Horseshoe Q&A  [1-20]  [21-40]  [41-60]  [61-80]   [81-100]   [101-120]   [121-140]   [161-180]

Dennis June 10, 2007

WR,  How many shoe do you pitch daily in practice? Also do you get a chance to pitch during the bowling season?
I try to pitch two or three hundred shoes when I practice, but , as I am 68 I can't do that every day.

Hi Dennis,
I try to pitch at least an hour when I practice which is around 240 shoes, but usually average over 300. Most tournaments are at least that and big tournaments being more than that for a single days pitching over a much longer period of time. During the PBA tour, I don't practice that much as it is in the fall and winter months and I do a lot of traveling where the weather is colder. But sometimes I will find an indoor place to practice.

Geoffrey May 23, 2007

Hi Walter Ray, I have a friend coming to visit me on the 29th of May for two weeks. He is the New Jersey state champ. His name is Bud Esposito and he would like to meet you and play a match if possible. Also we are both fans of yours and we are very good bowlers.

Thank you in advance for your response.

Hi Geoff,
I have heard of Bud. I will be out of town until June 11th and we are having guests until we leave on June 13th for the rest of the week. So it doesn't look like I will have much of a chance to meet you guys. As for Bud meeting me in the future, I have been bowling in the US Open the last few years at New Brunswick, NJ. That would be a good place to watch some great bowling on really tough lane conditions and possibly meet me. Also, the world tournament is going to be in York, PA next summer so maybe we can meet then. For you Geoff, I will probably bowl in a regional at Spring Hill on July 20-22. They have a pro-am you could bowl or if you are a really good bowler and want to test your skill level, you could bowl in the professional part of the tournament.

Harry May 18, 2007

GDay, I'm a trainee blacksmith and being 54 and having already retired from the Australian Navy I thought it would be good to practice my skills by making Horsepitching Shoes. I just need some specifications. Could you help? Regards Harry

ps I also need pin measurements I'm presently usind some car axles.

Hi Harry,
This is a link to a website which has horseshoe specification sizes, . Horseshoes for competition are manufactured at steel plants by either forging them or casting. Many years ago, the first shoes used in competition were made by ferriers and they did use car axles. Stakes are generally made 36" long 1" in diameter. The stakes are put into cement buckets or driven into blocks of wood or more simply just driven into the ground. This link has information on building a court. Good luck and have fun.

Tina May 12, 2007
Hazel Park

I need an easy to follow software program for a horseshoe league. I downloaded the one from NHPA, but it seems a little more detailed than what I need. Is there an easier one?

Hi Tina,
I don't know what other computer programs can be used for league competition. You could try a spreadsheet program, but you will need to set that up and that can be quite a bit of work.

Nathan April 11, 2007

Hi, My name is nathan buratto and i attend st marys school in lee mass. I am doing a report on horseshoes and i need to ask you a few questions.
1. when did your first start to play the game of horshoes?
2.;did you ever win any big tournaments and if so how many?
3.What is your opinion of how to mentally win a game of horseshoe?
4. What would you tell kids who wanted to play horseshoes, and to give them convidence?

If you could please respond and replie to those questions on my email that would be great.
Thanks again,

Hi Nathan,
I still play horseshoes competitively. Just not as well as I used to. Here are your answers.

1. I started playing horseshoes a couple of months before I turned 10 in August of 1969.

2. I won the Jr. Boys World championships in 1971, 1972, and 1975. I also won the Men's World championships in 1978, 1980, 1981, 1985, 1991, and 1994. I finished 2nd the last two years (2005 and 2006).

3. Winning any game no matter what the sport is to practice so that you develop your skill. You need to be confident but not too cocky. Try to pay attention to what you are doing and key in (concentrate) on one or two things.

4. Anybody who is interested in learning horseshoes should be patient. Learn a proper turn so that the shoe will be open when it lands. Pitching horseshoes is a difficult sport to learn, but once you get the hang of it, it is actually fairly simple.

5. I used to be the best at pitching horseshoes, but now I am ranked #5 in the world for men.

You can get more information on pitching horseshoes at

Ralph April 24, 2007

Walter Ray, would you consider selling those henton v loks?

Hi Ralph,
I don't know who is in charge of them. If they would like us to sell them on our website, we would consider it.

