How to Build a Cheap Horseshoe Pit
If you’re looking to turn your backyard into an outdoor destination for the whole family, a horseshoe pit is a great way to do it. It’s easy to build and inexpensive to install.
The first step is to find a good spot to put it. The space should be level and clear of obstructions that could interfere with the pitching of the horseshoes. Also, avoid areas that are subject to heavy winds or may flood in the wintertime.
Once you’ve found a suitable location, decide on a size for the horseshoe pit. This will determine how many boards you need to buy. Most home improvement stores will cut the boards to size for you, but you can also use a saw yourself or ask a friend or neighbor to help out.
Next, measure the pit width and depth. You can cut the boards to these measurements with a circular saw. It’s best to have a measuring tape on hand so you can keep track of the exact dimensions.
You should also make sure that the sides of the pits are flush with the ground. This will prevent the stakes from slipping through the sand. Once you’ve decided on the final dimension, dig a trench around each pit’s perimeter. It should be deep enough to bury the boards flush with the ground and secure them.
After digging out the pits, fill them with sand or clay that is specially made for the game. It should be about 2 inches thick and about an inch of dirt should be sticking up from the bottom.
Sand is a much cheaper material than clay, and it’s easier to work with. It’s also less likely to crack or dry out than clay, which can make it harder to throw the shoe down.
Another alternative to sand is clay, which costs about $300 per cubic yard (about 2 yards) [source: Sheffeld Pottery]. If you’re planning to play a lot of horseshoe games, it’s a better idea to go with clay.
You can also purchase a premade horseshoe backstop. These are available at home improvement stores and usually cost about $10 each. This will allow you to make your pit look more professional and prevent errant horseshoes from hitting anything else in the area.
If you’d like to add a few things to your horseshoe pit, consider getting a backboard and a pitching platform. They will give your pit more heft and help it stay in place, which is important for a game that’s played at night.
Lastly, don’t forget to mark your foul lines. The foul line should be at least 37 feet for men and 27 feet for women. You can also place a series of colored stakes at the corners to indicate the line.
Adding these elements will take your horseshoe pit to the next level and can make it more inviting for a crowd of people. In addition, these features will prolong the amount of time that you can spend playing at your pit.