Can you/do you stand, with your feet sort of in front of your horse’s front feet, with your arm resting casually on his neck, rub his neck, between his ears, ruffle his forelock, etc. WHILE HE’S EATING?
People usually throw the feed in the bucket or stall and walk away. Is your horse comfortable with you doing everything while he comfortably munches? Does he stop eating, raise his head, get white around his eye, move away, wait/hope for you to go away?
You may think you can. You may think this isn’t important or a big deal. Just check it out and see.