You know more than I do Kayty! Yes, I imagine most high level dressage riders are training their horses as they go, but when you are first learning it, like me, I found it helpful to have a trained dressage horse to teach me how to give the correct cue. My trainer said that she purposefully did not train her gelding as high a level as her FEI level stallion so that she could use him to teach. She said that the higher level the horse is, the more difficult it is to ride for a beginner because their cues are so specific. Anyway, So I know now what the exact, correct response from the horse feels like when I give a certain cue, so now I have a better idea of how to achieve that in a lesser trained horse, whereas before, if neither of us (me or the horse) knew what exactly we were looking for, it would be a longer process, does that make sense? Again, you seem to have much more experience than me Kayty, and I agree that it gets to a point where both the horse and rider are learning together, I'm just speaking from my own limited experience!