How To Throw A Horseshoe: Grips, Stance, and Swing

Bill Taylor
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The goal of the game

  • > Ditch your horseshoe in the pit, or
  • > Make your opponent’s horseshoe fall from the pole

Without getting into too much detail, horseshoe strategy is highly dependent on the the position of your horseshoe. You want to maximize your chances of getting your horseshoe around your opponent’s horseshoe without hitting the pole. If you hit the pole, you automatically lose the round.

How to throw a horseshoe … grip & stance:

In horseshoes, there are two common grip and stances: Right-handed and left-handed. In either stance, your throwing hand will be held in an overhand position with your thumb on the top side of the horseshoe. The top of your horseshoe grip will be facing out and your throwing arm will be cocked back with the horseshoe being close to your ear. Your non-throwing hand will be back a little farther and should be resting on top of your throwing hand.

Starting your throw:

As you swing your arm forward, your entire body should rotate forward with it. This will help to increase power in your throw and counteract some of the potential energy loss created by the rotation of the horseshoe.

Setting up the court

To learn the most important part of horseshoe, you need to set up a court. A horseshoe court should be about 30 feet long with two stakes in the center 12 feet apart. Placed Stake A should be where the back of your hand faces when you throw, and marked stake B should be where your front toe faces when you throw.

The Grip

The grip is possibly the most important part of the horseshoes throw. Its seal of approval in the horseshoes world.

The Stance

You may find it easy to play horseshoes if you do it properly. It is important to have the proper stance. Stand with your back to the court, facing away from the stake. Stand so that your back is no more than half an inch away from the court. When you stand, make sure that you’re stretched.

Improving your court

Patches are not easily visible, but they are an important aspect of court maintenance. Apart from aesthetics, if a patch is not properly installed, it can affect the stability of the court itself. Whether you have an existing patio foundation with cracks on the surface or a court that has shifted or become uneven, following these tips will provide you with a sturdy fix.

How to Install

After you’ve decided on a location for your patch, call a professional to inspect the patch site, confirm the design and the materials you will need. By doing so, you will be able to avoid purchasing materials that are unnecessary. For example, if you’re having the concrete excavated, you don’t need to buy the cement.

To install the patch, you will need:

Materials: Sand, Quikrete, Warm Water, Concrete Admixture, Cement, Concrete Jointing Compound, Smead Knife, Straw Squares, 1×3 mesh sandpaper, Flatwork Acrylic, Steel Trowel, Cement Boards or Old Wood to Enclose

Playing the game

Of horseshoes properly means taking a few potential issues into consideration, including the grip, the stance, and the swing. Learning the proper way to throw a horseshoe starts with knowing these basic techniques.

Once you learn the horseshoe pitching techniques, you can either play horseshoes in the backyard with friends or family, or head on over to Topgolf. The Topgolf in Charlotte is one of many around the United States and is a perfect place to hit the courts and throw some horseshoes or other games.


There are many ways to grip a horseshoe, so you can choose the approach that is most comfortable for you. However, regardless of what grip you use, make sure that you place your finger tips in the center of the horseshoe, with two fingers holding onto the horseshoe in the back and the two remaining fingers holding onto the horseshoe in the front.


There is no one right way to pitch a horseshoe, but the starting position means working from the horseshoe pitching line out. Practice gripping your horseshoes and throwing them away from the horseshoe pitching line. This is one of the most important parts of throwing a horseshoe.


The first team to earn a total of 21 or more points wins the game. The winning team or player may also be granted bonus points for remaining shoes and style points. A team’s score is determined by the number of shoes that it has in its own court and those that it has driven into the opponent’s court. Prior to each series of throws, a shoe is placed in each team’s court.

The number of points scored by a team depends on the number of shoes it has in its court and those it has driven into its opponent’s court. Each shoe in the team’s court is worth one point. A shoe driven into the opponent’s court is worth the value of the angle in which it lands in the corner. A single shoe that lands on the edge of the opponent’s area is worth 0.5. A single shoe that lands in the center of the opponent’s area is worth 0.75, and a single shoe that lands exactly in the corner is worth 1.0.

