I started out by just going into the field and hanging out with the herd to get my "sea legs" back. I figured I'd start slow and see how I felt. Well how I felt was that it had been way too long, and it was so good to be back. Once I'd relaxed a bit, I caught Gossip's buddy and then caught Gossip. I made sure to tie her short! I didn't have her out of the field super long... just about 20 minutes, enough time to brush her down but not enough for her to get antsy or my nerves to come back. I decided to leave it there and call it a good experience for both of us. Plenty of time in the future for pushing boundaries (and the boundaries have kind of changed anyways, for a bit).
It was a good day. :)