Sometimes people get a little drunk on their own knowledge and enjoy sharing it because doing so boosts their sense of self-importance. If I have to get snarky, I usually go with. "If you're going to give me something for nothing, I prefer cash."
I do realize that the OP has moved on. I'm glad you're happy with your new barn.
In the mean time, I do pat, but I do it in certain context. I tend to rub and stroke, then when I'm all done with a "lovin" session and ready to move on, I give the horse a light pat as a loving, "let's move now."
I do prefer to have my horses desensitized to some pretty hard patting so that if I ever have to whack a fly, my horse doesn't flip out on me.