To get the cart before the horse

Definitions

  • Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • To get the cart before the horse to invert the order of related facts or ideas, as by putting an effect for a cause; to do things in an improper order.
    • ***

Usage

In literature:

It was like Lincoln in his relations with women to get the cart before the horse so to speak.
"A Man for the Ages" by Irving Bacheller
***