Honestly I am afraid to ask them since they might be angry from me petting their horse. I have anxiety problems and part of the reason I stopped so often was to talk to the horses and relieve stress. Life is hectic for me and taking an hour to just talk to them and pet them relieves a ton of stress. Its in the middle of nowhere and usually late at night, talking to the horses just seems to help my mind a lot. I might just stop since I have heard all this, apparently my very presence can be a cancer to the horses and I would rather them not become rowdy because of me just stopping by and giving them affection. I can't afford a horse, nor do i have space for one to stay.
On a side note the older larger horse seems to like me more and will chase off the younger one so that she has my full attention. She doesn't push into me like some here are saying, more so she leans over curiously and after a few minutes nuzzles my arms sniffing me. She isn't really pushy, but I guess I am still a scratching post to her. Either way I can't see how someone can become close to a horse if this is all they see people as.
I can totally relate with how enjoyable it is to pet horses. And, to be honest, I still pet horses that will come up to the fence. I just don't feed them. I take it upon myself to take the risk if they bite me, and I know others will disagree with me on this, and I may be wrong. I love on them, scratch them, just as you described. I don't, however, assume that they won't bite me. I assume they MIGHT bite me and I am very aware of them and make sure that they keep their mouths respectful.
Since I have spent enough time with horses to read their language, I can make an "educated" guess as to when they are becoming irked or scared or defensive enough that they might decide to bite me (biting is very natural for animals). A person who is very new to horses takes a bigger risk. But, you know, life is about risk. I was just saying that you could lessen your risk a lot be not allowing them to nuzzle your chest, and
feeding them treats is what's more likely to anger the owner.
But, you have nothing to lose by speaking with them. Heck, they might invite you and introduce you to them and you might take one step, then another , then another and end up actually riding them! you just never know.