The Program

The following program has been developed over years of experimentation plus trial and error.  Each component of the plan has proven successful in not only teaching youth the skill of horseshoe pitching, but doing so in a fun-filled atmosphere.  Minor deviations from this plan can be made to suit your community’s unique needs.

Program Length:  3 weeks

Week #1: Clinic (3 days) 1.5 hours each day.

This week is mostly free of horseshoes.  What’s that you say, no horseshoes?  That’s right!  This initial week focuses on the basic mechanics of the pitch.  Ironically, once you put a horseshoe into the hands of most kids, they tend to only focus on trying to make ringers (not a bad thing) but they tend to ignore the fundamentals required to do so.  This week will be full of balls, beanbags, water balloons, and maybe a few bricks (and a couple horseshoes on day 3).

Day 1 Introduction to the game
Clinic Topics Why Horseshoe Pitching
The importance of Practice
Winning vs Succeeding
The Swing


Day 2 Basics of the game
Clinic Topics The Step
The Distance
The Release


Day 3 Basics of the game
Clinic Topics The Height
The Turn Shoe
The Flip Shoe
The Open Shoe
The Dead Landing
Painting the Shoe

Week #2: Clinic (3 days) 1.5 hours each day – Doubles Tournament (1 day) 2-3 hours

Now it is time to start pitching horseshoes at the stake.  The drills from the previous week are repeated this week as “Skills Development” except that horseshoes are used on a playing courts.  Attention is given to identifying and developing each kid’s individual pitching style.  By the end of the week they will be ready to compete in a horseshoe tournament.  Paint jobs on horseshoes are judged.  Participant photos are taken in League shirts.  Bring out the water balloon for a drill at least once this week.

Day 4 Paint competition
Skills Development
Clinic Topics Court Setup
Court Maintenance
Ringer %
Swing – Step – Release – Distance – Height (Live drills)


Day 5 Skills Development
Clinic Topics Shoe Styles
Team Play
Singles Play
Swing – Step – Release – Distance – Height (Live drills)


Day 6 Tournament Prep
Clinic Topics Warm up (link coming soon)
Doubles Play (link coming soon)
Identify Double Partners (link coming soon)
Team Competition Establish Ringer % (link coming soon)


Day 7 Doubles Tournament (link coming soon)

Week #3: League (4 days) 1.5 hours each day – Singles Tournament (1 day) 3 hours

This Week begins with a review of lessons learned from pitching in the doubles tournament from the previous week.  A  drill  or two may be revisited to help work on problem areas.  League competition runs the entire week, which culminates in a Singles Tournament with food, fun and family.  The last item is to treat your sponsors to a sponsors doubles tournament.

Day 8 Skills Refinement (Back to Basics)
Team Competition (link coming soon)
Day 9 Team Competition
Day 10 Team Competition
Day 11 Team Competition


Day 12 Singles Tournament
BBQ & Awards
Sponsor Doubles/Awards


Upon Completing this Youth clinic and league, with the accompanying tournaments, participants will be prepared to continue pitching in local tournaments and mixed community leagues.  They may qualify to compete in State Championship or even the NHPA’s annual World Horseshoe Tournament.