Horseshoes is known to be fiercely competitive and takes a strong arm to reach the stakes with the heavy steel shoes. For these and several other reasons, Horseshoes is one our most favorite yard and beach sports. The steel on steel "CLANK!" of horseshoe and stake is just magnificent to hear whether you're watching or playing.
Enjoyment of Horseshoes definitely depends on playing by the rules, learning the scoring system and having the right lingo to toss around with the shoes. All of these and more are found in the Horseshoe Rules and Play post. There's a very good reason that this sport lands near the top of both Best Yard and Beach Games lists, and that reason is competition. There are five definitive sets we've found and played on that stand out from the rest of the field.
#1 American Presidential Horseshoe Set
St. Pierre American Presidential Horseshoes set comes with a rugged yet stylish mahogany stained box. Great if you're toting Horseshoes out to the beach or to a friends place. at 2.5 pounds apiece, the horseshoes are regulation grade. The "heel calks" or ends of the shoes are nicely pointed and protrude enough to ensure accurate ringer scoring. Each solid steel stake is 24 inches long, guaranteeing you'll have sturdy targets that hold up to the test of time.
#2 Viva Sol Premium Horseshoe Set
Viva Sol Premium Horseshoe Set has a bottle opener built into the foam padded, wooden carrying case. The unique blue/green forged steel horseshoes really add nice touch to this set. The 24" stakes are perfect for grounding pretty much anywhere. We particularly enjoy the sturdy rope handle. If you're in the market for a one-of-a-kind horseshoes game, this groovy set is Amazon Prime eligible, so you can start playing in a few days!
#3 Professional Series Horseshoe Set
This Professional Series Horseshoes set by St.Pierre really delivers thanks to a great price, quality pieces, and a great reputation in the Horseshoe realm. We love the nice long heel calks that grab the stakes and the shoes are designed with a ringer breaker to properly rotate the shoe around the stakes. All the components fit snugly in the included black plastic case and are made in the USA. Throw in a 60 day manufacturers warranty, and we've got a ringer!
#4 Reinforced Carbon Steel Horseshoe Set
One of the things we like about this Trademark set are the highly contrasted horseshoe colors. The tote is simple and all you need to take this classic style set with you everywhere. The stakes are the proper two foot length and the horse shoes them selves are actually a bit lighter than average. Lighter horseshoes opens up the sport to players who have difficulty throwing the shoes for distance.
#5 Universal Pro Model Horseshoes Set
This excellent set ranks at #5 only because of the lofty price point compared to our other recommendations. This is the penultimate horseshoe game thanks to meticulously designed and weighted shoes, 1" x 30" rolled steel stakes, and the fact it is sanctioned by the National Horseshoe Players Association. The shoes are made for us flip throwers, and having played using these shoes, I can tell you the ringers are plenty! This US made game should be the last set you'll ever need, and we recommend as a permanent fixture in the yard.
Each of these Horseshoes sets will serve you for years to come. We currently play the #2 Viva Sol Set when we head to the beach and the #5 Universal Pro Model set is a permanent fixture in the back yard. As with a lot of these back yard and beach games, we implement several key accessories to enhance our playing time. Without an accurate scorekeeper, beer holder, sound system, etc.... our Horseshoe tournaments would feel empty. Without going totally overboard, you too can add to the pleasure of your next Horseshoes match with a few key items. We recommend the following.
Scorecaddy Outdoor Scorekeeper & Drink Stand
GoSports Scorecaddy. Just look at this thing - it's perfect for pitching shoes, enjoying a beverage and keeping score. 4 cup holders means one for each player! The solid white painted pine wood assembles in about ten minutes. If you look closely, you'll notice two wine glass holders as well; for us fancy back yard gamers. The real genius in this design has to be the score keeper. No more trying to remember nor arguing about the score - the magnets cling well to the board and score can be kept up to 21 points.
Heavy Duty Outdoor Beverage Holders
The four colors are white, red, black and green. The "H" shaped base make it easy to stick into the sand or yard, and easy to remove. These fantastic holders won't rust, so don't worry about leaving them outside. Great for horseshoes because they are minimal in design and won't be harmed should an errant horseshoe come hurling at them. Oh yeah - they also accommodate a wide variety of bottle, can and coozie sizes!
House of Marley "Chant" Bluetooth Speaker
This House of Marley Bluetooth Speaker is perfect for outdoor game days. Play for up to six hours without needing to recharge! The sound is amazing, there's a carabineer clip for tethering the speaker to about anything, and the controls are easy to use. Bluetooth connects the first time, every time. Available in several colors, this House of Marley speaker is perfect for the backyard horseshoe tournament.
Oasis Party Tub with Stand
The Oasis Party Tub with Stand is made of galvanized steel with quaint wooden handles for maximum portability and sleek style. Easily cool 24 or more of your favorite beverages for hours! The bucket can be used by itself for table or ground placement, or set in the three foot stand. Place this sweet ice bucket cooler between the horseshoe pits to guarantee nobody goes thirsty.
That's a ringer, folks. Go grab one these fine Horseshoe sets for the beach or your backyard, call some friends and tell them to BYOB. Once again, visit Horseshoes Rules and Play for scoring, lingo, and everything else you need to know about the time honored sport of Horseshoes.