EXERCISEºRECREATIONºSPORT


SCIENCE AT THE STAKE

by Roy W. Smith published in 1946
Page 29


elevation must be maintained: when two shoes, with about the same amount of propelling power behind them, are tossed at the stake 40 feet away, with the first one arched 6 feet at the highest point and the second one elevated 10 feet in height, there is a difference in actual traveled distance of between 3 to 4 feet. The first shoe may land short or fail to open due to lack of height. The second one may turn too much and sail several inches over the stake. Again, both might hit the stake at about the same spot but could not open due to the incorrect turns. An accurate and uniform trajectory is very essential; otherwise, there would be no need to equip a gun with sights to insure good marksmanship.

OBSTACLES AND HAZARDS

   The horseshoe game has equally as many obstacles and hazards as golf. During match and tournament play the stake may be frequently blocked by leaning shoes. Here are a few examples: when an opponent's shoe is leaning up in front of the peg, one must try to make both his ringers by placing them over, through or under the obstructing shoe without wasting one of them to knock it away. When a shoe lands a fraction short of being a ringer, it can often be knocked or dragged on with another shoe; sometimes, three or four ringers can be knocked on or off with another shoe. If a shoe is lying with the calks up and the toe nearest the stake, there is the good or bad fortune of having another shoe hit the toe-calk and flip it over for a ringer. There are many more examples and ways of making clever and difficult shots. Placing shoes up against the stake and pitching at them for a few minutes during the practice hour will help one to cope with such situations when they are encountered in match play.

HOW TO PRACTICE

   Now that the beginner has become acquainted with the basic fundamentals of the game, he can begin to apply them, one by one, during practice. It is impossible to master all these things at once. The old adage that "haste makes waste" should be kept in mind. The majority of beginners are inclined to center all their attention on trying for ringers and fail to devote enough time to their fundamentals. As in baseball, the pitcher must learn to pitch with his head as well as his arm! He must first master himself before he can master the shoe; patience, self-control and years of correct practice are required to become a seasoned and skillful pitcher. No one ever becomes so perfect he can quit training.

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