You did super good there!
I would have had some treats to thank him once he was loose again and still standing there, but you may not want to go there with four horses there to then start fussing over you as a treat resource.
That Parker seems to be learning in a hurry, as a good, smart student would.
See, look KR, It didn't even take a year! Yay! Good for you. I think often we forget that just because horses are well cared for, which thank goodness Parker was, does not mean they are well loved. You are teaching Parker that attention from people means more than a saddle and bridle. I bet he'll figure it out very quickly!
"Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
"With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Thanks for helping me enjoy the moment! None of my family or friends would understand ... this is one of those things I just don't post on Facebook either.
I completely agree that Parker was clearly well cared for, and extremely well-trained. But, with his previous owners he had become the "extra" horse that they put guests and inexperienced riders on. You can tell when you ride him that he has had some YAHOO! riders. We strongly suspect he's been kicked hard and slapped with the reins by people who learned to ride by watching the movies! He also has a deep indentation across his nose where a halter was clearly left on too long -- perhaps constantly.
He is amazingly calm and sweet, but understandably skeptical about people and their intentions.
In this regard, he reminds me so much King. However, King passed beyond skeptical and was affirmed in his disdain for humankind in general by the time I met him. Thankfully, he, too came around and I will never forget the lady who remarked, "King is so changed! He didn't even try to kill me!"
The only problem today was Elijah ... he was mugging me for attention and I could tell Parker wanted no part of being "caught" with Elijah so near (as in, right on top of us). Still, Parker did not dart and run, he just kept his distance.
So, I put Elijah away in a stall and went back. Again, lead rope and halter in full view, no treats, no begging.
One cluck, and he came right up. He knew he was going to get haltered, he didn't even turn his head. Stood perfectly still. His reward this time was more love and pats ... and walk out to the round pen for some FRESH grass and a change of scenery under the cottonwood trees. He was pretty happy about that.
I'm still not ready to turn him loose on 17 acres ... but we are DEFINITELY making progress.
I'm really happy with him, and I think he's pretty happy with me, too!