Releasing the Shoe

It does not matter if you have the best footwork in the league. It does not matter if you have perfect balance and the eyesight of an eagle. If you cannot release the horseshoe properly you will not be scoring any points.

During your entire swing you should have a firm grip on the horseshoe. You do not want it too loose as this can lead to letting go unexpectedly, or too much motion of the horseshoe while swinging. If you hold it too tight, you will end up jerking the horseshoe upon release. What you are looking for is a balanced, flexible, grip on the horseshoe. This will allow you to have more of a fine tuned control with your fingertips. Since your fingertips are really the only things holding onto the horseshoe they play a crucial role in the flight and rotation.

Before starting your swing you should be holding up the horseshoe and aiming at the stake on the opposite side. It is important to release the horseshoe at that same point. For example, if you are aiming with the horseshoe at a height of your nose then you do not want to release the horseshoe at your chin. The aiming point and exit point of the horseshoe should always be the same. This way your body will adjust and begin to “learn” your throw. You will also keep much more consistency with all of your throws.

When releasing the horseshoe, your rotation is dependent on your grip. As stated earlier, the fingertips control your turn or rotation. Your index finger has the most control over the horseshoe because it is in contact with it longer than your other fingers. As you release the horseshoe, make sure that the shoe is in a horizontal position. Your fingers are going to have to support the weight of the horseshoe here to keep it from hanging down towards the ground. This is something that will just take practice to get used to. During the release you want the horseshoe to have a nice smooth exit. You want to avoid any drag against your fingers as much as possible. A nice smooth release will give your horseshoe a beautiful loft and horizontal positioning in the air. This will allow you to land more horseshoes flat around the stake.

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