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Showing posts with label Archery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Archery. Show all posts

Five Things to Consider when Buying Extra Archery Equipment

Today one of my archery students contacted me wanting my opinion about the Astra Shot Trainer (see video below from Lancaster Archery) and he surmised that he could just sew an equivalent.

I agreed, spending $60 USD on what is essentially a sock with some paracord attached seems rather overpriced for a gadget people might easily get bored of.

But thinking about this got me thinking about various questions people should ask themselves when buying new archery equipment (and can be used for buying anything really, not just archery equipment). eg. Do I really need a canoe?





Five Things to Consider when Buying Extra Archery Equipment

#1. Do I really NEED this or do I really WANT this?

eg. Do I really need a quiver, or do I really want a quiver?

#2. Can I just make this myself? And if so, how easy is it to make?

eg. There many different ways to make a quiver, and oddly enough they are quite easy to make.

#3. How often will I use this thing?

eg. I might not use a quiver all the time even if I had one. Or I might use it constantly.

#4. Will I get bored of this or want a better one?

eg. This quiver is boring. I want a nicer / more interesting quiver.

#5. Would my money or time be better spent on something else?

eg. Should I spend money to buy this quiver / waste time making my own quiver? Or would that money/time be better spent on something else that would be more useful?


And like I mentioned above you could use these questions when considering whether to buy other things:
  1. Do I need this canoe? Nope.
  2. Can I build a canoe? Probably not a good one.
  3. How often will I use this canoe? Not often.
  4. Will I get bored of this canoe and want a better one? Yes.
  5. Should I spend my money elsewhere? Yes.



So for example, the Astra Shot Trainer...

1. Definitely not a need in my opinion. Some people might think they need it, but they might be confusing want with need. You don't need this gadget.

2. It is easy to make and wouldn't take much time. Just make it yourself. Paracord + Old Sock = Shot Trainer.

3. Myself personally, I cannot see using this gadget. I have a garage. If I want to do archery, I go shoot at cardboard boxes in the garage any time I want to. Failing that, I am typically at the Toronto Archery Range 3 to 4 days per week.

Other people who don't have a garage or similar space to practice however might find it useful.

4. I would get bored of this gadget very quickly. But other people might find it useful... and get bored eventually.

5. Definitely a waste of money to purchase. Some people might benefit from making their own. And whenever they do get bored of it, cut the paracord off the old sock, toss the old sock away, and you still have paracord you could use for other things.

:)

What is my favourite bow to shoot?

So I was talking back and forth with one of my previous students about archery equipment, answering any and all questions he had, and I mentioned I had recently purchased a vintage bow off eBay, bringing my total number of bows to 32.

To which they responded and added a postscript:


" P.S. 32 bows!! At least you must have a sweet collection. Which one is your favorite bow? "

I had to seriously think about that question because I had never chosen a favourite out of them.

So I responded with the following:

Honestly, very difficult to choose a favourite. It really depends on my mood what I feel like shooting on a particular day. I definitely prefer the older recurves I have collected from the 1970s. I also have other older bows from the 40s, 50s and 60s... the oldest of which is from 1942. Obviously I don't shoot the really old ones that often because I consider them to be "shootable museum pieces", and thus I prefer to only shoot those on rare occasions when the weather is favourable - don't want to shoot them when it is too hot, too cold, or too wet.

Of the bows from the 70s my favourite is probably the Black Hawk Avenger from 1972. It is a rather pretty "magnum style" recurve. It is called a magnum style because it is shorter and designed for hunters to easily move around with, less worry about it getting caught on branches etc. The problem with that design however is that it makes the bow less forgiving. A longer bow is more forgiving, you can make a mistake and still hit the target. With an unforgiving bow, you make a mistake and miss completely. Thus while it is a small beautiful bow, it is very challenging to shoot accurately and perhaps that is why I enjoy it more - because I like the challenge it presents.

Photos below, the Black Hawk Avenger. I really should take more photos of this bow. These photos do not do it justice. I also have a Black Hawk Chief Scout (compound bow) which is the prettiest wooden compound bow I have ever seen. They don't make them like that any more.
 
 
 


Weekday Archery Lessons, Autumn Discount 10%

Autumn is one of the best times of year to do archery.
Now here is a special offer for anyone who has lots of spare time on weekdays and is looking to get into archery.

For a limited time* I am offering a 10% discount when people sign up for 3 or more archery lessons on weekdays.

*Offer valid until September 21st (Autumn Solstice) 2018. Offer does not stack with the standard Seniors Discount of 10%. Offer does not apply to weekend archery lessons.

Discount Code: AUTUMNSOLSTICE10.

So why am I offering this discount? Honestly, it is so I can fill up some empty time slots on specific weekdays. Purely a logistical motivation on my part to fill those days.

The regular weekday rates for 3 or more lessons for 1 student are:

3 Lessons - $170; 5 Lessons - $270; 10 Lessons - $520.


So the discounted rates are:

3 Lessons - $153; 5 Lessons - $243; 10 Lessons - $468.

Want to book now? Start by emailing cardiotrek@gmail.com. Have a nice day!

Notes
  • Browse my archery lessons page if you want to book lessons for 2 or 3 people.
  • This discount also makes now a great time to prebook archery lessons for Spring 2019.
  • You can also buy archery lessons as a gift for a friend, family member or colleague. I sell Gift Vouchers so they can redeem the voucher later and schedule accordingly.





How to get the best of both worlds when buying archery equipment

A


"Hey Charles, hope all is good with you. This is Aadil, I took lessons with you like over two years ago, unfortunately have not practiced archery since. I want to get back into it, and maybe down the line take more lessons.

