Vent away. This is a great place to share our happy things and our woes. Sometimes we can get sound advice, and it is a good thing to lean on each other now and then.
On ground work....my humble thoughts and experiences.....
Each horse is, of course, individual. We taylor the ground work to how the horse ius responding--and retaining the lessons.
I am a fan of Clinton Anderson's type of ground work for respect.
Most horses are pretty sharp and figure it out quickly. Reminder lessons now and then--because most horses, being sharp, also figure out the second they have gotten away with something.
I would begin with some round penning--but just enough to make sure the horse is doing as asked, when asked. I like to send around a couple times in each direction at all gaits. Watch the ears--is horse paying attention? Keeping focus on us? Keeping hindquarters turned away from us? Etc.
Then I ask horse to whoa. He may stop, turned to watch me. Next I place my hands or carrot stick on horse, asking him to give to me. Shoulder, hind,etc. Do all sides. Then ask horse to aback with very slight pressure.
Next I will do the same under halter.
Next, under saddle.
Staying a respectful space is huge to me--in all of above steps.
Now, that said, I agree with Stan that I want my horses rideable at any time, without having to do a ton of pre-ride workout. I 'expect' my horses to know their job and behave at it.
The above groundwork is a great reminder lesson, or if I just want to work on getting my horse 'softer'.
As you and your horse learn more about each other, the reminder lessons will become less frequent.