So, you’re looking for a fun game to play with the family or some friends, but you’re tired of your usual stuff. Have you considered the game of horseshoes?
If you’re like me, then you probably grew up playing this game at cookouts and family reunions, but have since forgotten about it. The great thing about playing horseshoes is that it’s a fun game for all ages, and you can play it pretty much anywhere.
Set it up in the backyard, take it to the beach or the lake – it’s easy to play and easy to take anywhere.
Best Horseshoes Games (2022)
Last update on 2023-03-18 at 22:29 / Affiliate disclosure / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
What Is The Game of Horseshoes?
Horseshoes is a game played between two people or a pair of teams using four horseshoes and a pair of throwing targets set in a lawn or sandbox area. The main goal of the game is to toss the horseshoes at stakes in the ground.
While many enjoy the modern game, horseshoes is an antiquated game with a long history.
At the beginning of the 20th century, there was a general agreement as to how one should play a game of horseshoes, with some organizers publishing their own unique rules on newspapers before an event.
Thankfully, not much changed between the first official games and the modern-day reiteration of horseshoes, with the main differences being the center pin now being much longer.
Also, the horseshoes were actual, genuine horseshoes used for horses. Now, you can purchase horseshoes made from different materials with unique designs.
While horseshoe games are very popular, it can be a bit intimidating to pick a game set. For the uninitiated, they might feel overwhelmed by the myriad of materials used as well as design options.
What To Look For In Horseshoe Game Sets
When shopping for a horseshoe game set, you need to familiarize yourself with the different options. For example, pitching horseshoes are not the same as equine footwear.
Today, the U-shaped metal bars that are used in a horseshoe game set are about twice the size of an actual horse’s shoe.
There are also a wide variety of styles available for amateurs as well as aspiring professionals. At the very least, you should look for horseshoes that are designed with long-lasting, robust compositions that will last a long time.
The modern horseshoe is made in three ways:
- Drop forge. This is the traditional forging process for horseshoes, where the metal is hammered into its shape. This was a very popular method but was phased out due to labor. Drop forge horseshoes are also prohibitively expensive and have certain design limitations.
- Cast-iron. Most inexpensive horseshoe sets are designed with a ductile, cast-iron shoe. While it is one of the most popular material options, they are weaker and can break more often than other comparable materials. However, since ductile iron is lighter than steel, these horseshoes are designed to be significantly bulkier. For the casual hobbyist, ductile cast-iron horseshoe sets can work.
- Alloy cast steel. These are significantly stronger than ductile iron, with alloy steel being one of the strongest materials used in horseshoes today. They are sturdy will last several years. Keep in mind that these are also a bit more expensive compared to other types of materials.
Recommended Horseshoe Game Sets (Top Picks)
Want to hear what our editors recommend? Keep reading for our top picks on the best horseshoe game sets for the money.
1. Live Sun Forged Horseshoes by Viva Sol
This horseshoes set has everything you need to play a game. It includes four horseshoes. One pair is blue and the other is green.
Each is forged from solid steel, making them highly durable. Target stakes are also included that are also made from rustproof stainless steel.
Not only are these a crowd favorite due to the meticulous engineering employed for each horseshoe, but even its carrying case turns heads with its all-wood sheathes and walnut finish.
2. Professional Series Horseshoe Complete Set by St. Pierre
This horseshoe set is designed by the former world champion and approved by the NHPA for not only recreational play, but also tournament play.
The horseshoes are designed to ring the stake with the deadfall, with more heft and weight forged onto the toe calks — or the tips of the horseshoe for improved balance.
The horseshoes are dropped forged from solid steel, with each horseshoe having a premium look and feel. St. Pierre electrostatically applied baked-on powder coating, leaving a unique finish that is significantly more resistant to corrosion, chipping, and abrasion than ordinary paint jobs.
3. Rubber Horseshoe Set by Champion Sports
Traditional horseshoes are hefty, heavy, and are a potential hazard when thrown by inexperienced players. For children or adults who want to practice, a rubber horseshoe set is ideal.
You’ll still be able to practice your throw, hone in on your accuracy, and engage with your favorite hobby without endangering your furniture, house windows, and patio furniture.
The rubber horseshoe set is perfect for a casual game in the backyard. It comes with a pair of rubber mats that sit on the ground with the help of pegs and plastic dowels to create the stakes.
We think this is the best horseshoe game set for the beach.
4. Steel Horseshoe Set by Triumph Sports
Play with your friends in a competitive outdoor game of horseshoes with this set. It is a basic set that comes with everything that you need to start a competitive session with friends.
It includes four horseshoes that are finished in a durable powder. There’s also a pair of 20-inch hammer-finished stakes that will not fade or wear.
It’s an excellent backyard game for your family and friends, with the basic set being an ideal introduction into the world of horseshoes.
5. Forged Steel Horseshoe Set by Baden Champions
This is a premium horseshoe set that is used in professional tournament play. The horseshoes are newly engineered by Baden and are eligible for league play for the most serious horseshoe enthusiasts.
Within the durable nylon bag, you will find four horseshoes that have been engineered with forged steel, making them stronger than cast-iron or traditional steel constructions.
They have been tested and approved by the National Horseshoe Pitchers Association, with this set being a crowd favorite due to its impeccable quality.
Taking Care Of Your New Horseshoe Set
Here are some tips to maximize the life of your new horseshoe set. While they are made to be durable, they can experience wear and tear over time that can cause unsightly scratches and abrasions that can take away from the aesthetics of your set.
Avoid leaving a horseshoe set outside and exposed to the elements. Most horseshoes are made from a type of metal or metal composite, with a coating of paint.
When the horseshoe set is exposed to extreme temperatures, they will contract and expand. Over time, this can cause the paint finish to crack.
Also, keep in mind that the finish is not just for looks — they act as shock absorbents when the shoe hits the stake. When not in use, store them indoors.
Anchor your stake in wood instead of concrete so that you decrease the impact of the horseshoe hitting the stake.
Consider purchasing different sets of horseshoes made with different weights. Pitchers will then have the option of choosing horseshoes that are best suited for their playing style, reducing the likelihood of a wayward toss.
Additionally, since you will have several sets, if something happens to one of the horseshoes because either you lost them or they break, you have a backup set that will allow your team to continue playing.