Don't worry about what the other barn residents think. I had a lady here for 2 years that was working on her retirement hobby - she'd never been around horses - and I encouraged her to hang out in the field, brush her horse daily and just take her own time getting used to it. The other residents at my barn gave her a hard time, and even my neighbors thought she was loopy, but, in the end, she had a far better relationship with her horse than the others did, and that was with other horses in the same pasture. Take your moments whenever you can.
Ask Often, Demand Nothing, and Reward Generously.