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December 2017

Horseshoes – A Great Way to be Active and Socialize!

It really is!  The great thing about them is that they are easy to play and makes you socialize.  When it comes to elders, it has the added benefit of not being strenuous yet a lot of fun.  You can find a good set of rubber horseshoes or you can go hardcore and get some made of steel.

Image result for Horseshoe game

What is Horseshoes about?

The idea behind using horseshoe to socialize is rather simple.  You can establish your own rules where you stick a stake in the ground and people take turns throwing a horseshoe inside the stake.  Whoever makes more hits, wins.  Simple, right?

Now, if you want to take it to the next level, you might be interested in horseshoe pitching.  The rules of the game vary depending on the area.  Sometimes rules even vary among pubs.  But these are the general ones:

The horseshoe pitch is a six-feet square marked on the ground.  Each pitch contains a smaller rectangle;  approximately three time six feet.  This smaller square is referred to as the pit.  This pit is usually filled with sand and is oriented so that its longest side runs along with the longest side of the pitch.

In the middle of the pit, a metal stake is placed, with 15 inches coming out of the ground.  The area of the pitch that is not the pit is on the left and right.  This is where players are allowed to stand to make a throw.  Both feet must remain behind the pit line whenever making a throw.

After a coin is tossed, the first player throws two horseshoes to one stake, one after the other.  The second player does the same thing.

Any horseshoe that completely surrounds the stake is known as a “ringer” and is worth three points unless it is canceled by another player.  Now, there are some specific rules for how to decide if a ringer is actually valid or if another player has genuinely canceled it.

Since those rules are beyond the scope of this article, we will not stop to discuss them.

Benefits of Horseshoe for Elders

Let us now talk about how elder are benefited with this social game.

  • This is a social game, which allows elders to interact with each other.  This has a great impact on the feeling of loneliness they usually get.
  • Takes away boredom.  There are too many elders out there that, since they no longer perform a job, feel bored all the time.  No TV show or Internet entertainment will make it go away.
  • Promotes healthy exercising.  The game, without being physically demanding does require certain muscle and bone expenditure.  This provides a moderate amount of exercise to keep those muscles active.
  • The game helps keep cognitive functions on check.  The game requires some reasoning, mostly when it comes to counting the number of points made.
  • Exposes elders to situations where they might have to rely on each other.
  • Emotionally, it helps elders to keep their judgment sharp.  During the game, there will be episodes of frustration and even fear.  These are part of horseshoe just like in any other game.  This can be good also for the cognitive area and even the emotional area.

A Great Learning Tool

If teams are allowed to pair up, elders can enjoy been on a team.  Just like the old days when they had to give themselves down for a team, they will probably enjoy that.  Elders who play strategy games more often are less likely to have memory problemsi in the futur.  So, let´s get those stakes and horeshoes and let the action begin!