I want to point this out for those who don't know, or tend to forget ( I think we've nearly all done this at one point or another )
It all starts with Rhythm. With this, comes Energy and consistent tempo. Rhythm cannot be skipped, because with Rhythm also comes a calm horse.
Next, Relaxation - which goes hand in hand with the Rhythm (and calmness). This is where you notice the bouncing tail, and bobbing ears.
Followed by Connection. Don't associate this with Contact. Connection is the horse accepting the bit through accepting the riders natural Aids.
After these 3, comes Impulsion - asking the horse to move forward willingly with free flowing movement, and tracking strides. The strides should be active and with energy.
Next comes Straightness - the horses hip and shoulders aligned with the riders, and working between the aids and moving forward.
Last but not least, Collection! With this, the horse is thoroughly 'engaged' in the hind end, while the front end remains light and the horse carries itself - NEVER allow a horse to ride and balance itself on YOU! Everyone should ponder on this question: "Where does extention fit in?" The answer is too Collection. The horse lifts its front end, and a burst of energy "blows" through the circuits so to speak, ahah, while carrying itself.
This is a breif description of the training scale every dressage rider should follow. Keep in mind, i'm not one to treat any horse as another - each are individuals; like humans; and deserve to be treated as equal, SO alterations may need to be made to an extent.