Whether you are young or old, horseshoe is one of the games you will surely enjoy! Regardless if you are feeling competitive or you just want to have fun with family and friends, having the best horseshoe sets is always a good idea!
As one of the traditional lawn games, even people in ancient Rome and the Revolutionary War played horseshoes. It is perhaps the simplicity of the game that makes it popular until now.
While the game is simple, choosing the best horseshoe sets isn’t easy. There are plenty of options, but this does not mean that you can choose any.
From the materials used to the durability, consider several factors. If you need help looking for the best horseshoe sets, we got you! Read on and we’ll help you make the right choice.
How to Play Horseshoes
Before we start rounding up some of the top products that should be on your list, let’s first talk about how to play this pitching game.
Before playing this game, you need a horseshoe pit. This is a rectangular area with sand or clay. It is where the stakes will be standing upright.
According to the rules of the game, the stakes should be 40 feet apart. The pitching box, on the other hand, should be 6 feet x 6 feet.
Playing the game requires two players or two teams. You can play against another player or another team. Technically, there should be two to four players. Although if it is a casual game, you can have as many players as you want.
Each player will throw or pitch a horseshoe. The goal is to catch the shoe on the stake. If not, it should be at least 6 inches from the stake.
Scoring is also an important concern in understanding how the game works. A ringer is scored three points. This happens when the horseshoe encircles the stake. To qualify as a ringer, the straight edge must touch both points of the horseshoe.
In a round, if no one was able to score a ringer, the point is awarded to the one who placed the horseshoe nearest the stake. It should be within 6 inches of the stake. This is worth two points.
The game continues until a player or a team reaches 40 points. The first one to reach 40 is the winner.
Our Top Picks for the Best Horseshoe Sets
Clueless about the horseshoe set to buy? Below are some of the top products that should be on your list.
#1. Champion Sports IHS1 Rubber Horseshoe Set
This is one of the bestsellers for the best horseshoe sets. However, take note that this isn’t meant for professional games.
One of the best things about this product is that it is lightweight, which is because it is made of rubber. For kids and seniors who cannot hold a heavy horseshoe, this is a great alternative.
Because of its weight, it will be easy to toss the horseshoe. It won’t require significant effort and won’t also easily cause hand strain.
We also like how it comes with bright and vibrant colors. With its yellow pegs, it will be easy to see for almost anyone.
When you purchase this kit, it is inclusive of almost anything you will need to start playing. Aside from the four horseshoes, it also has two rubber mats with center pegs and two rubber dowels.
It is good that it comes with rubber mat bases. This means that you can use it even indoors. There is no need to stick the pegs to the ground since it is already attached to a base. The rubber mat will stick on the floor so you can play indoors even when it is raining!
#2. St. Pierre American Professional Series Horseshoe Set
Approved by the NHPA, this is a great choice for professional players. It passes all the requirements for horseshoes to be used in competitive games.
Made in the USA, this product is designed by a champion horseshoe player. This is already a compelling reason to pick this over many of its competitors.
The trademarked design is one of the best things that you can expect in this horseshoe. It is bulky at the toe calks. The result is that it is well-balanced, which also makes it easy to control.
Another good design feature in the horseshoe is the tapered leading edge. As a result, it will smoothly slide in the stakes.
If you are a beginner, you don’t have to worry when using this product. It has finger positioners, allowing you to hold it like an experienced player.
The use of high-grade and forged steel is another notable feature of this product. You can expect durability to be top-notch. It is also rust-resistant.
The steel stakes are equally impressive as the horseshoes. It has great weather-resistance, so you can use it even outdoors.
Lastly, for your peace of mind, it is also good to know that it comes with a 90-day warranty from the manufacturer.
#3. Triumph Steel Horseshoe Set
The cast iron horseshoes included in this set are hard to rival when it comes to quality, especially if your main concern is durability. You can be sure that they will remain in good condition even with long-term use and despite frequent games.
We also like how the horseshoes are powder-coated. This makes it ultra-durable as it can resist external elements that can cause damage.
The 20-inch stakes are equally impressive in terms of durability. They are hammer-finished, which will contribute to the durability of the stakes.
#4. Crown Sporting Goods Deluxe Indoor and Outdoor Horseshoe Game Set
If you are a recreational player, regardless if you are playing indoors or outdoors, this is another great option for the best horseshoe sets.
This set is made of plastic. Some of you might not like it because plastic has a bad reputation when it comes to durability. Nonetheless, it has a premium plastic construction, so you can expect it to be long-lasting.