I wanted to ask if you could recommend arrows and bows:

For bow, I am looking at the Samick Sage Takedown @ 40 lbs.

http://www.lancasterarchery.com/samick-sage-takedown-recurve-bow.html

For arrows, I am a bit confused about because there are so many. Would you be able to recommend any?

Would love to hear you again, and perhaps maybe catch you on the field someday.

Best,
Aadil S."

A

Hey Aadil!

Long time no see!

I never recommend starting at 40 lbs when getting your first bow, but if you really want to get 40 here is my recommendation:

Get two sets of limbs, 25 lbs and 40 lbs. This way you can practice form on the 25 lb limbs and when you are later ready to shoot 40 (to build muscle, to hunt deer / small game) you can switch to the more powerful limbs. This then gives you the best of both worlds... A lighter set of limbs which are easier for a beginner to practice form on, and a stronger set of limbs for when they want to build muscle, shoot longer distances, practice for hunting, etc.

What I don't like to see is when a beginner gets a 40 lb bow, finds out that shooting it is exhausting, the exhaustion takes the fun out of it, and then their bow collects dust in the closet most of the year. Having the lighter limbs allows them to have more fun, still practice, practice more often, and has the bonus feature that you can give the 25 lb bow to a friend / sibling / etc and they can still hopefully shoot it.

Since you are looking at getting a 40 lb bow, I recommend getting 500 spine arrows. Depending on your draw length you might need different arrows, so please consult the chart on the following page:

http://www.cardiotrek.ca/2014/05/3-frequently-asked-archery-equipment.html


The 500 spine arrows will be a bit too stiff for 25 lbs, but better to be too stiff than to be too easily broken.

Also with respect to arrow fletching, aim for 3 to 4" fletching. 5" fletching is great on a day when there is zero wind, but we live in Toronto and there is ALWAYS wind here. 3" fletching will be less effected by the wind. 4" fletching will be more accurate when there is less wind. Pros and Cons to both.

I wouldn't worry too much about brand names. Get 500 spine and 3 or 4" fletching and you should be fine.

With respect to more lessons I sometimes have discounts, so if you check my website once in awhile I sometimes post a discount. So if you are thinking of getting more archery lessons, perhaps subscribe / come back to my site regularly and you will probably see a discount posted.

If you have more questions feel free to ask. See you at the range!

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca

The Fine Art of Buying Archery Equipment

Today I purchased some brass nock beads and some red bowstring serving (via Amazon.ca).

For me it was mostly a matter that I needed to buy some baby items for my son (things like safety covers for outlets) and I needed to get the order over $25 to qualify for the free shipping.

So I figured I might as well buy some archery equipment, things I know I will need eventually.

For example, I know I need the bowstring serving because I have a number of old bowstrings that need to be reserved / repaired, and thus made usable again.

I also knew I needed nock beads as I am currently running low on them. I sometimes sell them for $2 each to anyone who needs them, including free installation on my part. If I start running low then I need to conserve them and cannot sell any in case I need to replace one.

I see teaching people how to properly install a nock bead as an educational experience that every archer should learn. Same goes with learning how to make a bowstring, how to serve / reserve a bowstring, how to wax a bowstring, etc. These are basically maintenance issues that every archer should learn to do.

But on to my main topic, the Fine Art of Buying Archery Equipment.

There are some tricks here.

#1. Buy Generic Items Online

If you are buying generic things (like nock beads, bowstring wax, etc) you can definitely order online via Amazon, Three Rivers, Lancaster, Merlin Archery, etc. You don't need to buy these items in person unless you are in a rush to receive them.

#2. Try to Only Buy Things you know you NEED

Years ago I would sometimes buy things I knew I didn't really need right away. Fancy arrowheads, extra fletching just because I liked the colour, etc. I have three boxes of "archery supplies" now filled with things like that which are waiting for me to eventually repair arrows, replace fletching, etc - and to be honest I rarely find the time to do those things.

To qualify as something I need, I really need to NEED it right away. ASAP.

eg. Those pack of 6 broadheads that are still in the packaging? I probably didn't need those at all. (I do still want to go hunting someday, but until I actually get my hunting license I actually don't need to buy broadheads.)

The new bowstrings I bought a couple years ago and am currently using on several bows? Yep. I definitely needed them. It was just a matter of time.

If you are shopping for archery equipment for the first time I recommend taking a checklist of items to be buying. See Archery Equipment Checklist.

#3. Always buy Bows in Person, Ideally

Honestly I have broken this rule many times when buying antique / vintage bows off eBay. Buying a new bow, I always buy it in person and I have it strung in the store to double-check it is working properly. Buying a vintage bow off eBay, I am already aware that it is a gamble - hence why I prefer to only buy from people with perfect ratings and only bows which have photographs showing every part of the bow in detail.

#4. Avoid Impulse Purchases

See a fancy bow on sale, but it isn't what you are looking for? Don't buy it.

Sure, it is on sale, but the salesperson in the store just wants to make a sale and then get rid of you. The bow could be wrong for you. The wrong poundage, the wrong style, the wrong draw length, a lefty bow when you actually need a right handed bow, etc. Salesmen often just want to get rid of something and can/will lie to customers to get rid of an item.

Try to return it? "Oh, you bought it on sale. There is no returns on sale items."

Always better to "browse now, buy later" if you are new to archery.

#5. Learn the Lingo

Archery is rife with jargon terminology. New archers really should take some time to learn the names of different things so they can tell a hen fletch from a banana fletch. Read an archery glossary.

