OK, I'll admit it, I've honestly lived in a black hole for the past 5 years. I've seen the term join-up on HF a lot, but not exactly sure what it is.
Before my exhile (i.e. the job from h*** that took all of my time), join up was when your movements matched the horses. Basically you walked at their speed, stopped when they stopped, basically mirrored them. Has that changed any, or is it something else that someone came up with and called join-up?
As far as the rope, once I catch her, she can't get away from it. It's in my hand that's brushing her, I have a spare on that get hung over her back, neck, or butt. But that's a lead rope. I do have one for roping that I still haven't learned how to use (on the bucket list). From what I know about her (granted this is all third hand stories), she was a ranch horse that wasn't handled very well. She does have some scars in various places on her body including around her neck that could be any number of things (barbed wire, spurs, a rope, chain, etc. or a combo of all of the above). One of the stories I was told was that she was a roping horse (on the way she acts when ridden it sounds plausible she was a roping horse). Anyway, anything bad that could be done with a rope was done to her. Of course I don't know for sure, but supposedly the twice removed previous owner had brought a rope in the round pen for use with another horse, and she flipped out. Life preservation type of flipping out.
So my plan right now is NOT to introduce THAT particular fear/item for now. I'm starting small & working my way up. Like fly spray, blue brushes, halters & lead ropes, soccer balls, ground poles and cones. Eventually I'll get to the big ticket items, but I want to make sure she knows whats expected, and how I'm going to react to her behavior.
Letting her get away with being scared of something/rewarding her for running away is not what I'm trying to do. That's the reason it takes me that long sometimes to catch her. One way or another I will catch her at that time, no matter how long it takes, I'm not walking away with out at LEAST being able to walk her a little by holding on to the halter. I will follow her until she lets me finally get ahold of her, whether it takes 5 minutes or 3 hours. And I have made my kids 2 hours late for supper because I was not walking away with out having caught her.
I haven't removed anything she's afraid of (other than the rope) when she reacts, it's just a matter of how much control I have of her at the time. Obviously if I haven't caught her yet, I can't exactly force her not to turn away. BUT once I have a hold of her, I have a spare halter that goes on off, on off, on off. If she rears up, once all feet are back on the ground its back to on off, on off. Once she starts at least showing an attempt at keeping her head down, we move on to something else for a bit, (fly spray, pfft pfft "good girl", pfft pfft - up goes the horse - pfffffffffffffttttttttttttttttt) ;) OK, quiet horse getting sprayed, halter on off, on off.
Sorry this got long, but I'm trying to explain my methods. If anyone else has any ideas for not letting her get away with not being caught other than to just keep walking up to her/letting her come to me (which she won't come up to ANYONE, even if you have feed), until she lets you grab her no matter how long it takes, let me have it.
She's already in a small area, and no I don't/never have used treats or food to bribe her (know-it-all at the barn tried to show me what I was doing wrong. I just watched her do the same thing that she does to me). I admit that I've caved for the time being and leave halter on all the time, as no one will put hers on when she's let out, and I fairly certain right now without one already one, there will be NO catching her. What I do is use my spare, and act like the one already on isn't there if I can. She still cringes when being rubbed, brushed, or getting scratched, so it's still not a positive reinforcement tool yet.
"Just because I don't do things your way, doesn't mean I don't have a clue"