Tossing Horseshoes (from Outdoor Fun: A Guide to Yard Games) Horseshoes is a yard game played between two players or two pairs of players. A horseshoe is a U-shaped iron rib normally nailed to the hooves of horses. People play horseshoes in an area called a "pit." A normal horseshoe pit is 40 feet long with iron or wooden stakes at either end. Players take turns throwing two horseshoes at one stake while standing behind the other. Cowboys looking for a way to pass the time probably invented the game of horseshoes. The idea is to score a "ringer" or to make the horseshoe wrap around the opposite stake. This makes a loud noise and scores three points. Another way to score points is by throwing the horseshoe closest to the stake. A player wins one point for each throw that lands closer to the stake than the opponent.
Horseshoes (from an encyclopedia article) Horses work to carry riders and heavy loads, so it is important that people protect a horse's hooves. Work can cause a horse’s hoof to chip or break. Horseshoes help prevent this kind of damage to the horse's hooves. A horseshoe is a U-shaped metal slat that is fitted to each hoof. People normally make horseshoes from iron though they use other metals as well. The farrier is the person who shoes a horse. He or she nails the horseshoe onto the hoof, which is like a person's fingernail. Because the hoof is dense and tough, the nailing of the shoe onto the hoof does not hurt the horse at all. In fact, most farriers say horses enjoy being shod because they like the attention. They say the horse thinks of the process the same way a person might think of a manicure.
The Magician and His Audience Even though Joe, the magician, knew he wasn’t a particularly good magician, he loved magic. He loved how it made people feel. Magic gave people a glow of surprise and joy. Over the years, however, Joe noticed his audience decrease in size. People didn’t feel the same way about magic anymore. They didn’t see the joy it brought; they only viewed it as childish and silly. After a while, Joe even started to doubt his own magic to entertain people. One evening after another small performance, Joe spied a small box lying in the middle of the stage. He glanced around to see if anyone was there. However, the stage was empty. Joe scooped up the box. Its tag read, “For Joe.” Joe was puzzled as he opened the box. There, inside that ordinary box, was a small piece of paper that stated, “Believe.” Once Joe read the word, the paper simply disappeared from his hand. Joe’s eyes widened. He realized that he had witnessed real magic. Joe knew that he just had to believe in himself and in his magic to make real magic. The following day, Joe performed a magical feat. He could make an entire elephant disappear right on stage. His audience was shocked. They could hardly believe that there was real magic. After that show, Joe’s audience told others about the amazing magic trick that Joe could do. The next day, he performed the trick successfully again. The crowd went wild for the trick. From then on, Joe always had a full audience, and he never doubted his magic again.
The Climber There was a snowstorm on the day that Rafe decided to continue his ascent on Mount McKinley. The other climbers called him crazy for climbing in such weather. They never believed that Rafe had the skills to climb the mountain. However, Rafe didn’t care. He knew he could climb the mountain on his own. They didn’t realize that he had the skills to make it to the top. As Rafe resumed the climb, the snow fell down heavily. The wind blew so hard that, at times, he struggled to stay on the mountainside. Each footstep was a fight. Rafe was able to keep a steady pace until one swift current of wind struck him down. He fell flat on his face. Shocked from the blow, Rafe tried to stand up with little success. Rafe wasn’t discouraged. He had been in worse conditions than this one. After many tries, Rafe finally pushed himself up. Rafe took a hold of the mountain and found his way up the side. He knew he was going to finish this climb even if no one else thought he could do it. The summit was only a hundred feet away. With a few faltering steps, he finally made it to the top. He enjoyed his moment of victory. When Rafe came down from the top, he was greeted by the other climbers. They had been sure that no one could have survived the brutal storm. The climbers were impressed by Rafe’s skills as a mountain climber. Rafe just smiled at them because he had known he could do it all along.