  • Hen Fletch - Usually faces towards the bow, whereas the cock/rooster fletch faces away from the bow. The two hen fletches are typically one colour, while the cock fletch is a different colour.
  • Banana Fletch - Describes the shape of a style of fletching because it is shaped like the curve of a banana. Other common shapes are shield fletch and parabolic fletch. Many archers get their banana fletching in yellow because it is amusing.

#6. Buy Arrows that suit the Bow

A very common beginner mistake is to buy arrows that are too flexible / too stiff for the bow the person is shooting. You should consult an arrow spine chart.

Read 3 Frequently Asked Archery Equipment Questions to learn more about arrow spine.

#7. Take a Friend / Family member

Hopefully someone who will talk you out of buying something you don't need / is unsuitable.

If you aren't sure about buying something, you really need a sober second opinion sometimes to remind you "Oh, wait. Isn't that a left-handed bow?"

FYI
  • You draw a right handed bow with your right hand (the drawing hand). You hold the bow in your left hand (the bowhand).
  • You draw a left handed bow with your left hand (the drawing hand). You hold the bow in your right hand (the bowhand).



Is traditional archery the same as instinctive archery? Nope.

Q

"Hi Charles,
Is what we did last class considered instinctive shooting, since we didn't use sights?

D."

A

Hey D!

That would a misnomer to call traditional aiming/style the same thing as instinctive. The two things are very different.

Unfortunately there is a lot of confusion/misinformation about what instinctive aiming / instinctive style is (Lars Anderson is not helping either, his videos are full of misinformation), and this is not the first time I have had to explain the difference. Compound Shooters and Olympic Shooters have an awful habit of looking at traditional style and thinking that it is instinctive, but they don't know that there is an aiming methodology to what the traditional archer is doing, and that there is a specific form.

Traditional Aiming - Aiming off the tip of the arrowhead.

Gap Shooting - Aiming using the gap between the side of the bow and the target, using memory to remember where to aim. Sort of like an imaginary sight.

Aiming with Sights - A gadget commonly used by Olympic and Compound shooters that tells them where to aim.

Instinctive Aiming - Not really aiming, but rather just "shooting from the hip" using "gut instinct", like you might see in a Western quick draw duel.

Traditional Recurve Style - Following form principles designed to increase accuracy through repetition, muscle memory, stable footing/form, consistent back power, etc.

Olympic Recurve Style - Very similar to Traditional Recurve Style, but with several changes to take full advantage of gadgets commonly used in Olympic archery.

Compound Style - Form wise it appears similar to the other two, but compound shooters are less worried about form as the gadgets on the typical modern compound bow basically allow a complete beginner to shoot with a remarkable amount of accuracy with little to no knowledge about how form could improve their accuracy.

Howard Hill Style - Commonly used by longbowmen and some traditional recurve shooters, the Howard Hill Style is similar to Traditional Recurve Style and is for archers who prefer to cant their bow while shooting. (You saw me demonstrating this style on Sunday with my 1972 Black Hawk Avenger bow, although with the aided flair of me kneeling during the shots.)

English Longbow Style - No canting, often involves aiming to the side a bit. In the case of an English Warbow there is a different method of holding the bowstring and releasing.

Horseman Style - Nearly identical to the Howard Hill Style, but with a Horseman's Release and/or a Thumb Ring. Often with a much more profound cant on the bow.

Instinctive Style - Formless. Just pull back any which way and shoot. No form needed. So for example if I lifted one leg and pulled the bowstring back underneath my leg (like a showoff would) and then shot, that would count as instinctive shooting. Pull back the bow from behind my back, over my head, partial draw, overdrawing way off to the side, etc - that would all be instinctive. The downside of this formless style is that the archer is really just guessing where the arrow will go. With practice they get better at guessing, but it is really only remotely accurate at very close distances. Any mid to long range distance and instinctive style/aiming is useless.

Little kids who have never done archery before basically shoot instinctively.

What I prefer to teach is ALL the different methodologies of shooting, starting with traditional and progressing in the directions the student is more interested in. If they later want to learn how to use sights, I will teach them how to use sights. If they want to learn Horseman Style, a horseman's release, etc - then I will steer the teaching in that direction. If they express an interest in longbows, then I will typically teach them the Howard Hill Style and show the differences between English Longbow and Howard Hill style. Thus if they want to learn multiple styles, I will teach them multiple styles.

So what you did on Sunday was:
  • Traditional Aiming.
  • Traditional Recurve Style.
  • Field Archery - In terms of what you were aiming at and the random distances. As opposed to say "Target Archery", "Flight Archery", "Clout Shooting", "Popinjay"... "3D Shooting" would be pretty similar to Field Archery, but would often involve shooting uphill or downhill.
If you want to learn more about Instinctive Style during lessons let me know and I shall demonstrate some shots and you can try it out too to see how you like the formless style of shooting.

(I decided to use this question and answer for an article on my website. I will list your name as "D." for privacy's sake.)

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca

Strange and Weird Archery Stabilizers

Lots of weird archery stabilizers out there on the market. Lets look at a few for fun.


The NAP Apache Stabilizer

  • Despite its weird design, this stabilizer boasts 4.5 star reviews on Amazon, and ranks as one of the best stabilizers on the market.
  • Comes in black or camo. Or course it is does. It would be weird if it did NOT come in camouflage.
  • Note - I own an older and shorter version of the one shown above that is on one of my compound bows. I bought it because, at the time, the Apache Stabilizer had the best reviews on the market, and because I liked its weird shape. These days I usually use a Trophy Ridge stabilizer instead which has even better reviews (4.9), but looks boring in comparison.



