The Ultimate Arabian Horse Diet

Arabian horses are known for their extravagant display of energy and versatility on the field but require a nutritious food intake to maintain their energy levels.

So, what is the diet of an Arabian Horse? The primary diet of an Arabian consists of hay, pasture grass, and grains for nutrients. Concentrates are an alternate if the nutritional intake is not met through forage. Dietary requirements of an Arabian are similar to other horse breeds and only differ for certain individual horses.


Although an Arabian Horse is versatile and has lesser food intake in comparison to other horse breeds, the energetic equine does demand a proper diet, good care, and a suitable environment to stay happy.

What can you feed your Arabian Horse?

Here’s the best part:

The dietary requirements of an Arabian Horse do not include anything special. They are more than content with hay and pasture as their diet.

To counter the deficiency of certain nutrients in the above diet, a small amount of grains or supplements can be used.

Individual needs should also be catered when feeding an Arabian horse. If your horse is active throughout the day, there’s a slight chance your horse might need a more specialized dietary intake.

Here’s a fact:

Overfeeding your Arabian will only result in adverse outcomes. Both supplements and other foods should be given at specified times in a specific amount.

In this case, it’s best to follow the guidelines of your veterinarian and stick with them. They will be individualized and best suitable for the health factors and workload of your horse.

What food items are not recommended for an Arabian Horse?

Most equine lovers forgetfully give their horses lawn clippings or garden grass. It’s highly recommended not to feed your horse such food items as they contain toxins which are harmful to the digestive system.

Brans, all sorts of wheat and rice bran, are also not recommended as they can cause a mineral imbalance. Stick with the normal diet and your horse should stay healthy and live longer.

Eating Habits of an Arabian Horse

From the gallant display of pursuits in deserts to modern equestrian competitions, the Arabian Horse has managed to stand out in all of them.

Arabians were primarily used as war horses and thus were capable of carrying people around for miles with little food and water.

However, to keep the horse healthy and well taken care of, a proper schedule should be implemented with the supervision of a veterinarian.

Arabians are generally agile and their spirited nature allows them to thrive on greener pastures, but such large lands are not always available.

So, in case of the absence of pastures, grass hay or legume hay is provided as the feed of the horse. In other cases, processed hay or processed hay pellets might also be fed.

If you’re looking for high-quality pellets to supplement your Arabian horse’s diet, I’d recommend trying out Corta-Flex pellets. It’s recommended by vets for horses that prefer alfalfa hay.

As discussed, not every Arabian horse has access to pasture, in which case, the horse must be fed in smaller portions throughout the day.

An average adult Arabian horse can eat up to 20 to 30 lbs. of hay per day. This range, however, varies with the routine, age, breed, exercise, and workload of the horse.

One thing you should always keep in mind is the fact that horses can choke! It’s better to feed your horses small, diced portions of veggies or fruits if you choose to do so.

Where do Arabian Horses live and how does that impact diet?

The Arabian Horse temperament and intelligence are one of a kind. These horses are very emotional and can quickly get bored if confined to smaller zones.

A fact about the Arabians is that they can graze the pasture for hours on end. This complements the Arabian Horse temperament and allows them to have open access to food which helps in digestion.

Although not necessary, Arabians appreciate a company horses. It encourages a healthier environment, friendlier temperament, and decreases chances of boredom for them.

If you’re able to rent or purchase pasture, your horse is going to love it. If not, you could keep your horse in boarding or simply rent a barn or stall where you could keep your horse with fellow Arabians or other horses.


Although water doesn’t categorize as a food item, it is still a very important part of an Arabians nutrient-rich diet. Horses drink, somewhere around 5 to 10 gallons of water every day.

Your Arabian Horse should have access to fresh water at all times. It’s better to invest in a sound watering system, so your horse stays hydrated throughout the day without much effort.

This automatic stainless stock waterer is my go-to option for providing horses with constant access to water. In fact, it’s so good that I was surprised to find it on such a reasonable price on Amazon.

The amount of water, just like the feed and diet, depends on the activities and nature of your horse. Also, the weather of the considered day plays an important role. Generally, summers call for more water.

Arabian Horse treats

Apart from feeding your Arabian horse forage, many stores also sell various treats for horses. These vary from grains to hand-baked goods as well.

You might be wondering:

What food do these treats consist of? Are these so-called ‘treats’ safe for an Arabian horse?

Arabian horses are incredibly fond of treats and will perform way better when a reward is on the line. On that note, you may also want to check out our top horse treats list..

These treats include diced slices of apples, carrots, sweets or candies, and a handful of grain. These small treats lighten the mood of an Arabian which shows in their performance.

Sweets will become your horse’s favorite really soon. However, these sweets should be limited to special occasions only. Ridiculously large amounts of sugar might lead to irreversible health issues and weight gain.

Another precautionary step is to avoid bringing treats when you’re dealing with herds. It makes individual horses more competitive and might result in them being harsher towards their owners.

If you’re looking for a commercial horse treat option, go for these German Horse Muffins. They’re not only fantastic as treats but you can also add medications in them and give them to your horse.

Unhealthy food items can cause digestion issues. Thus, treats which contain pieces of meat should be avoided as they often lead to a dangerous disease called colic.

Here’s a list of items which should never be fed to an Arabian as a treat:

  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Cabbage, Broccoli, and Cauliflower
  • Chocolate
  • Bread
  • Meat (all sorts)
  • Extra-sweet feed (small amounts are still acceptable)

What do Arabian Horses eat in the desert?

When you think of Arabian horses, you immediately think of a horse galloping in the desert.

Haven’t you wondered what sort of food they eat in the desert? I mean, there’s no pasture over there, so how do Arabian horses survive in the harsh desert conditions?

Well, in the desert, Arabian horses are fed on dates and milk. This milk usually comes from camels as Arabs are quite fond of them.

This is interesting:

Arabian horses in the desert are said to be smaller and require lesser food intake as they are often accustomed to the harsh desert conditions. They are also known to survive 72 hours without water.

Related Questions

Why are Arabian Horses so special? Apart from their rich history, Arabian Horses are famous all over the world for their distinctive head, chiseled bone structure, high tail, and muscled bodies.

The Arabian horse’s astounding looks when complemented with its compact bodies, forms a horse breed with much more potential than others. Horse shows or races, the Arabian can perform in all.

What is the Arabian Horse known for? Be it agility, versatility, intelligence, or stamina, the Arabian has all these traits and many more. But perhaps Arabian Horses are most famous for their durability for running miles on end.

Usually, Arabian horses win most of the endurance races like the Tevis Cup.

With the ability to cover miles with little rest and refreshments, the Arabian has left all breeds behind.

Are Arabian Horses good for beginners? Arabian Horses are known for their unparalleled stamina and endurance. However, as they are warm-blooded horses, they might not make the best beginner horses.

If you’re looking for great beginner horses, you might want to try the Quarter Horse, although Arabians can certainly work well, too.

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