By definition, horse domestication is accompanied by a certain mastery of its breeding. Man has learned to develop, modify and control the flocks of multiple regional races based on different criteria. Even though the horse took part in everyday life both at work and at war, the kingdom of France experienced a horse shortage in the 17th century. To remedy this, it paid top dollar for imports of foreign cavalry. To relieve the country of these expenses, many solutions arose and spoke of the idea of a national stud farm administration. This was initially unsuccessful. Not until Colbert arrived did the idea of controlling breeding set in nationally. National stud farms were created in 1665. In addition to reducing expenses, this method enabled men to shape breeds and horses according to their expectations and needs. Stud farms placed French breeding place in the hands of directors and thus controlled an activity previously carried out by private breeders.
Today, the stud farms continue to be the guarantors of the quality of numerous distinguished breeds, ensuring notably the identification and traceability of horses in France.
At first, the stud farms promoted the growth of horse numbers, enabling sovereigns and nobility to stand out. Depending on the period, their mission gradually evolved. Today, they continue to be the guarantors of the quality of numerous distinguished breeds, ensuring notably the identification and traceability of horses in France. They also work in collaboration with many private breeders. This mode of controlling births and performing crosses to achieve the best products and perfect genetics reveals how man has been able to shape the horse in his image. Depending on the fashions in each period and the use required (war, sport, etc.), more or less pure blood could be added or removed.