Filly is 4 and I have been working with her just about every day for the past 2 weeks+. She's extremely quick and trusting... She's been messed with since she was a baby and she absolutely loves people and KNOWS we would never hurt her. I've been very very adamant about not breaking that trust. ZERO aggression and ZERO pushiness. Her owner saddled her and led her around with a kid on her back several times before I am came along. She learns way quicker than any horse I've ever worked with, because she likes the attention.
The hackamore I'm using is not what you described... here is a picture I found of what I have, except I rigged it with a leather curb strap:
It's mild and harmless when used correctly. The filly works fine from the ground in and responds to it with her nose in, which is usually the kicker for me when it comes to 'giving to pressure'. She gets an A++ in that... from the ground...
I like the lead rope idea. I will definitely try that today.
We are working at her pace. Like I said, I never push her. If she's confused I always back up and go slower. The first time I got on her was not to "ride", but to get her used to balancing a heavier rider and get used to things happening over her head (noises, hands waving, reins on her neck, etc). She was relaxed the entire time... didn't even get a mound in her back. Like I said, we stayed in one place.
After warming her up, stretching out her legs, slowly getting the saddle tight enough that it would slip and pinch her, I got on a second time. This time, she took a voluntary step and I let her, just to let her feel what it's like to balance a rider at the walk. If she stopped, I let her. I didn't even use my reins for the beginning. Eventually we got far enough away from the starting point that I wanted to see if she'd go back, so I gave a little leg pressure and asked her to turn. She swung her head a bit, stuck her nose out, but then she did a nice pivot and turned. Didn't last more than 5 - 10 mins.
She doesn't drive. I don't have a roundpen to work in, nor the equipment to teach her. I did attempt getting behind her with really long reins but she just turned and faced me.
Let me break down the filly's attitude... If she sees a human, she will run up to you and sniff you, as well as anything you brought with you. She's VERY curious, but not pushy. She's easy to handle and is never aggressive or feisty. If she is loose in the field and you chase her with a longe whip, she'll swing her head and gallop around you like you're playing, then when you stop, she'll walk up to you. She's extremely forgiving. She learned how to longe on a longeline in less than an hour after having ZERO experience with it before. I mean, she learned to walk when I said "walk", trot when I clicked, and come to me when I said whoa. Seamlessly.