How To Build A Horseshoe Pit


Description: Building a horseshoe pit is easier than you think. It’s affordable and requires little or no technical skill. All you need to do is read this horseshoe pit DIY tutorial and build one for your yard.

The horseshoe pit is an engaging, entertaining, and fun outdoor game for any family. Unlike what you may think, it’s inexpensive to build a horseshoe pit in your backyard. You will be surprised how easy it is to build a horseshoe pit. All you need to do is to read this DIY tutorial until the end. 

Before you start this project, you need the following materials and tools; 

  • Box materials like 4×4 or 2×6 pressure-treated lumber.
  • You need different fasteners like galvanized screws, spikes, rebar, depending on the box material you are using. 
  • You either need a circular saw or any other cutting tool that you can easily use for your lumber.
  • Get plenty of play sand. 
  • You also need stakes, but sometimes they come with your horseshoe set. If you don’t have stakes, you can use 1-Inch diameter rebar that’s at least 24 inches long. 
  • Sledgehammer
  • Shovel and landscaping fabric. While they are optional, just keep them around so that you can easily use them when it’s necessary. 
  • You need four 2x10x48 inches to lumber for the backboard.
  • Twelve 5/4”x6x72” deck board. 

You can get all these materials and tools at any large home improvement store. For easy transportation, ask the store to help you cut the 12’ deck board by half. 

Essential Things You Should Know Before You Start Building a Horseshoe Pit 

  • Be careful when using a saw to avoid injury. Before you cut wood with any saw, ensure that its blade is sharp and gets up to full speed. A dull blade is dangerous as it forces the material or saw to jump. This could lead to a serious injury. So, it’s advisable always to use a saw with a sharp blade. 
  • Binding is a common experience people have when using a circular saw. But you can avoid it by making a mark across the entire length of the piece before you start. This prevents the cut from binding as you can easily follow the mark with the blade. 
  • When getting lumber for your horseshoe pit construction, give priority to the straight pieces. The straighter your lumber, the better and more comfortable you can use them. 
  • If you notice a bow in the material, put it against the cutting edge of your miter’s saw, it will bow away quickly at the end of the saw. 
  • Most times, your lumber may not come with square ends. And could be longer than the required length. The required length is 8-foot length 2×4, but it will come in 8’- 3/4 “ long. This difference allows you to square up your lumber’s head and cut it to length. But try to measure the lumber dimension first before you start squaring it. 
  • As a safety precaution, always wear goggles when cutting lumbers. They may be staples around the wood that catch and toss out your saw blade. 
  •  Before you use a miter or circular saw, ensure you have enough support for the material.

Step one – Horseshoe Pit Measurements 

It’s essential to understand the standard horseshoe pit dimension before you start building one. And the regulation requirements for horseshoe pit dimension is for the stakes to be 40 ft apart.

Furthermore, the stakes should be inside a box that measures at least 31 by 43 inches. But it must not be more than 36 by 72 inches. If your horseshoe pit construction is for backyard play, the dimension is usually 36 by 48 inches. 

Again, if your backyard isn’t spacious enough, you can make one box. But ideally, a horseshoe pit involves two boxes. One of the boxes is for pitching; the other one is for stakes. In a nutshell, you must set aside about 48 by 6-foot rectangle area for your horseshoe pit construction. And if possible, construct the pits in a north/south direction to enable you to play all day comfortably. 

Step two: Choose a Location 

Once you understand the required dimension for horseshoe pit construction, the next step is to choose a location. 

Wherever you are using for your horseshoe pit must be spacious and be in line with regulatory requirements. Always keep in mind that your stakes must be 40 inches apart. 

Step three: Build your Boxes (Frame)

After taking the horseshoe pit measure and deciding on a location, the next step is to build your boxes. For this particular horseshoe pit construction, we will take the backyard play dimension (36 by 48 inches). 

Going by this dimension, you need to cut eight pieces of lumber to build your boxes. The first four pieces will measure 36 inches, and the other four will measure 48 inches. Use fasteners to assemble the woods into two identical boxes. Ensure that the fasteners you are using are perfect for your lumber. 

Step Four: Set Your Boxes 

After building your boxes, the next step is to lay your them on the location you want the horseshoe pit to be. If possible, dig trenches and place the boxes inside them; it helps to stabilize the boxes and keep the Sand inside. 

If you want to suppress weed growth or keep Sand from sinking into the dirt, you can place a landscape fabric beneath each horseshoe pit. But if you don’t want to use landscape fabric, dig out all the grass to prevent weed from creeping into the pit. 

Step Five: Set Your Stakes  

Setting up your stakes is another important aspect of your horseshoe pit construction. And it comes after setting your boxes on the ground. 

The stakes should be at least 21 inches from the boxes front. Also, they must stick up to about 14 or 15 inches from the ground. Ensure the stakes are leaning towards the other pit at a slight angle of 3 inches. 

Step Six: Fill Your Horseshoe pit with Sand 

If you follow the step by step instructions in the preceding steps, the final step is for you to fill the horseshoe pit with Sand. You can use about five or six bags of Sand to fill each pit. That’s all; at this stage, you can start pitching. 

10 Benefits of Playing Horseshoe Pits

Horseshoe is not just a backyard pastime leisure activity. It’s an outdoor activity that comes with several benefits. Here are some of the top 10 benefits of playing horseshoe game; 

Social Activity 

Horseshoe isn’t a solitary game. It requires you to play with a few of your close friends or family members. It increases your social interaction with other people, which helps to improve the quality of your life. 

Improved Coordination 

When you play horseshoe regularly, your coordination tends to improve. Of course, we are all born differently. And not everybody has the unique gift of nimble reflexes. But after playing this outdoor game for a while, you will notice an improvement in your coordination skills. 


You will always experience setbacks during your early days of playing horseshoe. It takes time to discover the strategies and secrets for pitching. But if you are consistent about it, you will become an expert in no time. And you can apply this same patience in other aspects of your life. 

It Improves Your Cell Health 

As you already know, a horseshoe is an outdoor activity. And it allows you to spend more time with nature and expose your body sun. This will provide your body with the Vitamin D it needs for cell growth and improved immune system. 

Light Cardio 

Horseshoe games require frequent standing, walking down and forth the court, and tossing the horseshoe. All these activities keep your heart pumping and active. 


You can’t be an expert in the game of horseshoe if you don’t know how to focus. It helps you live in the present and avoid absent-mindedness, which you can apply to other aspects of your life. 

Limber – Flexibility 

Horseshoe is a perfect outdoor game that helps older adults maintain mobility. It doesn’t stress them much as it only requires them to bend down and pick up the horseshoe, and use their hips and shoulders to release the target. 

Boosts Your Mood 

Horseshoe games give you a blend of exercise, sociability, and exposure to sunlight, improving your mood, and making you happier. Its mood-boosting quality is what makes it popular among seniors. 

Relieves Stress

Playing horseshoe helps to produce endorphins, your brain neurotransmitters responsible for pleasure. And the more endorphins your body produces, the less stress you will experience. 

Strategic Planning

Horseshoe helps you to improve your strategic planning skills. You can’t be successful in this game through trial and error. It requires you to understand the different strategies, and you can apply this to other aspects of your life. 


It’s easy and inexpensive to build a horseshoe pit. Interestingly, you can use it for several years after building it. But it requires constant maintenance like filling the Sand again, re-setting the stakes, and removing weeds and grass from it. 


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