Advice needed about teaching my horse to bow and lay down.
Lately I've been considering teaching my 20 year old gelding to bow and lay down. I've always wanted to teach a horse to lay down, sit on their back and tell them to get up. It just looks like fun. :P Besides that, I think it would simply be a good bonding experience for the two of us - something out of the saddle. My horse loves laying down to begin with, so I don't think it would be too much of a stretch for him. :)
I have a couple of concerns however. The first is that I am wondering if this would be harmful to him at his age - putting stress on his joints or anything like that. I definitely don't want to make him uncomfortable or cause any issues. He may have mild arthiritis in one of his hocks - he had some injections about a year ago and it hasn't really been a problem since.
The second concern I have is that he is just starting to be used as a lesson horse (for advanced riders because of his barrel-racing past - he's very forward). I am afraid that if I teach him to bow or lay down, he may unexpectedly do it for one of the lesson kids because of a cue that they unintentionally gave. I don't want these tricks to become a nuisance.
So, I was just wondering if anyone had any opinions, advice, or tips. Is there a certain way I can train it or certain cues that I could give that would decrease the likelihood of him doing either of these tricks when he's not supposed to? Or is that even something I should be worrying about in the first place?
Thanks in advance for any input!