I decided the best way to 'get back into the saddle' would be to stroke him so I gently reached out and patted his nose. He seemed to like it. In fact he liked it so much that when I left he followed me to the end of the field.
Then I felt guilty about leaving so I went back and gave him the only thing I had, which was a doggy treat.
I continued on my way feeling rather pleased with myself when a horrid thought struck me: are horses vegetarian? Had I just fed him a gravy-flavoured bone? Would he become carnivorous and eat me next time he saw me?
It's amazing the way I can turn a walk in the woods into a scene from a horror film.
P.S. It was a milky bone.