He followed me! I even ran around the pen and Phar Lap was with me step for step. It was an amazing feeling for me because of all the struggles I had with him. He was so defiant on EVERYTHING and that moment was just one of the best feelings.
Love the name of your horse BTW - just hope his feet aren't as bad as his namesake's were!
Yes, I think it is precisely experiences like yours that have made people think of this trick as such magic. When they don't know any other way, it seems amazing that a horse would follow a person & come when called! But this trick, when done effectively is just basic applied behavioural psychology & there are many roads to Rome.
For eg. I personally prefer to teach the horse that I'm a Good Thing that they *want* to be with, rather than just the better evil because they're put to work if they don't follow.