Worked for me. It took some time - maybe five to 10 sessions - but eventually he realized it was easier to just go for a ride.
I guess I should add I didn't physically work him super hard. Maybe worked him moderately hard in a physical sense (lots of trotting, some loping), but mentally I really worked him. Transitions, changing direction, not getting into any sort of pattern. Walking and trotting through trees and over lots and lots of logs, so he had to pay attention. Using leg pressure to direct him through trees. The further we got away from the other horses, the easier it was for him, and now he's generally well-behaved on solo trail rides.
I agree you don't want to end up hurting your horse, but I don't think you have to run them into the ground to make this work. Tying up might work, too. Different things work for different horses.