SO GOOD TO BE BACK!
One thing: Be sure to always be aware of what gear you’re riding in, and to regularly make transitions between different gears.
To start you can use the 5 gear theory: As if your horse, like a car, had 5 gears.
In trot for instance: I start in 3rd gear, the standard gear – working trot for warm up. From there I go up to a couple of lengthened strides in medium trot – 4th gear. Then back to 3rd. Possibly an extension – 5th gear. And I go down collect the trot, on the short side for instance. The collected trot required from elementary I refer to as 2nd gear. More collection and down to piaffe is 1st.
While practicing, be patient, it takes time to develop the gears correctly. And if you loose balance or frame in one gear, take a step back work on the former to get steadier.
Always change gear with your seat, or your ‘tunnel’ for those who ride with me. No hands. (If you need the hand, go back to with on half halts using your seat.)
Photo from Springhill Dressage with Aragon.