Horses, although very beautiful, are the type of animals that need a lot of space to be able to live happily. They also need to have a stable that will keep them safe throughout the whole year. Unfortunately, sometimes, building one from scratch is simply not possible – no matter how much you want to do it.

However, what if we told you that there’s a way for you to be able to keep your dream horses, as long as you have a garage that is not being used? Because there is.

Want to find out more about how you can convert your garage into a stable? Keep on reading.

Measure Your Garage

One of the most important things you need to establish before converting your garage into a stable is whether it is big enough for the animals you wish to keep in there – in this case, horses. If you have a garage that accommodates one car, then probably you will only have enough space to house one horse, while a two-car garage might be good for two to three animals – although this depends on its dimensions. Ceiling height should allow the horse to raise its head very comfortably without worrying about hitting the ceiling. The minimum stall size should be 10′ x 10′ (3m x 3m) to 12′ x 12′ (3.6m x 3.6m) for an average size riding horse. These are minimum recommendations.

Take Out the Garage Door

Once you know that your garage is big enough to house a horse, you can move on to the next step – that is getting rid of the garage door. After all, there’s no need for it – the opening where the door was will be used as the front of the stable, where the gate will be located. So, remove the garage door slowly, and when that is taken care of, make sure that there aren’t any garage door parts left that could accidentally harm the horse or other animal.

Make Sure Adequate Ventilation Is In Place

Contrary to a car that can sit in the dark for God only knows how long, animals need windows and a good source of airflow. If your garage already has windows, you can consider yourself lucky; however, you will need to add them if it doesn’t.

Since it requires quite a bit of work, you should contact a professional that will be able to do it for you. Don’t do it yourself – adding windows usually requires modifying the structure of the garage, and those performed improperly might affect the stability of the construction, and therefore be dangerous for the horses inside the stable.

Add lighting Fixtures (If Needed)

Animals – be it horses, dogs, or others – need light to be able to see what they are doing and where they are going. If your garage is on the darker side, meaning that it is dimly lit or doesn’t have any source of lighting, then you will need to give an electrician a call to install light fixtures in it. Again, just like with windows installation, you don’t want to do it yourself, as it might create a safety hazard for the horses.

While you’re at it, you might also want to add a few electrical sockets so that you won’t have any problem with plugging in animal-related equipment – such as fans, so that you can provide your horses with additional ventilation during hot summer days.

Add Plumbing (If Needed)

Make sure that you have running water in your garage – otherwise, you will have to carry it from your house, which isn’t the most pleasant experience. You can either use a hose attached to an existing faucet, or you can give the plumber a call and get them to install new equipment.

Build the Stalls

Since constructing the stalls from scratch would be a very challenging thing to do, you can use your garage’s support beams as the basis for it. Depending on how big your garage is and how many animals you are planning on keeping there, you might have to build partial or full walls to divide the stalls.

The easiest way to build the stalls is to fix either 2-by-4 or 2-by-6 wooden boards onto your existing support structures. You will need at least three horizontal boards. The walls should be minimum of four feet tall. If the animals the stalls are going to house are aggressive, don’t leave any gaps between the boards, and make the walls taller – between six and eight feet tall.

Add the Gates

In order to keep the animals from escaping, you need to install gates – they will allow you to let the animals in and out of the stable comfortably. You will also need to install one big gate across the front of your stable, ensuring good airflow during the warm spring and summer months. For a one-car garage, which can be converted into a single stall, the gate at the front will be the only one you will need.

When it comes to attaching the gates, you can do it by screwing the gate hinges to your existing walls. Now, with the gates themselves, you can either buy premade ones, or you can build them yourself by assembling 2-by-4 boards into a square or rectangle shape of the size of the opening and attaching hinges to one side and an eye bolt with a chain and hook to the other.

Install Livestock Supplies

Once you have completed every step we have mentioned above, it’s time to buy and install livestock supplies.

The first thing you should purchase is a big plastic storage bin for food that the horses or other animals will not be able to get into, as well as water and feed buckets. You can either use them as free-standing ones, or you can use eye-bolts and hooks and attach them to the walls.

If your garage has a concrete floor, you should buy rubber stall mats and cover it with them – the concrete flooring can damage the animal’s skin and joints when they lie down on it, so it is crucial that there is at least four to six inches of padding between the horse and the floor. Once you install the mats, add shavings to increase the padding.

The Bottom Line

Many people love horses but don’t have enough land on their property to build a stable from scratch. Because of this, you might think that their dream of owning a horse can never become a reality. Nothing could be further from the truth – as long as they have an empty garage.

The garage is actually an extremely versatile place that can be used for more things than you can imagine – including being converted into a stable. We hope that after reading this article, you will know how to do it in your own garage – especially since, in reality, it’s not as hard as it might seem.

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