liberty, is jaw-dropping.
I don't tie anyone to do anything, including trimming or bathing; most of the time they don't even get haltered for me to trim them. One horse never gets haltered for a bath but if I say "done" too quick, he's headed for his stall:)
Another horse will start slowly down the aisleway waiting for me to catch him. I have been outside the barn, too far to get to him, and said "Rusty step back, step back for a cookie" and he will back all the way thru the gate into his open-end stall and wait for me to get to the cookie jar.
The point to all that is enjoy what you love from the ground and let your horse respond freely. You will be amazed at what your horse is capable of giving back that just may result in you finding yourself willingly in the saddle some day