I read an article somewhere that the racing of young horses is healthier for them, I don't remember the exact wording, but something similar to how the teenagers who remain active aren't dealing with as many consequences when they get older.
Like, if you are a teen and not stretching, when you reach 30 or 40, you won't be NEARLY as flexible as someone who has been a gymnast their whole life.
Put into perspective. would you stand a 2 month old on there head? No, because their head has not hardened. Horses joints are like that. The start hardening from the bottom up.
For example: The ages at which some of the growth plates convert to bone.
Top of the short pastern between 9-12 month; top of long pastern between 13-15 months; cannon bone bottom become united with the shaft about 18 months; top and bottom of knees between 1.5 - 2 years; weightbearing top of the radius-ulna 15-18 months and it's distal surface 3-3.5 years; bottom of humerus 1.5 - 2 years; top of humerus 3-3.5 years; weight bearing bottom of the scapula 3-3.5 years
These are the ages when these bone joints have finished developing and sollidifying. And these are just the legs. There's more that doesn't finish developing until much later. The back finishes around 5.5 years.
You're listening to what the industry says. Not to what the majority of equine medicine says. You can't subject these developing joints to the stress of hard training and racing without doing damage.. The industry can't say that, because it would be an admission that they are damaging these young horses. I know they wish they could find a way to make their roughly 5,000 TB a year disposal rate become invisable.
Don't take either sides information as complete. Do the research. You'll find that while both sides put their own spin on it, but the industry is more ****ing, because they're trying to sugar coat, misrepresent or in some guess out right hide the facts.
As I've said in other post on this thread:
It is good to exercise young horses. But not as hard, fast and often as needed for racing. Racing is a brutal pounding on these young animals unharded joints, but I'm not going to repeat again what I've already written about in length during this thread