The Axion Stabilizer / Carrying Handle

  • This 2-in-1 model looks weird because it is both a lower center of gravity stabilizer, and it acts as a handle for carrying of your compound bow. (As if the regular handle wasn't enough of a handle.)
  • Bonus - It is very short, making it easier to get around foliage.


The Beestinger Pro Hunter MAXX

  • It has two Xs in its name. You know, to be different from all the other companies which stick XX or XXX in its name.
  • It looks like a toilet plunger.
  • Nothing says "weirdo" like the guy walking around with a toilet plunger stuck to his bow.
  • The brand typically has 4 or 4.5 star reviews, despite most of their stabilizers looking like they were designed to unplug a plugged toilet.
  • The design is an attempt to add more weight to the end of the stabilizer to maximize the shift in the center of gravity for the bow.


The Trophy Taker Quiver Stabilizer

  • Oh look, another 2-in-1 stabilizer. Like that hasn't been done before.
  • They stuck the arrows on the left side... For a right handed shooter the arrows should be on the right side so they can reach it easier.
  • How is the weight going to be evenly balanced? Especially since the balance of weight will change each time you (awkwardly) remove an arrow from the quiver.
  • The company "Option Archery" makes a near identical quiver stabilizer they call the "Quivalizer". Proof that more than one company thought this was a great idea.


The Golf Club Stabilizer

  • Just kidding. Not a real stabilizer.
  • Allows you to play golf while you hunt. Yeah...?

And somewhat off topic...

I came across the "Shoot Tech Systems Raptor Advance" compound bow while researching weird stabilizers. It looks like it belongs in a futuristic sci fi movie. Also, in keeping with the 2-in-1 idiocy, this bow also doubles as a slingshot... Because clearly what sci fi movie doesn't need a person carrying a giant and impractical slingshot that looks like it was designed by someone in the Aliens franchise. #Insanity!




Looking for archery lessons in Toronto? Cardio Trek offers weekday and weekend archery lessons.

Archery Competition Rescheduled to July 29th

So the archery competition that was supposed to be on June 23rd got rained out. And on the 24th (the rainday replacement day) it also rained plus thunderstorms. So that whole weekend was rescheduled for July.

So the new date for the competition is Sunday July 29th 2018.

Here are some details:

Registration starts at 10:00 AM and cuts off at 11:00 AM no exceptions.

Location:

The Toronto Archery Range located at E. T. Seton Park.

Free admission to enter. Prizes.

Three categories:
  • Olympic Recurve
  • Compound
  • Barebow (Traditional Recurve, Longbow, etc)

New Rain Date: Saturday, July 28th. The people organizing the competition will decide on Friday whether the weather looks good for Sunday or not, and whether Saturday is the better option.

For those people not competing come anyway for the Raffle, Potluck BBQ and general fun times.

Personal Note

I will be judging / adjudicating this competition. Which mostly means I will be explaining rules to people, doing math, and checking to see if an arrow is touching a line or not.

A Lesson in Adaptive Archery, Archery Focus Magazine


My 2nd article for Archery Focus Magazine has been published in the July 2018 issue. Titled "A Lesson in Adaptive Archery".

The article is about my first experience coaching a very brave student with no fingers. Not many coaches will take on the challenge of teaching students with a disability, but for its challenges it is also a rewarding experience.

Adaptive Archery is the term used for teaching people who have disabilities when it comes to doing archery and have to adapt their methodology so that they can still shoot (and even compete) in the sport.

There is a whole industry of products available for people with various problems to overcome, so for every disability there is usually one or more items available for the Adaptive Archer to use to beat the problem they are facing.

Some people also make their own solutions and/or adaptive equipment. It really comes down to problem solving.

So in my case as the student's coach I needed to do some problem solving so that a student with no fingers would be able to hold the bow, and also to be able to draw the bowstring.

And if you want to read about how we solved this problem, you will need to buy a copy of the magazine. I am not going to spill the beans here.

Subscriptions to Archery Focus Magazine are available by visiting archeryfocusmagazine.com. You can even use the following discount code to get 20% off your subscription: 20afm2018.



You may have noticed I said this was my 2nd article to be published in Archery Focus Magazine.

My first article was about how to market/advertise an archery coaching business, and titled "Marketing Strategies for Archery Coaches" and was published in the July 2017 issue.


So clearly I need to keep up a tradition and publish another one in July 2019. I have no idea what the topic will be...

Maybe something about teaching my son archery? He is barely over 1 now, so by March 2019 I might be showing him how to shoot already. Maybe. Maybe not. Some toddlers even compete in archery competitions for the under 3 category, but I don't think I want to push Richard into archery. It should be something he sees and wants to do. I don't want him to feel pressured he has to do it.

Who knows? We shall have to see.

Last year I also set myself a goal of publishing articles in multiple archery magazines.
  • Traditional Bowhunter Magazine
  • TradArcher's World Magazine
  • Bowhunting World Magazine
  • Petersen's Bowhunting Magazine
And just because it is a local magazine found here in Ontario:
  • Ontario Out of Doors (OOD) Magazine

Also if you noticed, Simon Needham and Steve Ruis seem to have their own July tradition. Writing and publishing "Getting to 600" and "Getting to 650" one year apart.

So clearly some archers really like their traditions. Especially Traditional Archers. 😉

Sample Rules for an Archery Competition

June 22nd, 2018.

There are many ways to run an archery competition.