Because it is plastic, the horseshoe set is also lightweight. It will be effortless to toss, unlike those made of steel. This is also one of the reasons why this is kid-friendly.
Setting it up is easy. Even kids can get the set ready in no time. You will have more fun enjoying the game and not have a headache setting up the horseshoe set.
It can offer great value for money since it has everything included for you to start playing. The set is inclusive of four horseshoes, two plastic stakes, two plastic pegs, and two rubber mats. For beginners, there is also a printed manual stating the rules of the game.
#5. Champion Sports Horseshoe Set
This is from the same manufacturer as the first product that is mentioned in this buying guide. The main difference, however, is that this set is for professional competitions and not just for casual games.
The horseshoe and stakes in this set have solid steel construction, so you don’t have to worry about their quality. They are also regulation weighted. They are perfectly balanced, so they will be nice to hold even if the material used is quite heavy.
As a bonus, when you purchase this package, you will also receive a carrying case. This will make it easy to bring this set wherever you intend to play.
New to the game? No need to worry! This also comes with a rule book. You will receive easy to follow instructions on how to play this game.
#6. Viva Sol Premium Horseshoe Outdoor Game Set
This is a premium set, so expect this to command a slightly high price compared to most of its competitors.
The set is inclusive of four horseshoes and two stakes. One thing that we love is how it comes with an elegant wooden case. It has ropes as makeshift handles. The case also comes with a foam padding to protect the horseshoes and stakes.
The best thing about this product is the use of premium material. Forged steel is the main material, which ensures durability. It is also rust-resistant.
It is a great choice for those who refuse to have dull horseshoe sets. With the blue and green color combination, this is sure to turn heads.
#7. Franklin Sports Horseshoes Set
Looking for the best horseshoe sets that you can use for regulation games? Stop looking far. This is one of the best products that should be on your list.
The set comes with four horseshoes – two gold and two silver. They are both made of cast iron, so you can be confident of their longevity. Even after years of use, you will be happy to know that the quality will remain superior.
It is also inclusive of two 20-inch solid steel stakes. When you plant these stakes, make sure that they are 9 to 10 inches on the ground.
Despite being made using premium materials, it is quite cheap, considering that it is built for competitive games.
#8. K-Roo Sports Plastic Horseshoe Set
If cheap is what you are looking for, then this is one option that should be on your radar. Cheap, however, pertains only to its price and not the quality.
With its plastic construction, this is designed only for casual games and not for competitions. It is designed with the needs of kids in mind, especially because it is lightweight.
Since it is made of plastic, you will find it easy to toss. Although, some users noted that when it is too windy, the outcome of your shots may be affected. You might want to consider playing indoors instead since it has a more controlled environment.
The set also comes with two green stakes. They have a length of 13.75 inches and are made of plastic.
Another good thing about this product is that it also comes with rings. This means that aside from playing horseshoe, you can also use it for a fun game of ring toss.
#9. Mustang Professional Pitching Horseshoes
With the iron alloy construction of this option for the best horseshoe sets, you can expect many years of functionality. The manufacturer emphasizes that it does not deform, even with frequent use.
The manufacturer is confident that this product will be durable. To prove this, they are offering a two-year warranty against breakage.
This is also approved by the NHPA. The latter is the regulating body for professional horseshoe games, so it is rated for competition use.
This isn’t one of those that are designed for recreational use. It is designed to take a beating. You will be happy to know that it will demonstrate the same exceptional quality even after a long time.
#10. Baden Champions Horseshoe Set
For the best horseshoe sets that you can use for professional games, this is another product that should be on your list. This is approved by NHPA, so you can be sure that it passes the regulations of the game.
Like many of the options for top-notch horseshoes, this product also has forged steel construction. This is stronger than cast iron, making it reliable through the years.
The set also comes with two stakes. The stake has a length of 24 inches and a width of ¾ inch. It also has durable construction like the horseshoe.
As a bonus, the set also comes with a 1680 denier nylon bag. It keeps the set organized and free from external elements that can cause damage, especially during storage. This also makes it easy to bring the horseshoe set anywhere.
#11. Win Sports Rubber Horseshoes Game Set
Whether you are playing indoors or outdoors, this is another great product to consider. It is suitable for all ages, even for kids.
For the little ones, tossing the horseshoe will be easy because of its plastic construction. This means that this is going to be lightweight, unlike its metal counterparts.
