“We must learn to walk before we can run” is a well known saying. Translation = we have to be patient when learning & growing. Babies crawl before they walk & children walk before they run. Advanced tasks, mentally & physically, before basic tasks are not correct or fair. Why is this thought process not applied to horses?
Are we simply too eager? Maybe. Do we allow societal expectations & pressures to guide our training? Maybe. While our equine partners grow & develop at a rate different from human children, we must consider what we would ask a child & how that corresponds to what we would ask a young horse. Reading before the alphabet? Bridle before a halter?
Generally speaking, a horse is considered ready to be backed between 3-4yrs old. Consider this room for discussion. Skeletally their bodies are not fully developed until 6+yrs. With fusion starting from the bottom & working its way up. Thoracic vertebrae are some of the last to mature. The withers & several cervical vertebrae are the very final to fuse (8+yrs).
Knowledge fuels change.