For example the "300" method is for archers to shoot 30 arrows on targets with scoring 1 to 10 and get a score out of 300. Person with the highest score out of 300 wins. There is also variations of this that call for 600, 1000, etc - to say nothing of other methods of competing.

However watching archers shoot 10 ends of 3 arrows per end is rather boring - or 3 ends of 10 arrows per end, whatever combination they decide to go with, still pretty boring. It is a simple way of conducting a competition, but it is admittedly pretty boring for spectators.

Thus various archery competitions now use a system of "archery duels" in which two archers compete against one another in order to move up the rankings during the rounds and eventually make it to the final round.


For example, the upcoming 2018 Seton Archery Competition on June 23rd (tomorrow, unless it rains) will be using the following rules. Update - Because of rain on both Saturday and Sunday, the competition was rescheduled for Sunday, July 29th.

#1. The Ranking Round ↣

All the competitors (in their separate categories of Olympic recurve, compound and barebow) will do a ranking round where they are not competing against anyone per se, but are simply trying to get a good or decent score which will allow them to be ranked and sorted according to their scores. You cannot fail the Ranking Round. All it determines is who you will be facing first in the Elimination Rounds, as the highest scoring person will be facing the lowest scoring person. The second highest scoring person will face the second lowest scoring person, etc.

Strategy - The better you score during the ranking round, the more likely you are to face an opponent who is not as good as you in the first elimination round.

#2. The Elimination Rounds

Your goal during the elimination rounds is to stay in the competition and not get knocked out via Double Elimination. You can lose one round and still be fine, but lose two rounds and you are out.

During each round the competitors will take turns shooting 3 arrows per end, with a total of 3 ends. So 3 sets of 3 arrows, with scores out of 30 for each of the sets.

The competitor who wins at least 2 of the 3 ends wins the Elimination Round and moves on to the next Elimination Round.

If a competitor loses two Elimination Rounds, they are out. (Yes, in theory they could place 3rd, but this is highly unlikely to matter due to the ranking process, having already sorted archers based on their Ranking Round, as that process quickly knocks out the archers who tend to score lower, and they would need to be beaten by both the first place and second place winners during the Elimination Rounds, which is also unlikely due to the ranking system.)

The Elimination Rounds continue until there is only 4 competitors left at the top of the rankings.

#3. Rules on Scoring Points

Archers should not touch any of the arrows until after the scoring has been recorded. Tampering with the arrows will result in a judge being called to see if the scoring has been effected by possible tampering.

If a judge believes an arrow's position has been tampered with, they will score the arrow the lower amount of points in the records.

If an arrow is touching or breaking a line, it counts as the greater number of points. eg. The arrow is clearly on the 8, but it is touching the line for 9, then it counts as a 9. When in doubt about whether it is touching or not, call a judge to determine whether it is touching or breaking the line. (A common method of cheating is to tamper with an arrow to get 1 extra point so that it is touching a line.)

If an arrow is on the bullseye it doesn't receive any extra points, but it should be marked X in the records. Furthermore, if the end was a tie, the competitor with the most bullseyes wins that end.

Optional - Some competitions also have a rule that ties can be broken by whomever had the most arrows on the target. For example if one archer gets two 9s and a 0 (having missed 1 shot completely), and the other archer gets three 6s, they both have a score of 18. Under this rule, the archer with more of their arrows on the target wins the tie for that set. Since it is rare that someone manages to tie a round, but still missed the target that round, this rule is rarely used.

After 3 ends, if there is somehow still a tie (eg. 1 person won the first round, the other person won the second round, and they tied the third round) then the two archers will do a Shoot Off wherein they each shoot 1 arrow, and the winner is whomever is closest to the bullseye.

Optional - If after 2 rounds one archer has already won the first two ends, the other archer can - at their choosing - concede defeat for the round. There is no pressure to do so, or they can continue to the 3rd end and score it just to see what score they would have got. (With the pressure off, the gracious winner might even score poorly that 3rd round because they are not worried about getting a nice score any more having already won the round.)

#4. The Finals

During the final rounds of the competition there is typically 3 rounds left to shoot.

Losing the first round makes you a contender for 3rd place. Winning the first round makes you a contender for 1st or 2nd place.

The other two competitors do the same, and thus you end up with two winners who go on to compete for 1st and 2nd, and the two remaining archers compete for 3rd and 4th.

#5. The Awards Ceremony

Typically this follows soon after the competition is complete, wherein trophies, medals, and awards are given out. Often followed by drinking and food.

The trophies and medals shown below are for the 2018 Seton Archery Competition.


Personal Note ↢

Unless it rains tomorrow, I will have the honour of judging the competition tomorrow. So it will be my responsibility to make sure people are scoring properly, not tampering with arrows, adjudicating any disputes, etc.

If it does rain, the competition will be held Sunday - in which case I will be spending Sunday with family for my son's birthday and someone else will have the honour of judging the competition. Oh well.

Either way, I am bringing watermelon to at least 1 event this weekend.

Update - Because of rain on both Saturday and Sunday, the competition was rescheduled for Sunday, July 29th.

The watermelon was still tasty. Ate it at my son's birthday.

The 2018 Seton Archery Competition

NOTICE - Due to rain/thunderstorms on both the Saturday the 23rd and Sunday the 24th, the competition has been reschedule for Sunday, July 29th.

The 2018 Seton Archery Competition is coming up this Saturday, June 23rd Sunday, July 29th, and I shall be adjudicating and judging the competition this year. Which is basically a fancy way of saying I will be doing lots of math and making sure people follow the rules.


Note that the deadline for taking part is 11 AM. Meaning if you show up late, you won't be able to ranked and take part. So it is very important that people show up early or on time. SHOW UP ON TIME.

