Every summer when I was a kid we would get together at White Oak Park for a family reunion or church picnic. Water balloon tosses, softball games, all-you-can-drink Cherokee Red and Faygo Grape Soda, 9-on-9 volleyball, fried chicken, pasta salad, middle aged men and women spinning themselves dizzy around baseball bats before staggering off on their leg of the relay race, and, most importantly horseshoes. Uncles and dads, great uncles and grandfathers would stand under the trees pitching. When (and if) they finished, the cousins could have a turn. We weren’t good then. We’re probably worse now. You can have cornhole. I’ll take the stakes.

Some people like the city. Some like a house on a hill with a manicured lawn. Some like a big open field for football and sunshine. I like trees. I like a few trees between the road and the house to help things blend together. I like trees for hammocks and trees for shade. I like to look at trees, especially in the fall. This house has a lot of trees. Something like 50 on one acre by my count. The minute we saw the property in person I knew we had found the perfect place. Right over there, on the side of the house, that’s where we were going to put the horseshoe pits. And last week I did.

Here’s a quick rundown and some photos.

Bill of goods:

  • 0.75” 𝗑 3’ rebar (2): $10
  • 0.5” 𝗑 18” rebar (2): $4
  • 0.5” 𝗑 10” rebar (8): $12
  • 10” nails (12): $8
  • 8’ severe weather pressure treated 4 𝗑 4 lumber (6): $48
  • 50lb bag of sand (2): $8
  • St Pierre Horseshoes: $48
  • Total: $138

There’s no reason you couldn’t build something similar if less formidable for half the price. I didn’t spend a ton of time looking around the internet for horseshoe pit designs. I had to carve out some space from a hill, and I’m still wondering if I have the right ratio of sand and clay. Some people think the boxes are a little shallow and narrow. I say you gotta hit the pin to score, so what’s it matter. Anyway, I think I did alright. I think, if nothing else, I got close. And in horseshoes, that counts.