Oh boy. LOL I was The Little Girl they couldn't run off from a horse breeding ranch as a kid. I knew all the brood mares, the studs, the yearlings, the ones in training... and I had permission to have the run of the place and give snacks. But that was the 80s... and y'know. If you got bitten or kicked - well. You were warned. Too bad.
So I had a healthy respect for the horses, but was nuts about them. I wouldn't trade that childhood for the world.
Now I own horses, and from an owner's perspective - none of mine have any trouble eating anything - I share chicken strips with Trigger, slices of cheddar cheese with Sarge, Superman loves apples, and they'll all beg for carrots, so I buy four or five bags at at time at the grocery store.
That said - I caught my husband trying to shovel three trash bags of FRESH GRASS CLIPPINGS over the fence at them and had to beat him in public for it. No, that's not the same thing as hay at all! Not at all!
So. I provide the snacks, or ask the neighborhood folks who like to drop by and say hi to the horses when they're hanging around the fence to bring apples or carrots and do watch the fingers!
Anyway - As an owner, speaking for myself - I LOVE it when someone asks if they can meet my horses, talk to them, help groom them, tack up, or even ride. I'm not much beyond a beginner myself, but it's like introducing someone to my kids or grandkids. I'm delighted to have people ask to be around them, though I do tend to be highly selective on who gets to ride who and when and where and why. Usually that's a hard no unless it's a planned trip and it's someone I know quite well.
I hope you and your neighbor hit it off and who knows? It's shown that people who participate in equestrian activities tend to develop more confidence and become more outgoing. Maybe that could be you?
"We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us."