I don't know Jesse's past, I have had him almost a year, he will be 15 in June. He lets me walk up to him almost anywhere, but 3/4's of the time he turns away from me. I almost always have to approach his rear flank, that's his comfort. It would be nice to have him look at me and be happy to see me. I tried the looking down thing, the sidestepping thing, etc. It always seems like he is ready to bolt. I was hoping that joining up would help. When I do get up to him, he puts his head down in my chest, deep sigh, ready for a pet. When I tried what John Lyon's did, Jesse ran around the arena for 2 hours before he held my gaze. I have some more tricks to try as I only tried it the one time, but it broke my heart to see him breathing so hard. When he finally did look at me, I praised him and held my ground not daring to move toward him giving him a break. One step sent him off again. He is more worried about everything around him than looking at me. He never once turned his body towards me, never took a step in my direction. He is very spooky on the trail and I'm too old to deal with a spooky horse. I was hoping joining up would help build trust. Perhaps I did it wrong and I'm anxious to try again tomorrow.
What you describe here is why I don't do join up very often any more. Of the 15+ horses I have used this method with,(I learned the John Lyons way too) looking back, only 3 of them do I think it really was the best training option.
A word of caution, a horse can learn to run a way from you rather than join up. I have made this mistake before, a Mini was given to me because he was hard to catch, and I don't know if it was something I did wrong, or if this just wasn't a good method for this horse, but after 2-3 sessions he started bolting around the pen like crazy any time he laid eyes on me. He did eventually join up but I could have skipped a lot of trouble if I had chosen a different approach.
Please take this for whatever you think it's worth, I don't want to come off as a know-it-all and I'm not the trainer John Lyons is, but since you can catch your horse I would use a different method than join up.
To be specific, I'd use the lead rope to teach a cue to teach my horse to yield his hip and face you. Start by driving his hip away from you using the halter to bring his head around to you, slowly try to use the halter less and less until you can get him to face you without using the lead at all maybe even hanging it over his neck, he will eventually respond to this cue any time you want to catch him. I would probably also "cheat" and give him a treat any time he faced up to me really nicely
with very little pressure on the lead.
This method might take a little longer, but there is much less chance of error.