Jim March 19, 2007

I currently pitch a 3/4 turn shoe. I have tried other type of turns but this one seems to feel the best when I pitch it right.
Is there a shoe out there that you can recommend that would be better for me with my 3/4 turn?
It seems to me that a shoe with more weight on the heel vs. the toe would be the best.

Hi Jim,
I don't recommend pitching a 3/4 turn or flip for a 40' pitcher. Since I am not very familiar with the 3/4 turn I don't really know what type of shoe would be best for you. But I would think that it is an individual thing and you seem to have an idea of what seems to work for you. Good luck.

Cheryl March 14, 2007
Carson City

My husband has set up a horseshoe pit in our back yard. He would like to know what the best type of sand to use in the pit. Any suggestions?
Thank you.

Hi Cheryl,
I pitch in clay. Most tournament horseshoe pitchers pitch in clay as the shoes don't move around as much as they do in sand. So I really don't know what type of sand is better to pitch in. When I have pitched in sand, I tend to like a slightly damp. I would guess that a finer sand would be better, but that is a guess

Gilbert March 9, 2007

Is there a make of horseshoe that has a very small caulk. The ones i have tried are way too big and interfere with my delivery as it grabs me on the release. What type(s0 do you suggest?

Hi Gilbert,
What used to be the Ohio 'O's' and are now manufactured under the name Imperial Classics don't have very big heel caulks.

Mark February 26, 2007

From looking at your dvd,s, you pitch horseshoes left handed and bowl right handed ??? Is every Horseshoe pitching video and dvd out made by lefthanded pitchers ? It can be very confusing for all right handed people. Thanks,

Hi Mark,
I pitched horseshoes competitively for 35 years right handed. I was getting a bit frustrated, so I decided to pitch left handed and have a bit more fun. However, I learned how to pitch left handed when I was younger having broke my finger when I was 13 and my wrist when I was 18. So it wasn't quite like starting from scratch. On the video I also pitch right handed and the people I work with on the video pitch right handed. I am sure it won't be that confusing.

Jason February 25, 2007

Dear WR, I have recently been asked to participate in a written debate regarding the use of a recovery step, upon the release of the shoe. I will be defending the recovery step and wondered if I could get your objective opinion on some related questions, for the sake of credibility.
For example, what is the status of the recovery step's legality, and is it ever in danger of being changed or modified?
Are ther any benefits or advantages/disadvantages to a recovery step?
I have personally taken a recovery step to compensate for my forward momentum since my junior days, but am trying to eliminate it for many reasons. I'm told it looks awkward and off- balance. I would like to salvage my body so I can continue to play the game when I am older. I would also like to eliminate the couple times a year that I encounter less than savvy players who protest my alleged fouling.
In my effort to rid myself of the extra step, my shoes are dropping short and sometimes not fully turning. I wonder what I can do to compensate for the forward momentum I will be deprivimg myself of with the elimination of the recovery step.
Thank you for your time and good luck at the Bayer Classic.

Hi Jason,
I am guessing that your 'recovery step' is what I call a follow through step where the player steps across the foul line after releasing the shoe. Even though many players think that this is illegal it isn't. There was a junior player last year at the world tournament whose follow through step was very quick and they needed video to verify that he had let go of the shoe before he stepped over the foul line. I have seen many good players use this technique. I wouldn't recommend it, but it does work for some players. If you really want to modify your step, practice pitching and not crossing the foul line until the shoe lands. At one time, that used to be the rule, waiting until the shoe landed before crossing the foul line. Since the shoe was pitched while the player was behind the line, I don't have a problem with it, but it doesn't look right.

Jerry February 22, 2007

Hi Walter,
I throw a 1&3/4 and my question is about the follow through. After the back swing and when you bring the shoe forward, do you try and complete a full cricle with the swing? Or do you try and reach out towards the stake? Or neither. Is it possible to give a brief explination of a good follow through. You often mention it.

Hi Jerry,
I don't think it really matters what kind of shoe you pitch, a good follow through is a big part of a great arm swing. I like to have my arm/hand pointing to the sky while the arm is in the same swing plane and not to the left (in your face of left of it) or way right (for right handers).

Gilbert January 29, 2007
Manitoba, Canada

I am from Canada. Is there any place in Canada where I can get a good instructional horseshoe video. Have you got any addresses?

