When Jon talks about how he feels about Chloe, he says he’s fond of her. Which to me sounds like he holding up his hand and saying keep your distance.
But me and Chloe have been learning some tricks together and one of them is “kiss”. She puts her nose over the fence looking, no doubt for a treat, I say “Kiss” and kiss her nose. Then I give her an enthusiastic “Yes!” and a treat. I’m reinforcing her action so eventually when I say “Kiss” no matter where she is, she’ll put her nose up for a kiss.
Today Jon tried it. With an apple in hand, when Jon said “Kiss” Chloe lifted her nose to him and he gave her a kiss. Actually, he gave a bunch of kisses. “I kissed a pony” he said with a big smile on his face, his eyes sparkling.
As much as Jon writes about the Carriage Horses and likes taking pictures of them, being close to horses in an emotional and physical way seems to elude him. Maybe Chloe will change that.