While the horse in nature and as an animal, the breeding of horses is a more modern day practice, especially for the purpose of sport. It is speculated according to historical records that the Arabian horse was the first type of horse to be bred, although it may very well be there were other horse types being bred that were not documented.
When one looks back at the history of the breeding of horses, it can be seen that the type of breeding being done would depend on the type of horses that were available and what the needs were for those who would use these horses.
During war periods there was a need for horses that could carry a great deal of weight. The horseback riders going into battle were wearing heavy armour which the weight of would have to be endured by the horse. A large heavy horse would give the riding warrior better ability to handle their lances.
Then during other war periods light more agile horses were preferred. This was more plausible when the war tactics required a horse to be able to out-manoeuvre rather than outrun the opponents.
Aside for the purposes of war, horses were also bred with the focus being on other activities. This was evident for the pleasure of Haute Ecole riding. This is a form of classical dressage which is still very popular today as noted with the different and very impressive dressage competitions that one can enjoy today.
The purposes of horse breeding are many that not only include those that have been mentioned. It also includes the breeding of horses for work performance. More so in the past compared to today although some cultures still prefer to use various breeds of horses for farm work rather than modern machinery.
Horses are being bred for various sports with one of the most prominent being that of various types of horse racing.