A lot of people are of the mind that after 4 a horse is too old, or harder to break. And with, say a 7 year old pasture pet with just lots of 'loving', it is true. But also after four you have to to a lot more training to before showing. A 4 year old is the oldest a horse can be shown in a snaffle bit in western competitions.
We broke an 8 year old mare once. She never bucked, but she sure was ornery. If you told her to go right, she'd go left, and vice versa. She did eventually come around. Just was a bit more set in her ways.
Before coming on this board, I had never heard that breaking a 2 year old was 'wrong'. Around here if the horse is past five and not broke, pretty well forget about buying it. Unless it's a really well bred horse, you're better off buying something under four.
Also if the horse is over three and not broke, unless it's coming from a PMU, mass breeder, or a broodmare/stallion, the question is, 'what is wrong with it?'. It must have either a MAJOR conformation or MAJOR attitude problems.
At auctions if the horse's age is given, it's the weanlings, yearlings and two year olds that are the sellers. Older then that is iffy, probably a problem horse. That is unless it's at a special sale.
SK people correct me if I'm wrong. That is the attitude that we got while at Melville and Preeceville.
Not saying this is right. But, before you jump down someone's throat about breaking 2 year olds, consider the different opinions. Not every one is right, and not everyone is wrong.
On a side note, I 'broke' a little QH filly as a two year old with out a halter or a saddle. I couldn't swing onto my QH/Arabian gelding from the ground, so I would jump on WildOne (she was wild and head shy when I bought her as a yearling), with a rope looped around her neck, and then position Zayn and climb onto him. I could swing ropes and direct my gelding and WildOne had no problems. All in all I was probably on her back for less than 5 minutes. Later on, I saddled her and rode her with it, but that was in the winter of her two year old year. She only ever kind of bucked on me once, I was riding bareback and she jumped (with an arched back), with her head down, I ended up sliding down her neck and stepping over her head. She looked up from grazing and I swear she was laughing at me!
BTW, this horse is still doing fine at 7 years old. I sold her to a friend.
Sorry for the book.