I went out, opened the gate for him, and he went half way through. "This is fine right here," he said.
He decided he would stay in that spot, and moreover that I should move in with him and keep scratching him as long as he wanted.
Finally he went all the way in, and I shut the gate. Then of course he wanted to come out again. But not all the way out. Bridget was hovering nearby. In the end, because I'm a softie, I let them both come out together, and they spent a happy hour or two before both deciding it was time to go back.
Later, I went to spend some time with them in the pasture. George came to park himself beside me and be scratched. But he kept making evil faces if I hit the wrong spot. Finally he gave me such a mean look, I stomped off in a huff. He vented his frustration at this turn of events by galloping the mares over to the far side of the field. As soon as I was out of the gate, he turned around and headed back, looking as if butter wouldn't melt in his mouth: "Here I come! I'm back!" Naturally, I relented and went in again. George came over to re-position himself beside me, and this time he was a little nicer.
Eventually, George stood off by himself to doze, and Bridget came over to hang out and have a little nap too, while Rose and Chloe kept each other company in the distance.
I have gotten so worried about offending the horses in any way, that for the life of me I can't see how I'm ever going to get around to riding again. But today, I did a funny thing. I was standing by Bridget's head, when suddenly I had the urge to put my arms around her neck and jump onto her front like a baby monkey. So I did - or sortof tried to. She squealed in surprise, but stood perfectly still. What a silly human.