The problem is people don't start young horses right and it makes me SO angry to see it. At our barn, we have nearly every horse started at two and I remember being little tiny riding those horses, and now those same horses are still here being used as lesson horses. I can name at least four, would be six or seven but unfortunately horses are horses and have unrelated accidents.
My two year olds get BUTTONS before WORK. Hell I can walk around the rail and get buttons. I don't even have to trot to get buttons. In fact the three year old I'm starting now for a friend has only been trotted twice and loped once (Mainly due to bad ground), I've ridden her for awhile now, and she can side pass/haunch turn/forehand turn, stop, backup etc, drive into the bridle at the walk, understands the concept of moving the body parts while walking, etc. That's not because I'm a good trainer, the concept isn't rocket science. She's pretty much learned what she can and will be asked for more work now, increased speed, etc. I don't need a young horse to lope circles for hours. Hell even my finished mare won't get loped in a ride until I get all her other buttons pushed and functioning first.
Okay rant over. XD So much for no speech, huh?