For all shoes that come to rest in the opponent’s court, the throwing team earns one bonus point if the shoe is thrown by the hand and two bonus points if the shoe is spun.

Pitching those shoes

Hoes Well, it’s time for you to go out and learn the basics of how to throw a shoeh.

Horseshoes is a game that requires little in terms of special equipment. The big things you need are a horseshoe pitching horseshoes receiving area, and some horseshoes to throw. Beyond that, you really only need a spot to toss the shoe and someone to pitch them to you. If you want to get a basic idea of how to throw a horseshoe shoe, take a look at the tips below.

How to Toss Those Shoes

There are several ways to throw a shoe. If you’ve never thrown one before, or even if you have, you typically start off by griping the shoe by the heel. This way, you’ll be getting a good solid throw with all of the shoe.

Keep the shoe positioned in your middle finger and thumb, with the open heel behind your thumb. This will allow you to stand with your feet spaced apart and bend your knees slightly. This is going to put you in the optimal position to get a good solid throw every time.

Different types of grips

There are two types of grips: the finger-over grip and the finger-under grip. A third grip is the thumb grip, which is a combination of these two (you use one thumb from the finger-over grip and one thumb from the finger-under grip).

The finger-over grip refers to when you curl your index finger and your middle finger around the horseshoe and then place your thumb on the side of the horseshoe. This is the most commonly used grip.

The finger-under grip refers to when you place your index and middle finger under the horseshoe and then place your thumb on the side of the horseshoe.

The thumb grip refers to when you place both of your thumbs on the side of the horseshoe. It can be used with either the finger-over or the finger-under grip.

How to Hold a Horseshoe

Your hand should be positioned in a way that your wrist is straight and the horseshoe is resting against the forearm. If you’re using the fingertip grip, place your finger on top of the horseshoe. Otherwise, place your thumb on top of the horseshoe.

As you practice, the most important thing you need to remember is not to hold the horseshoe too tightly. You should be in a relaxed position.

1¼ turn grip

From a standstill, or when catching a thrown horseshoe, bring the horseshoe in close to your body with the ring up and end of the horseshoe facing down. The inside of the horseshoe should be pushed up against your shoulder. This will be your starting position.

Horseshoe Stance (Pivot)

From the starting position, bend your knees just slightly and bring your weight onto your right foot. Have your left foot slightly staggered forward. Make sure your front foot is pointed straight ahead. Your chest should be out in front of the horseshoe (intended to increase area of target).

The Horseshoe Throw

With your right hand take the horseshoe and twist your wrist up pushing forward and slightly to your right. This action will let the horseshoe fly backwards toward the target. Make sure to tilt your wrist slightly so that the horseshoe hits the ground first. The horseshoe throw is similar to a pitch in the baseball game. As you make this pitch, twist your shoulder and arm downwards toward the ground. This movement will help to give the horseshoe distance.

¾ or 1¾ turn grip

The most common stance is to hold the horseshoe from the center and with the index finger along and to the side of the groove across the head, thrown with either a ¾ or 1¾ turn grip. If the horseshoe is centered, an ¾ turn grip is used; if it is to the right of center, roughly a 1¾ turn grip is used. Sometimes the hand is twisted (1¾ turn to 1½ turn) towards or away from the angle of the horseshoe.

The basic rotational pitch is a ¾ turn whip. A horseshoe begins to rotate at the apex of the throw and then slowly tumbles end-over-end to a stop. Due to the mass of the horseshoe, it takes several seconds for it to stop, and frequently makes several revolutions before coming to rest.

There are two basic grips: the conventional "between the tines" grip and the reverse grip, which holds the horseshoe "behind the tines".

Flip grip

Step 1: Grip The Shoe

Step 1: Grip The Shoe

Flip Grip Is Used to at Close Range when You Can Successfully

Concentrate your power into the horseshoe in one downward flip.

In most cases, the flip grip is used to throw the horseshoe.

Onto the Stake from the Left Hand Side if You Are Right-Handed or from the Right Hand

Side if you are left-handed.

Step 2: Bring The Shoe Up Back Of Finger

The horseshoe should be at back of your finger.

