The exercise is started in hand from piaffe in place. By clocking the tongue and asking the hind legs to step further under, the horse is invited to bring 100% of its weight on the hind legs. The rider can assist by touching the dock of the tail with the whip or to touch the hind legs to make them bend more under the point of weight. It is important that the rider does not try to lift the head, but keeps asking it forward down.
When the horse can do a levade in hand, the exercise can be done in riding.
The rider starts from piaffe in place and places the hind legs forward under the point of weight. The rider clocks his tongue and makes half halts. The rider focuses on a spot right in front of then at his eyes-height to help keep his body vertical and not lean forward while doing the exercise. After levade, the horse is asked to go forward-down in a relaxed walk. In a later stage of training, transitions from levade to piaffe are asked.