After looking at all the photos of the Blue Mustang, it struck me that for many people, the most common image of a rearing horse (other than a wild stallion) is that of the Levade, a movement where a horse rears up at a 45% angle and then holds the pose for several seconds. It is a very difficult movement that requires both balance and strength.
The Levade was originally a military maneuver; it provided the rider with a higher vantage point that allowed him to aim and shoot his weapon at the enemy with greater success.
Today, it is a standard in the Lippizan shows where these beautiful baroque horses show their ability in the airs above the ground.
The video below shows a horse in training. It was taken during a photo shoot for the February 2009 issue of Dressage Today and features Dr. Thomas Ritter with the Lipizzan stallion, Maestoso II Catrina, in the Piaffe and Levade in Hand.
For more extraoridinary photographs of Lippizans, visit Across the Diagonal Farm.