I actually think some of what PI's last post has some value. And I say the following not to be disagreeable or be offensive, but just an opinion. Not that I'm a great educator by the way... I'm a nobody in the grand scheme of things, and I say many of the things I do in defence of my friends and mentors, who are indeed professionals working their asses off.
I just want to say the circus dressage, I HAVE seen a person try it at my barn... because it looks so, you know fricking impressive. My point is, this is not real dressage, and you're hindering the real development of a horse and a rider if dressage is actually what you intend to do. BUT... if you think, hey let's do some tricks for fun! Or like PI say, I want my horses to be very very well socialised, and work off the ground perfectly, my horses work at movie sets etc., totally different story.
That certain individual at my barn who teaches her horse how to piaffe and spanish walk, she doesn't even ride him on the aids ever even in working gaits. When to a dressage clinic, being shred to pieces and boy was she furious. This is not dressage, this is up side down dressage, that is my point. High school movements are demonstration of progressive atheletic development and continuous elevation of the forehand. So if you claim your horse can do levade, you better be able to *ride* him in all collected gaits and all movements that comes before levade, if not, sorry, that's not levade that you've done. It is important to make that distinction, because you want to see the vision, the essence of this exercise.
I'm worried to see, see I can make my horse rear and trot in the same spot, oh I am doing dressage and let me show you how it's done. I hope that's not the case.
And to give the circus dressage people some credit, there are plenty of current dressage competitors commit the same crime of doing up side down dressage. This is a heated debate and very relevant to the development of this sport, welfare of horses and even breeding. but let's not discuss it here.