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Horseshoe Pit Stake Size, Angle, Dimensions, and Installation

Horseshoe pits have specific sizes, angles, and dimensions when installed. There is a lot that you need to know when it comes to horseshoe pit dimensions. However, how long are horseshoe pit stakes, and how far away do they need to be?

Horseshoe pit stakes can be installed by making the stakes 40 feet apart. The stakes need to be 36-inches long and should be at an angle of 12 degrees. They have to be 21 inches from the box and 14-15 inches above the ground. The pit needs to be 45×32 inches and filled with sand or other filler.

These are the main dimensions you should use when making a horseshoe pit. Below, we have more details about how to build a horseshoe pit and what its dimensions should be. Keep reading to find out more!

Stake Size and Angle

Stakes for horseshoe pits are one of the most important parts of the pit! When buying stakes for your horseshoe pits, make sure they are 36 inches long. The stakes should be hammered into the ground until they are 14 inches above ground level. You will need to angle the stakes inward towards the playing area about 12 degrees or 3 inches.

If you are worried about your stake coming up or moving, you can buy a steel plate and place it against the bottom of the stake to secure it.


When meeting horseshoe pit regulations, it is required and necessary for the pits to be 40 feet apart from each other. The stakes in the pits should be no longer 36 inches. For the exact dimensions of how much space you have to set aside for your horseshoe pit, just know you need a 48 by 6-foot area to play.

These are the typical standard dimensions for a horseshoe pit. There are many different ways you could build horseshoe pits, but these are the most common. Some people only build one pit, but a typical horseshoe game requires two pits.

Check out our Horseshoe Pit Dimensions Article Here for more info.

Types of Horseshoe Pits

Here are the different types of horseshoe pits that you can build in your backyard.

One Pit Instead of Two Horseshoe Pits

If you are considering making a horseshoe pit but only want to make one instead of two, it is definitely possible!

Making one pit instead of two helps to save time, money, and space. This option would change the way you play a little because everyone would be throwing on the same pit instead of two different ones.

If you want to save time and space, consider only making one horseshoe pit!

One Row of Wood Instead of Multiple for Horseshoe pit

Some people have made pits before that only have one row of wood on the ground instead of multiple. This method of making a horseshoe pit is great if you want to save money and time. Making horseshoe pits can be exhausting and expensive.

  • All you would do is buy the bottom layer of wood and not the rest.
  • You could nail them into the ground, add sand, and you would be done!

Something to be aware of with this type of horseshoe pit is that it may be more dangerous than other pits because of how shallow it will be. With the other type of horseshoe pit, there is more wood surrounding the stake, making it safer when people throw the horseshoes.

Less wood around the stakes means that there is a higher chance that the horseshoes could potentially hit someone if they miss the stakes. Just be careful and safe when making a horseshoe pit like this one.

Grass, Dirt, or Weed Tarp Pit Instead of Sand

Everybody hates sand! Sand gets everywhere and can be annoying and difficult to clean up. If you are part of that group that hates sand, this type of horseshoe pit is perfect for you! This horseshoe pit would use grass or dirt instead of sand, making it easier to control and clean up if it gets messy.

  • If you want a grass horseshoe pit simply don’t use sand and use the natural grass that is in the pit.
  • Make sure the grass is generally level.
  • If you want a dirt pit, you would need to take a flat head shovel and even out the dirt around the stake.
  • If you don’t want to build a horseshoe pit, but still want to play horseshoes, simply put a stake in the ground that is angled like you would in a traditional horseshoe pit.

The last option is a weed-resistant tarp pit. This pit would help keep weeds away from your pit and help it look nicer. It is easier to clean up than a sandpit. You would just place the tarp around the stake and in the pit and nail it down with small nails on the ends so that it doesn’t fly up.

This is a great option if you want your pit to look nice and clean while still being able to play horseshoes!

You can find great Horseshoe Sets Here from Amazon that have great ratings for a decent price. That’s where we got our family set.

Materials Needed For A Horseshoe Pit

If you want a clear list of the materials you need, we made one just for you:

  • 2 pieces of 4 x 4 x 39-inch wood
  • 4 pieces of 4 x 4 x 32-inch wood
  • 4 pieces of 4 x 4 x 48-inch wood
  • 4 pieces of 4 x 4 x 48-inch wood
  • 4 pieces of 4 x 4 x 30-inch wood
  • 4 pieces of 4 x 4 x 18-inch wood
  • 12 pieces of 1/2 x 22-inch rebar
  • 4 pieces of 1/2 x 18-inch rebar
  • 4 pieces of 1/2 x 14-inch rebar
  • 2-4 bags of sand
  • hammer
  • weed resistant tarp or fabric
  • horseshoes
  • measuring tape

Installing A Horseshoe Pit

Do you want to build a horseshoe pit in your backyard but don’t know where to start? Here are the steps you can take to build your very own horseshoe pit!

Step 1

The first thing you need to do when building a horseshoe pit is to go into your backyard or the space you want to build your horseshoe pit and find a good spot to build the pit. The stakes for both pits have to be 40 feet apart from each other. Measure out that 40 feet distance and get ready to put your stakes into the ground!