You do not need to register to take part, but you do need to show up on time.

Location: The Toronto Archery Range located at E. T. Seton Park.

This annual (usually) event is free to take part in and includes a Potluck BBQ for everyone who attends. So if you want to show up and just watch the competition, absolutely. Bring some food to share, a picnic blanket or a lawn chair, and have a fun time watching the competition.

Myself, as a judge, I will be bringing a lawn chair so I can enjoy watching and eating (and adjudicating / doing math).

In the event of rain on Saturday the competition will be moved to Sunday (in which case I will not be the person judging, as I will be busy with my son's birthday party that day). Or rescheduled for July evidently.


Archery Lesson Plan for Olympic Archery Students

Q


"I’ve read that you like to teach traditional recurves bows before the Olympic recurve bow, does this mean that we won’t get a chance to learn the Olympic bows in this session, and that this will be taught in another session?"

- Cassandra T.

A

Hello Cassandra!

Yes, over the years I have determined it is easier for the beginner archery student to learn to shoot traditional recurves first and then switch to Olympic later on, which is stylistically different despite being very similar. Preferably after the 2nd lesson, so if that is something you want to learn it would be best to do it during the 3rd lesson and following that.

The stylistic challenges of shooting Olympic style is such a student shooting that style for the first time is more likely to be missing completely and losing arrows, because they have to learn everything a Traditional Recurve archer has to learn, plus they need to learn the following topics:

  1. How to use and tune a sight - a practice which is hampered if the student has not already learned good form. It is better to learn the form aspects first, then learn how to use a sight later.
  2. How to use a stabilizer, and how to determine if a stabilizer is too light or too heavy.
  3. How to do a Live Release with South Anchor (as opposed to a Dead Release with North Anchor), which is harder to learn to do properly.
  4. How to keep your bow hand relaxed during the Follow Through.
  5. How to control your breathing (into the belly, not the chest) in order to get more accuracy.
  6. How to handle mental stress, fatigue, and issues like "Gold Shy" + "Target Anxiety".
  7. How to use a Clicker to tell you when to release.
  8. And more.
And frankly it is a lot to learn in a single lesson. It makes more sense to learn good form during lessons 1 and 2, and then learn the additional things an Olympic archer is expected to learn in the lessons that follow.

Lesson Plan for Olympic Recurve

For my regular lesson plan, see Archery Lesson Plan.

Lesson One - Safety Lecture, Eye Test, Aiming Lecture, Form Lecture, Field Archery with Traditional Recurve.

Note - Field Archery involves shooting at a target at random (often unknown) distances and is especially handy for teaching students how to aim at different distances and how to adjust their aim, which is an import skill for beginner archers to learn.

Lesson Two - Target Archery with Traditional Recurve, with a break in the middle for a Lecture on Arrrowheads

Note - Target Archery is your standard stationary target at the same distance, which is better for learning how to fine tune your aim at that one specific distance.

Lesson Three - Olympic Style Form Lecture + Target Archery, with a break in the middle for a Lecture on Arrow Spine. The lesson would focus on gradually teaching the student how to use a Olympic sight and stabilizer, and how to perform a "live release".

Note - Not all Olympic archers prefer live releases. Some prefer to use a dead release, although most do prefer a live release. I leave it up to the student to decide which they prefer.

South Korean archer Chang Hye-Jin

Lesson Four - Fine Tuning with the Olympic Recurve + possibly going to a further distance if the student is ready. Demo on how to wax a bowstring. The lesson may focus on aspects like keeping the bow hand relaxed during the Follow Through, how to control breathing, etc.

Olympic Archery Clicker
Lesson Five and Beyond

I find this really depends on the student's needs, as each student will have different problems they need to address. Topics would include:

  • How to shoot at longer distances.
  • How to compensate for wind conditions.
  • How to handle Mental Stress/Fatigue.
  • How to cure Gold Shy and Target Anxiety.
  • How to use a Clicker.
  • How to shoot in the rain (as competitions are sometimes rain or shine).
  • Other factors that are usually unique to Olympic archers. eg. Competition Anxiety.
Things Not Being Taught

There are certain topics that I don't teach Olympic students, because they are essentially useless to someone who only wants to shoot Olympic style competitively at 70 meters. For example:
  • How to shoot at a moving target.
  • How to shoot downhill or uphill.
  • How to shoot while in motion.
  • Stylistic differences between traditional recurve and longbows / flatbows / horsebows.
  • How to adjust your aim based on changing distances.
  • Advanced Field Archery.
  • Clout Archery.
  • Archery Games/Activities such as Popinjay or Roving.
  • Skywalking (style of aiming for extreme long distance shooting).
  • How to Overdraw on purpose.
  • How to Stringwalk on purpose.
  • How to Facewalk on purpose.
  • How to shoot around obstacles.
  • How to shoot while kneeling or sitting.
  • How to shoot faster.
  • How to shoot instinctively (which sadly many people misunderstand what counts as instinctive).
  • How to adjust and micro-adjust sights on a compound bow*.
  • Tricks for getting extra accuracy on a compound bow*.
  • How to synchronize the cams on a compound bow*.
  • How to change the poundage on a compound bow*.
  • Etc.
* I decided to include a few examples that are specifically just for compound shooters. Maybe someday I will post a lesson plan for compound archers.


Equipping the Olympic Archer

Around lesson five the student should be ready to buy their own archery equipment, if they have not done so already. I figured since I am writing about the lesson plan, I should also warn students about the financial costs of getting into Olympic Archery.

