As an early Christmas present, my mom got tickets for us to see Cavalia in San Diego. It was awesome!! Even my dad (who is not a horse person) loved it. We had great seats, only 6 or 7 rows up from the arena.
The did the acrobatics, vaulting, free lunging, driving, trick riding, high level dressage, and jumping. They mostly had Anadulsians and Lusitanos, but also had QHs, Paints, a couple drafts (Perch and I think a Suffolk Punch), a mini, and a warmblood. Ages ranged from 6months to 20yrs. They had 16studs, and 32 geldings.
I think the think I liked best about it were the mistakes. One of the vaulters missed a flip and fell off the Percheron. She got back up and did a couple circles before trying again. You could see her gather herself for the second jump but unfortunately she fell again. The routine was over by that point but as she was leaving she walked up and petted and talked to the horse.
Then during another act there was one man free lunging a group of 6 horses. One of the horses (I think he was the 20yr old since he looked old and bossed the others around) decided to have a nice roll. The man lunging kept going, then when the horse got up he walked over and pet his face. You could tell that there was a lot of affection between the two.
The final oops was during the jumping portion. There was a one stride set up with the first fence set about 2'6". The second was just a bamboo looking pole held up to chest height (4'ish) by two guys. About a stride out from the first fence I could tell the distance wasn't going to be pretty....and it wasn't. They got way deep to the first and weren't able to make the one stride. The horse jumped to the side, right at the guy holding the pole. Luckily the guy managed to get out of the way. The rider stopped his horse and shrugged his shoulders with his hands up as if to say "Oops". Again, the rider pet his horse before walking out.
It was nice to see that even professionals who do this show twice a day four days a week even make mistakes. It was very obvious that all the horses were in great shape and well taken care of. Almost all of them had boots or wraps on and everyone went in a snaffle. If you ever get the chance to go see Cavalia, do it