At the particular case, a group of NH practitioners were invited to participate in a national horse show to demonstrate in an eye appealing way some things that can be achieved with NH. Lying down is in many cases not just a trick, it can also show the trust a horse has to his handler and can be very useful - for example, it recently came to good use when my horse, whom I have trained to lay down, got huge abscesses in both of his front hooves and was in too much pain to lift a separate hoof in order to get it treated by a vet. However, he still agreed to lay down for me and both hooves could be successfully treated as he fell asleep with his head in my lap. Also, in an environment where many believe in the stereotype (sadly, widely linked to the way some beginners use the 7 PNH games) that horses have to be beaten to do such things, it was a chance to show how a horse can do that completely willingly and gain some more positive interest in our methods.
Although I find that the belief that many of the NH things that can be taught to horses are "Just tricks" is another stereotype, I, of course, respect this beliefe - not everybody needs that, not every horse is suitable for that, just as I see no use of some other practices in my daily horsemanship. That's the trick - to choose wisely and use what we find appropriate for our needs.
And may I please invite the participants of this discussion to try and not to turn this thread into another Parelli bashing. We have enough of those already around here. :)
I have come a long way, to surrender my shadow to the shadow of my horse.