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Last updated: October 3, 2021
Playing horseshoes in the backyard, at tailgate parties, or in the park, is a fantastic pastime to enjoy with family and friends.
Anyone can start playing the game of horseshoe pitching, because the basic principles of the game are easy to pick up. However, it’s also a game that can get quite competitive over time as your skills grow.
If you’re ready to try out horseshoe pitching, read on as I share with you five of the best horseshoe game sets you can buy right now.
Top 5 Horseshoe Sets
Let’s go through these five horseshoes game sets in a bit more detail.
If you’ve never played horseshoes before, or you’re not sure what the rules are, check out my guide to playing horseshoes outlining all the details.
1. Baden Champions Horseshoe Set
This Baden horseshoe set is a people’s favorite, as it offers a good balance between pricing and quality. It’s an excellent tournament-grade horseshoe set that includes 2 black and 2 grey forged steel horseshoes, and 2x 24-inch steel stakes.
It’s a set that is approved and tested by the NHPA, the National Horseshoe Pitchers Association. The forged steel is basically the highest quality used for making horseshoes, with maximum robustness and durability.
This set also comes with a great looking nylon carry bag with velcro handles and reinforced pockets. Overall, this is your best choice if you’re looking to purchase a new horseshoe set that offers good quality materials for a great price.
2. GoSports Steel Horseshoes Regulation Game Set
This horseshoe set by GoSports is another popular choice, and includes 2 red and 2 blue cast steel horseshoes, and a couple of 24-inch stakes. Also included is a handy carrying bag for convenient transport and storage.
This set is slightly cheaper priced than the Baden horseshoe set, partly because it’s not forged steel, but it’s still a tournament grade set that certainly won’t disappoint. The bright colors of the horseshoes might also appeal to some.
3. St Pierre American Professional Series Horseshoes Set
This St Pierre game set includes four NHPA-approved forged steel American horseshoes in the colors red and blue, and two solid steel 24-inch long stakes.
The manufacturer claims that the shoes have been designed by a world champion horseshoe pitcher, with longer tips for improved grip at the stake, and extra weight in the tips for better balance.
It’s an excellent tournament-grade set, which also includes an official rule book and a black plastic tote for storage and transport.
4. Champion Sports Indoor/Outdoor Horseshoe Set
If you’re looking for a basic entry-level recreational horseshoe set to play with kids either indoors or outdoors, this Champion Sports set is a great choice.
It comes with four rubber shoes (in red and blue), two protective rubber mats with pegs in the center, and two plastic dowels. The rubber mats can be used when playing indoors, and the dowels can be used when playing outside on grass in the backyard.
This is a family-friendly horseshoe set, perfect for children who want to start improving their skills in this fantastic backyard game.
5. Franklin Sports Horseshoes Set
The last set in this list is brought to you by Franklin Sports, and includes four forged steel horseshoes (in black and grey), two 23.5 inch forged steel stakes and a durable carry bag.
The strongest of materials are used for this set, which also makes it a bit more expensive than other recreational horseshoe pitching sets. You do have the option to choose a lower grade set, depending on what you’re looking for and how often you’re going to play.
Horseshoes Game Set Buying Guide
Buying a new horseshoes set doesn’t have to be complicated, especially when used for fun and recreational purposes, but here are a few things to consider.
1. Materials Used
Horseshoes are typically made with either rubber or metal/steel. Professional sets use heavier materials such as steel, whereas recreational sets often use rubber horseshoes.
Metal horseshoes are obviously heavier, which has its benefits but also drawbacks. For starters, seniors and young children might find metal horseshoes a bit too heavy, or perhaps even a bit dangerous.
Rubber horseshoes are the preferred choice if kids are also joining in on the fun, however metal horseshoes typically last longer and are better to aim. There are also plastic horseshoes, if you want to go for the cheapest option.
Also note that there are different types of metal, such as forged steel, alloy cast steel, and ductile iron. Forged steel is the best (and most expensive) choice as it’s the highest quality material for horseshoes.
2. Set Inclusions
A typical horseshoe game set includes four horseshoes and a pair of stakes. These are the most essential components that you need to play this game.
Some sets however also include a pit, which is a rectangular box which holds the stake in the middle. It’s also common for sets to include a carrying bag (pretty essential), a carry strap, a score card, and some kind of rule book.
I strongly believe that backyard game sets, when used for recreational purposes, don’t have to cost a lot of money. And they usually don’t, but there are horseshoe sets out there that may look fancy and appealing, but are just a bit overpriced.
Obviously the materials used very much determine the price, so it’s important to get a good understanding of why certain materials are more expensive than others.
If you’re a first time player, I would recommend to go for a basic set that has decent reviews. You can easily get one for under $50, and if you like the game, there is always the option to upgrade to a more professional horseshoe game set.
Hopefully this guide has given you the motivation to get yourself a new horseshoe set. If you’d like to improve your skills, check out my guide explaining how to throw a horseshoe. And if you’d like to learn more about what an official horseshoe court looks like, check out my guide outlining the horseshoe court and pit dimensions.