Hi Gilbert,
I have a pretty good instructional horseshoe video. Check out my website, for information.

Jocko December 29, 2006

I am looking to buy a pair of horseshoes for a three man team I'm on and, the problem is two guys throw a"turn" and one throws a "flop". What, if any, brand of shoes would you suggest?

Hi Jocko,
In a 3 man team for horseshoes the players should be able to use their own horseshoes. For a turn shoe I think the shoes I use, Clydsdale Deadeyes, are very good. For a flip shoe I really don't know, but you can check out some of the other shoes on our website. It depends on what the player likes as far as feel.

Larry December 27, 2006

I noticed from the picture on your horseshoe dvd you are wearing gloves. What type are they and do you recommend them to amateurs? Have you seen anyone use a reverse flip? Thank you, Larry Overland

Hi Larry,
I use inexpensive golf gloves when I pitch horseshoes. I find that I don't get as many scratches on my fingers and thumb.

I have never seen a reverse flip where the heel of the shoe goes down as opposed to up when released. Bet that would be interesting!

Bill January 4, 2007

When you have players of various ability how do you figure handicaps for the poorer players??

Hi Bill,
By knowing the ringer averages of the players and the number of shoes the games are going to it is a simple matter of mathematics. Since a ringer counts 3 points, the formula is:

Handicap = (Ring%Diff x 100) x 3 x (Shoes/100) x (Hand%)

If Ring%Diff is 10% or 10, Shoes is 40 and Hand% is 80% then Handicap is

10 x 3 x (40/100) x (.8) = 9.6 or rounded up to 10 points handicap.

Check out for more information.

Rick November 30, 2006

Will you ever go back to throwing right handed and beat Alan Francis? I hope someday you do.

Hi Rick,
If I could pitch well enough right handed I would. But the last time I pitched in a tournament right handed I averaged less than 71%. I averaged over 72% left handed at the world tournament the last two years.

Rhett October 21, 2006

I recently bought your new horseshoe instructional video, and I have watched it several times already. In your video, you seem to be a strong advocate of the 1 1/4 turn pitch. This is understandable, because it is a method used by many of the top horseshoe pitchers in the world. However, as we know, Alan Francis (the #1 ranked pitcher) throws an unconventional 3/4 reverse turn pitch. I'm curious about whether you would recommend that a beginner practice the 3/4 reverse turn pitch or stick with the 1 1/4 turn pitch? Do you have any further thoughts about this pitch?

Hi Rhett,
If you already use a reverse turn and it works for you, I would say continue using it. I am basically teaching how to turn the shoe which I think is one of the best ways to pitch horseshoes. I didn't edit the video. I thought that I had demonstrated a reverse turn and a 1 & 3/4 turn. In any future pitching video's I would like to include more about other turns. It may be that Alan pitches the better turn and most of us use a 'reverse' turn.

Andrew September 29, 2006

Dear Walter Ray, I appreciate your time and thanks for this oppertunity to ask you a question, I will be traveling to Florida for the Thanksgiving Vaction in November and I will be driving to St. Petersburg. Could you reccomend someone to give me a horseshoe pitching lesson any names or numbers of anyone who can help me improve my pitching would greatly be appreciated. Thanks, Andrew Stiles

Hi Andrew,
Here is the website for the Florida association, . There is a great horseshoe club in Clearwater and there website is . It is a very active club with quite a few top players. Hopefully someone there can help you.

Eric November 2, 2006

Just wondering if horseshoes wil ever make it to espn?
Heard some talk about it and was curious.
Gettting sanctioned this year, and was also wondering how many champs have been flip shoe throwers? I am not going to change do to the fact that every one can throw a turn shoe, want to be effective at flip!! hitting about 53 percent and now I have indoor pits. Thanks for the time.

Hi Eric,
Horseshoe has been on ESPN, but I doubt that there will be a tour on TV any time soon. There has never been a men's world champion who threw a flip shoe. But maybe you'll be the first. The top pitcher in Pennsylvania, Mike Creek, used to pitch a flip, but now he pitches a 1 & 1 / 4. 4 years ago he was about 25%. Having a place to pitch in the winter will help you quite a bit.

Horseshoe Q&A  [1-20]  [21-40]  [41-60]  [61-80]   [81-100]   [101-120]   [121-140]   [161-180]