For the past several weeks, our rides have been about steadying the connection. I am totally happy to work on that. We start at the walk with me asking him to stretch forward and down - he loves that part. We then turn that into a medium walk where he has to lift his withers a bit and carry his own head.
When the walk is more or less established, we pick up the trot where we do the same thing. I say only three things as we work - Nope, nope, nope ... Yes. Nope, nope, nope, Yes! And every once in a while, I get to throw in a good boy! which is all too often cut short by another string of nopes.
If we ever get to show again, we're coming out at Second Level where no stretchy trot is required. Bring on the half pass and flying changes - you know, the easy stuff!