You don't need a round pen(but didn't you say hubby took her into a round pen??), but IMO you do need somewhere safe to train her, especially if there are ATV's & such to tangle with. But if you have an enclosed(but not too small like many round pens) area while training will also allow you to have better control - if an 'emergency escape' happens & she feels the need to move her feet in a big way, she can, but you're still right there to start over when she calms.
She was at my folks place at the time, she is now boarded where I have access to one as well as the ring. Quite a reprieve when all I had was three large pastures to choose from. Sometimes we don't have the luxury of having a highly ideal horse environment. That was nearly a year ago, though. Sorry for the confusion :) As for the ATV, it'd been my "get to the pasture quicker" and it isn't left in the pasture, but she ended up in the rear pasture and I was worried about her snapping a leg or getting tangled up, ATV is much quicker than my short legs! She stopped the moment she caught the ATV and the only reason she caught was the rubber stopper at the end of my lunge line. Took two seconds to pull the saddle off and took her out for a hand graze after all the chaos, she was a little rattled, but settled just fine and we resumed riding the next day.
Where she is kept now
, there's nothing in our working area that would pose an issue or hazard. Nor was there in the pasture at my folks place, it's nothing but three high split rail fencing and some cedar trees. ATV was my transportation and she came around toward me on her last lap, got caught and stopped instantly. Ok, now I'm rambling.
Regardless why you're lunging her, why you're playing with tarps, etc, my point was that if she's frightened of a lunge rope or dangling reins, IMO you shouldn't be attaching one to her yet, especially in an open, unsafe environment. I'd want to get her over things like that as part of basic training.
Not sure I get the surpass comment. But I'd personally want her 'surpassing' a lot of stuff like that, especially dragging ropes & basic stuff like that before I'd take her on trails. Basically I'd be doing this with 'approach & retreat' tactics, such as Palogal described(better than I did, it seems!), and in 'baby steps' so that she's not likely to actually panic.
I understand what you're saying :)
My point was very short & 'easy' sessions are best with stressful lessons. Doesn't matter if it was 40 or 20 or 10. What matters is what you're doing, the stage you're at with her, what her reactions are, because even one minute can potentially be too long.
That's true... I had an Arab I worked with that would about knock you out touching her ears. She was ear twitched, ugh to be clipped (was a halter mare). We had to do 30 second to a minute long sessions before I was able to touch her ears without a fuss or getting a knot on my head.
"Wall-eyed, snorting, and sweating" or mentally 'shutting down' is an eg. Of extreme stress, but it's a matter of degrees & also the horse in question as to how they react to stresses & absence of those obvious extreme signals doesn't mean no stress. But from your further description, seems maybe that wasn't the case anyway - too much left to guess with little info to go on.
I apologize on the lack of information. I was more or less giving a "brief" description when I sought information on how someone would tackle a horse being unsettled by ropes dragging. Not a critique on handling her specifically, per say. I guess I failed to articulate that, which I apologize for. Sometimes I get caught up typing and don't realize when I miss things until the posts roll in and I'm left with "Where did that come from? I thought I mentioned it." My brain runs too quick for the fingers to catch up, sometimes. My mind has processed it, but I don't realize I missed actually typing the darn thing out. Proofreading failure at its finest
This isn't a typical post of mine, I like to have an abundance of detail over little. No point in giving excuses, we'll call a spade a spade :)
But perhaps you mean that she wasn't really stressed & 'shutting down' at all, but that you asked her to do something, she said 'nope', you accepted that, so reinforced it & this was repeated? If so, you need to appreciate that every time she 'practices' this behaviour & you reinforce it, you're just reinforcing her saying 'no' to you. So you need to do things in such a manner that isn't too stressful to her, but that you can follow up on - become more assertive, effective - if she simply refuses, so you can become a good leader for her, which will also make a difference to her trust in you, in the face of 'scaries'.
I never accepted her "Nope" but I wasn't going to bully and shove her around to do something that was awful "scary" for her and make it an even more negative experience. I was trying to find what worked for her. I don't believe in a "blanket fix all" for horses. What worked for her, doesn't work for my other mare and vise versa. I think you said it best when I just purely over did it and she shut down. She was willing to step on the tarp the first 10 minutes or so, but she wouldn't walk on it. Granted she got the crap loved out of her for stepping on it. I couldn't explain why I didn't leave the lesson like that and work on it the next day, sometimes we can expect too much from our horse without recognizing it.
Often things are misinterpreted when we only have the written word to go on & you provided very few details. The more info the better
This is true, I guess I need to be more specific next time when looking for how you (the public) would desensitize a horse that is frightened of items that drag in front of them. Which is why I bolded the question, the rest was just useless "fluff" that made it easy to confuse where the post was intended to go. The tarp I'm not worried about. The stuff dragging in front of her is another story
Thanks for the advice :)