Step 3: Stance

Stance: This part of the grip is crucial if you are to throw the shoe to hold for a pitcher. The stance

Will determine how much you are able to use your chest muscles.

How To Stance: Make a stance that is open enough to dig into your heels, and run your legs forward enough to be

Able to drive straight to the stake.

How To Stance: The shoe should be at the chest level.

Step 4: Swing

How To Swing: Start your swing by arcing it over your shoulder and down toward the stake, taking the shoe

Back as far as comfortably possible.

Then forwards and throw the shoe so that it’s stable before landing into the stake.

The stance

All throwing sports have their own “grip”, which we will get to, but I want to touch on the stance, which is the important part of throwing.

When throwing a horseshoe or when watching someone throw a horseshoe in a competition, the first thing that catches people’s eye is the stance.

What you do before throwing is very important. You establish the hand-eye relationship based on the position of your body. Your shoulder, arms and hand have to coordinate their movements to throw the horseshoe on a straight path. When throwing, your hand should be above your shoulder.

When throwing, your right elbow sits close to your body, but it should not cross your body at all. It is very important to keep it pinned close to your body.

The Grip

Let’s talk about the basic grip or “grip” of horseshoes. Most throwers tend to change their grip depending on the distance of the ring from their body. A grip that is suitable for letting the horseshoe fly out at a very short distance is called a choke grip. Backyard players may choose to use this grip instead of the standard grip simply because it is the best fit for the short distance.

The swing

There are many different ways to swing a horseshoe, some that involve a bit of a backswing, and some that don’t. Ultimately, however, the horseshoe is meant to be held at the rim, with the most commonly used grip being the shotgun grip (more on that below).

You’ll generally want to rotate your arm so it’s roughly perpendicular to your forehand, while also bracing yourself so you have a little force behind the throw, which is what’ll get the horseshoe to launch.

The grip A lot of people think that the horseshoe is held between the thumb and index finger, but that’s wrong. It isn’t a thumb vs. finger grip at all, but a ring finger vs. index finger grip since the horseshoe has to be at the rim, which is where the ring finger will be.

But even though, traditionally, the horseshoe is held by the ring finger and index finger, it’s possible to hold it with the thumb, index finger, middle finger or even the pinky if you want into a really unique and comfortable grip.


In order to throw the best horseshoes, you need to start with the best grip. The Grip and the Toss are the two most important things to learn when throwing horseshoes. The Grip occurs when you hold the horseshoe. The Toss is the motion that you use to throw the horseshoe. A solid grip can prevent disastrous throws, while a proper toss can help get the horseshoe in the ring. Take a look at this video for two great tips that can help boost your game.

1. Grip your horseshoe: The proper grip is the first key to getting a hand in the ring. The grip can be overhand, underhand or side-grip.

Each of the three different grips have their own benefits. It is important to have a solid grip at all times, even when throwing off balance or with one hand. You must have a grasp on the horseshoe for it to go in the direction that you want it to. If you are gripping the horseshoe correctly, your thumb should be on one side of the horseshoe’s lip. However, it is okay for your thumb to grip the other side of the horseshoe at times. If you are using an overhand grip, your thumb should be on the bottom of the horseshoe. If you use a side grip, your thumb should be on one of the sides.


I hope you found the above information helpful and informative enough to make it more comfortable for you to play common lawn games as this will allow you to enjoy your time outdoors a lot more.

I would like to leave you with two of the most commonly asked questions in common lawn games, these are:

How long is a shuffleboard table?

The answer to this question is that a shuffleboard or court must measure at least 68 feet long. However, modern shuffleboard tables are generally between 68 and 80 feet long.

What is the length of a shuffleboard court?

The spacing between the foul lines in shuffleboard has to be 12 feet and the end lines are 10 feet apart. This is the official length of the court but in most cases, these measurements are not taken seriously and the court ends up a lot longer than the official measurements.

For these reasons, if you are planning to have a table, it should be better to start measuring the length of the court and the distance between the foul and end lines before you go buying or building your shuffleboard table.

I hope this article, as well as the other articles I have written on the topic of games, outdoor, recreation, sports and trees has been helpful and you will be able to apply the knowledge you have acquired to your benefit and for your enjoyment!