Expect to be spending about $700 + the cost of the arrows, which might cost an additional $180 or more depending on the quality of the arrows (the professionals use arrows that cost $600 for a dozen). Plus taxes. I didn't bother to even include 13% HST.

It is possible to get a cheaper Olympic bow (used maybe???) or a cheap counterfeit (no warranty!!!), or a poor / mediocre Olympic bow that does not even live up to the word "decent". To get a decent bow, expect to be spending $500 or more on the bow alone. Anything less than that and I question the quality and authenticity of the manufacturer.

And that is just for a decent Olympic bow. For a high end one you could be spending $750 USD (approx. $975 CDN) on just the riser, and another $750 USD on the limbs. No bowstring included, everything sold separately. (Plus the cost of shipping from the USA or South Korea, where the best Olympic bows are made.)

They will want to find the following.
  • A decent Olympic-style recurve bow, with bow limbs in a suitable poundage for their experience and strength.
  • Olympic stabilizer, preferably one that is not too heavy or light.
  • Shooting Tab
  • Clicker
  • Nock Bead
  • Sight
  • Arrow Rest
  • Bowstring Wax
  • Spare Bowstring (in case the first one breaks)
  • A dozen Olympic-style arrows, which are typically more expensive than regular arrows. The arrows need to be cut to the archer's precise draw length for their clicker.
Optional Items
  • Bracer / Arm Guard
  • Quiver
  • Archery Gear Backpack for transporting gear.
  • Chest Guard


Archery Chest Guards

    The Endangered Tiger Archery Target

    The wife of one of my students likes to make things out of Papier-mâché. She made the tiger head shown below. It isn't very big as you can see.



    Even at close range the tiger head looks quite small.

    According to my student, his wife makes all sorts of Papier-mâché animals. Owls, deer, bears, critters big and small.

    So for fun today he brought a Papier-mâché tiger head for us to shoot at. It seemed appropriate seeing his wife didn't want it anymore - it was a failed attempt.

    And she has many more failed attempts that she throws out regularly, into the recycling.

    Reducing her Papier-mâché is not an option, but Reusing them for archery certainly is.

    • Reduce
    • Reuse
    • Repair
    • Recycle

    And reusing old things as archery targets is something archers enjoy. Coffee lids, coffee cups, old photographs, old broken guitars...


    Each time my student hit the tiger head we moved it back three paces. By the end of the lesson it was a good distance out. Sometimes he would hit it so hard the head rolled over or spun around. Also the impacts would break chunks off, so the head was slowly shrinking as it got further away due to lost bits that had broken off.

    DISCLAIMER - I do not endorse the shooting of real tigers. Only fake ones. Or were-tigers. Are were-tigers real or fake? If you get bit by a were-tiger and become one, please let me know whether were-tigers are a real thing or not. Otherwise, yeah. Please do not shoot real tigers. They're endangered. Don't be a jerk.

    There are many other things you might consider using as an archery target. The following video below is of a group of archers shooting at a broken Walmart guitar. According to the owner it costs $50 for a new Walmart guitar, but a lot more than that to repair one. So what do you do with a broken Walmart guitar that is not worth repairing?

    Shoot at it of course!






    Job offer to teach archery in Japan

    Last week I received a job offer to teach archery in Japan at a resort. They are looking for an experienced instructor who can teach a variety of different kinds of archery to complete beginners. Woot? Or maybe not woot... keep reading!

    They were offering an annual salary of 2 million yen (roughly $23,000 CDN) plus free room and board at the resort.

    Sounds like a sweet offer, yes?

    Think again.

    #1. I am married and my wife just graduated law school, which means she is currently articling as a lawyer. Articling is sort of like an apprenticeship. So we are not going anywhere until she finishes articling.

    #2. My wife and I have a son now. I spend most of my weekdays looking after him and I usually only teach archery on weekends (although I can sometimes teach on Thursdays and Fridays). When in doubt, ask.

    #3. I happen to like my current routine of looking after my son and teaching archery when available.

    The resort wanted me to be available to teach 7 days per week, from 9 AM to 7 PM. With breaks whenever there was a lack of students. And I would be expected to work on holidays. So that is 10 hour days, 70 hour weeks. Practically sweatshop hours.

    Now I can do math.

    70 hour weeks... x 52 weeks. 3,640 hours per year. At $23,000 per year...

    Is $6.32 per hour.

    Which is less than Japan's minimum wage, but since I get free room and board, and breaks whenever there is *supposedly* a lack of students... apparently it circumvents Japan's minimum wage laws. Seems awfully fishy.

    Somehow I doubt there would be a lack of students and many breaks.

    So I would probably be working sweatshop hours and rarely get to see my son.

    #4. I used to teach English in South Korea many years ago. That whole experience made me distrustful of the corrupt "hagwon" system in Korea. Is the resorts in Japan similar to Korean hagwons? Maybe. I don't see any point in finding out.

    #5. I checked... the starting rate for teaching English in Japan is about 3 million yen per year. So it would actually make more sense for me to teach English instead of archery. Better pay.

    True, I love teaching archery - but teaching it 70 hours per week would take some of the fun out of it. My current system of less hours, better pay suits me just fine.

    #6. No pay for the first 3 months. Afterwards they would pay me 222,222 yen per month. This is to deter people who aren't serious about sticking around, so they claim. Makes me wonder what the turnover rate of new employees is.

    #7. This offer started to sound more and more like a scam. Trick foreigners into working in horrible conditions, pay them peanuts... most of them quit before 3 months.

    #8. Cost of living in Japan is very high. Korea and China are cheap in comparison.

