I have to say that gentleing a horse is probably the most time consuming part of training (well at least in the aspect that it seems like you are getting very little done (which is not true) and you have to have a ton of patience) It's my least fave part of training, I still enjoy it but not nearly as much as the saddle work and riding.
When I got Dillon (mind you he is much younger) he was a totally spaz case, he had no idea that I was NOT going to kill him...as far ad he was concerned I was a huge threat.
So here is what I did...
-Number one thing I did was put him in a pen all by himself. I made it so that if wanted company it had to be me.
-Number two, I spent lots of time in his pen even if I wasn't doing anything with him. I would bring a chair and book out and eventually he would get curious and come closer and closer to me.
-I left a halter and lead on him for a week and caught him everday to groom and play with him.
-Everyday I gave him a treat (he loves oats)
I don't have a round pen (Man I hate moving!
) But if I did I would have lunged him everyday and worked on the join-up. I really like this method and I find it very effective. I think it works great on calming down a older horse that has not been worked.
I did all this with Dillon for about a month straight and now I only catch him about twice a week and he is a total cuddle bug. I can't even get pictures of him because he is always in my face. He is still a bit shy with everyone but me, but is coming around very quickly.
Hope this helps you.