Very, very true. I remember how thrilled I was when we got our first circle at a walk on a loose-rein with no trotting off. It was a couple rides in, but I was thrilled. Not to mention our first canter work during a group lesson. She used to go into full-on race mode and it'd take forever to calm her down. I don't think non-horse people will ever understand.
I could go on all day about Indie to my friends, and they'll just sit there and try their best to understand.. but they never truly do. At least they try anyways!
And yes, a Thoroughbred and a Quarter Horse are quite opposite.. in my experience. I leased a six year old Quarter Horse gelding for two years before I got Indie. I did most of his training from when he was four and a half up until this summer.. he and Indie are complete opposites, but I love it. Just something about her.
My farrier almost couldn't believe she was a Thoroughbred because of how calm she was, she was just about falling asleep while he did her feet. She's exactly what I wanted though, a Thoroughbred, a mare, with a bit of chrome. I used to want a bay with some socks or stocking, and some sort of face marking.. but I've grown quite fond of Indie's coat and markings.
It sounds like you're thrilled with him! I can't blame you though.
I'd have been over the moon too if Indie had caught onto the loose-rein, relaxed walk that quick.