Step 2

The next step is to take your 36-inch stakes and hammer them into the ground 14 inches above ground level. The stakes need to be angled at a 12-degree angle towards the playing area. 

Step 3

You should then take a shovel and loosen the dirt around both stakes. This should be around 4 inches deep. Don’t loosen too much soil, because that could cause the stake to be too loose. As mentioned above, you can take a steel plate and put it at the bottom of the stake to secure the stake.

Step 4

The box for the pit is going to need to be 45 x 32 inches.

You should begin making the box by sawing or buying:

  • 2 pieces of wood that are 4 x 4 x 39 inches
  • 4 that are 4 x 4 x 32 inches
  • 4 that are 4 x 4 x 48 inches
  • 4 that are 4 x 4 x 30 inches
  • and 4 that are 4 x 4 x 18 inches.

You should then buy:

  • 12 pieces of rebar that are 1/2 x 22 inches
  • 4 that are 1/2 x 18 inches
  • 4 that are 1/2 x 14 inches
  • These are used to secure the pieces of wood

Step 5

Take the wood and begin placing and measuring the wood so they make a box around the stake. Make sure they match the pit on the other side.

Hammer those rebars into the wood to make them immovable. Going from biggest to smallest, begin hammering the next pieces of wood into the first pieces of wood until it creates a layered box around the stake. Repeat this process on the other end.

Step 6

Now it’s time to fill the pits! Buy 2-4 bags of sand for the pits. If there are any weeds or uneven ground, use a shovel to make the ground of the level of the pit.

Purchase a tarp or material that is weed resistant to stop any weeds from growing in your pit. Fill the pits with the sand until the tarp can’t be seen and the pit has a good amount of sand on it.

Step 7

The next and last step is to purchase horseshoes, find some family or friends, and have fun!

You can find great Horseshoe Sets Here from Amazon that have great ratings for a decent price. That’s where we got our family set.

Here is an awesome video that explains everything you need in great detail to build a horseshoe pit:

How to Know Where to Put Your Horseshoe Pits

Struggling to choose where to put your horseshoe pits in your backyard? We have a few tips for you that may help you narrow down locations in your yard that would be best for horseshoe pits.

First off, you need to make sure the horseshoe pits are in an area where you are okay with people throwing the horseshoes. Some horseshoes may go astray, and you don’t want to accidentally break a window or hit a wall. Make sure it is in an open, grassy area.

Next, you should make sure there is enough space to play and enough space to put the 40 feet apart pits. This is essential to playing horseshoes. It is even in the rules (source) that it is a requirement that when playing horseshoes, the pits have to be 40 feet apart!


If you want some great recommendations for horseshoe sets, read below to see some top-rated choices on Amazon!

Champion Sports Horseshoe Set

This awesome set is only $51 and can help you become a pro horseshoe player! It’s ranked 4 1/2 out of 5 stars and has plenty of positive reviews. Find The Champion Sports Horseshoe Set Here.

This set would be perfect for you if you want heavy horseshoes because they are made of steel. This set even comes with steaks you can use! If you want to become a professional, consider purchasing this awesome horseshoe set!

Baden Champions Horseshoe Set

This set is a bit more expensive than the last one, but it looks so cool it will be worth it! It is $59.99 and ranked 4 1/2 stars as well. This Baden Champions Horseshoe Set Is The Set We Use.

Its horseshoes are made with steel, and are black and grey, making this set perfect if you want the modern look. The set is of excellent quality and, of course, comes with stakes!

Franklin Sports Horseshoe American Set

This next set is perfect for your next fourth of July or Memorial Day party! The whole set has a red, white, and blue theme. So, if you’re throwing a party, consider getting this festive, pride-filled horseshoe set. Find The Franklin Sports Horseshoe American Set Here.

It costs $55 and has 4 1/2 stars! The reviews say the horseshoes are nice and heavy, making it easy to play and have fun! Buy this set today and everyone will love playing horseshoes!

Champion Sports Indoor/Outdoor Set

This last set is mainly for the kids but is perfect for safe, fun play. This 4 1/2 star ranked set that costs only $17 is perfect for your children. The set is completely made of plastic and rubber, which will help your kids stay safe and feel included. Find The Champion Sports Indoor/Outdoor Set Here.

If the adults are playing horseshoes with the metal horseshoes and your kids want to play, getting a set like this will fix that problem.

It is not safe for children to play with metal horseshoes, so a set like this would be perfect. Set it up near the regular pit (at a far enough safe distance), and have fun teaching your children to play!

This is the ideal horseshoe set for you and your family if you are worried about your children playing with the heavier horseshoes. Consider buying it today!

Staying Safe

When playing horseshoes, it is important to make sure you are staying safe and smart when playing. Horseshoes can be heavy and could be dangerous if they were to hit someone, especially in the head. Make sure you are aiming away from people, and be sure to keep children far enough away from the pits so they won’t get injured. Stay safe and have fun!

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