It also comes with yellow stakes with rubber mats. The latter will make sure that it can be used even indoors. You do not need to hammer the stakes in the ground. It will be easy and quick to set-up this horseshoe set.
How to Choose the Best Horseshoe Sets
The options can be overwhelming, especially for the uninitiated. To help you decide, below are some of the most important things to consider.
Type of Play
The first thing to consider is the type of game that you are playing. This will dictate the type of horseshoe sets that you should buy.
Sports Horseshoe Sets
This is the horseshoe set that is used in competitive games. It must comply with the gold standards set by the National Horseshoe Pitchers Association (NHPA).
Recreational Horseshoe Sets
No organization sets standards for this horseshoe. It is usually smaller and lighter. Manufacturers have the freedom to come up with their variations.
The best horseshoe sets should be made of high-quality materials, even if this translates to additional cost. The material will impact weight, durability, and price, among other things.
If you want premium quality and unmatched durability, then steel is the best material for horseshoe sets. All of the horseshoe sets for professional use are made using steel.
Steel offers plenty of benefits. Aside from its aesthetics, it can also resist rust and corrosion. However, expect that this material will also be the most expensive.
This is available in several types, but the most popular is drop forged steel. It goes through a traditional forging process using a hammer.
If you want something lightweight but durable, then alloy cast steel is a good option. It is also affordable, especially when compared to drop forged steel.
For a material cheaper than steel, cast iron is worth considering. It is common that it is used in multiple layers to make the horseshoe thicker and heavier.
However, cast iron can be prone to durability issues. This can easily break. It also wears out quicker because it is prone to rust.
This is a common choice for casual players, especially kids and seniors. Because of its weight, this is great for those who find it hard to hold steel.
It is the lowest-end of the materials mentioned in this guide. Like rubber, it is also popular among kids and seniors because of its weight. This can be easily prone to breakage, especially if it is brittle.
As you try to narrow down the options for the best horseshoe sets, make sure to consider its weight. This will depend on whether you are a recreational or professional player.
Based on the NHPA rules, horseshoes used in professional games should be about 2.5 pounds. This is perfectly balanced, making it easier to toss. Especially when you intend to join competitions, the weight of the horseshoe is a crucial consideration.
However, recreational players, especially children, can choose lighter horseshoes. They will be easier to toss.
It is also good to have a set with varying weights. This way, you can have a horseshoe for every user, including for kids and adults.
In this article, we are talking about horseshoe sets. This means that aside from the horseshoe, you should also consider the stake that is included as a part of the set.
The length is one of the most important. In professional games, the rules dictate that the length of the stakes should be 14 to 15 inches above the ground.
For the material, wood is one of the most common choices for stakes. This is because it causes minimal damage upon contact with the horseshoe.
Care and Maintenance for Horseshoe Sets
Over the years, horseshoe sets can be prone to wear and tear. Some are not as prone since they are made using top-notch materials. You need to be proactive when it comes to care and maintenance.
One of the most important is proper storage. Keep it in a bag or box. Store in a cool and dry place, away from the heat of the sun.
If the set will be stored in the case, consider wrapping the item individually. This will prevent them from touching each other, which may cause damage, especially if it is made using inferior material.
Right after every use, it is also recommended that you clean the horseshoe set. Especially if it has been used indoors, wash with mild soap and water. Dry before storage.
When you are done playing, do not leave it outdoors. Exposure to rain and sun, among other external elements, can cause irreversible damage.
If there is visible damage, do not be afraid to coat it with your choice of paint. If there is rust, use commercial products available to clean and prevent the rust from spreading to the unaffected parts.
Got questions about the best horseshoe sets? We’ll try to answer some of them below.
How many horseshoes do you need to play horseshoes?
You need four horseshoes to play a game of horseshoe. Most of the leading brands will offer sets with four horseshoes, along with the accessories you will need for a game.
What does a horseshoe set include?
The inclusions in a horseshoe set will vary from one product to another. In most cases, it will include four horseshoes, two ground stakes, and rubber mats with pegs. Some also include a storage box or carrying bag.
How much is a horseshoe set?
The price of a horseshoe set will differ from one manufacturer to another. It can range between $20 to $100 depending on the material and overall quality of the product.
Known as the king of lawn sports, horseshoe is one of the most popular recreational games. It is simple and anyone can play, regardless of your age or physical ability.
It is an easy to learn and fun game. To make the most out of it, you will need the best horseshoes sets, including our recommendations above.
Whether you are a recreational or competitive player, picking horseshoe sets can be a challenge. Make sure to consider several factors, such as the material used.