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Learn More About Horseshoes

Classic Fun: Horseshoes & Horseshoe Sets

It's a classic backyard game for your picnic or barbeque. Get everyone in on a game of horseshoes at your next get together.

Horseshoes is simple and fun-a perfect activity for any age or skill level. How is horseshoes played? Two alternating teams or players take turns tossing horseshoes onto stakes in the ground, which are typically placed 40 feet apart.

Today's horseshoes are about twice the size of an average horse's hoof. These stylized, steel horseshoes are available at official, regulation sizes and weights. Colored horseshoes help differentiate those used by different teams.

Horseshoe game sets typically come with two horseshoes and two stakes. For convenience, many sets feature carrying cases or bags.

Shop horseshoes game sets from popular brands, including Franklin® and St. Pierre®. Looking for something else? Get the activities going with the entire collection of outdoor games at DICK'S Sporting Goods.

When choosing a set of horseshoes, you should first consider the age and skill level of the people who will be playing.

Young and inexperienced players might benefit from learning the game with a lighter weight rubber horseshoe set. Rather than metal stakes, these casual horseshoe game sets often feature a plastic stake that sits in a rubber mat, allowing players to take the game indoors in case of poor weather.

More serious players will probably prefer a horseshoe set with official size and weight horseshoes and metal stakes. Many brands offer a range of sets designed for different levels of competition.

Intermediate players may prefer to use a set featuring 20-inch stakes and grip-coated horseshoes, while advanced and expert players often choose sets with 24-inch stakes and chrome plated or brass plated horseshoes. If you plan to carry your horseshoes with you to parties or competitions, consider buying a horseshoe game set that includes a plastic carrying case or nylon travel bag.

When setting up a regulation horseshoes pit, be sure to measure carefully to ensure that your stakes are exactly 40 feet apart. Drive your stakes into the ground until slightly more than one foot of each stake remains above ground, and angle the stakes slightly toward the center of the pit. This will help the stakes remain firmly anchored in the ground.

If you plan to keep your horseshoe pit set up permanently in your yard, you may want to consider setting your stakes in concrete, then covering the concrete with a layer of sand, to ensure that your stakes remain in place year after year.