    Would my wife and son be expected or welcome to just hang out at the resort all the time? Most likely they would get bored of it. Which means they are going out, taking taxis, eating out, etc. Such things add up and Japan is notoriously expensive to live in.

    #9. Free plane ticket for me, but what about my wife's and son's tickets? Who pays for that? Plus how big is this room? Is it big enough for a small family?

    #10. Why would I leave a successful business here in Canada, close to friends and family, for a job offer that is dubious?

    So yes. The offer sounds like a scam. Which is why I am recommending other archery instructors to be wary of such an offer. This is also why I am not mentioning the name of the resort, where it was located, etc. I don't want other archery instructors to get sucked in to this scam. If anything, I am now doing a public service by trying to warn other people.

    So even if I didn't have a wife and son, I still wouldn't be interested in this scam. There is too many IFs and irregularities in the offer.

    Would teaching archery in Japan be fun and interesting? Sure, but I would rather not have such a risky sounding offer.

    And I would rather do it on my own terms.

    8 hour days, 5 days per week, holidays off, 4 weeks of vacation time, 3,500 yen per hour (roughly $40 CDN per hour)... 10 paid sick days, health/dental insurance benefits for myself and my family.

    So that is 40 hours per week for 48 weeks, 3,500 yen per hour is... 6.72 million yen annually. ($76,800 CDN annually.) That is enough for a family of 3 to live on.

    But even then I still wouldn't take it, because my wife's earning potential as a lawyer is greater than mine.

    I would much rather stay here. Buy a house in Toronto, practice my woodworking skills, look after my son, teach archery because I enjoy it. Maybe eventually get that horse farm and teach equestrian archery.

    Japanese Yabusame (equestrian archery) would be interesting to see... but there are other ways to see that kind of archery don't involve so many risks, what ifs and poor pay.


    The 2018 Seton Archery Tournament at the Toronto Archery Range

    I will be judging / adjudicating an archery competition on June 23rd, namely the "E. T. Seton Archery Tournament" mentioned in the image further below. As an adjudicator I will basically be called upon for my math skills and to settle any disputes about whether an arrow is touching a line (in competitions if the arrow is touching the line, it counts as the higher amount of points).

    The location is at the Toronto Archery Range within E. T. Seton Park. If you have never been there before I recommend using a map.

    The tournament is free to join and there will be prizes, and a Potluck BBQ Lunch.

    People who want to take part in the tournament should be EARLY or ON TIME. If you are the type of person who is always running late, then you should really aim to be early. People need to be there on time in order to do their Ranking Rounds and then later enter the elimination rounds.




    Three Tips for Archery Competitions
    1. Eat, drink and be merry! Food, drink and laughter reduce stress. Hunger, dehydration and melancholy are a mental distraction.
    2. Relax during your shots and focus on the quality of your form and aim. Forget everything else.
    3. Ignore your rivals, instead focus on defeating the part of yourself that is holding you back.
    And Bonus! Pay attention to the wind conditions, but don't let the wind mess you up mentally either. Two years ago I took 2nd place in a compound competition because the wind started gusting during the final rounds and it was blowing me sideways while I was shooting. The frustration made me anxious and I messed up the final round, costing me 1st place. So my primary problem wasn't my rivals, it was myself getting frustrated by the wind conditions and allowing my anxiety to win. So I failed to follow my own tip in that scenario. Part of me was also tired and just wanted the competition to be over.

    Happy shooting!

    Archery Equipment Checklist 2018

    One of my former students from 2017 is ready to be buying her own archery equipment and wanted to know what equipment she should be looking for. At present she plans to buy a Samick Sage, but she wasn't sure what else she should be buying.

    Below is an edited version of my email reply to her questions.

    A few of my personal collection of bows.
    Bow

    A common bow for many beginners is the Samick Sage, which I like to describe as the "Ford F-150" of bows. Usually Samick Sage comes in poundages between 25 to 60 lbs, but it is possible to get 20 lb limbs that are compatible.

    However just because the Samick Sage is so popular doesn't mean you have to buy it. There are many other bow manufacturers to choose from.

    See Recurve Bow Brand Manufacturers and Models.

    You also don't have to get a recurve bow. You could get a longbow, a horsebow, a compound bow, a flatbow, or various kinds of exotic bows such as a Korean horsebow or a Scythian horsebow or a Japanese yumi bow.

    Arrows

    What poundage is your Samick Sage? If it is between 20 to 30 lbs, then 600 spine arrows would be best. Aim to get 28 inch arrows (longer is okay too) with feather fletching, 600 spine. Ten or a dozen is usually a good idea as people often break or lose 1 or 2.

    Arrowheads

    Don't forget these wee things. Arrows don't always come with them as they are frequently sold separately. I recommend beginners get 125 grain arrowheads.

    Arrow Rest

    A traditional Bear fur rest (not real fur!) is pretty common. There are also more expensive/fancy arrow rests that also work.

    Nock Bead

    Goes on the bowstring, prevents the nock of the arrow from sliding up and down, aka "stringwalking".

    Archery Glove

    I recommend the Neet brand, same one you used last year. Comes in various sizes. But there are plenty of other brands (and colours) to choose from.

    Bowstringer

    For stringing your bow without damaging the limbs. Various kinds available.

    Bow String Wax

    For waxing your bow string periodically. Lengthens the life span of the bow string, and oddly enough improves accuracy and arrow speed.

    Optional Equipment
    • Quiver
    • Bracer or Armguard
    • Archery Backpack
    • Stabilizer
    • Sight
    • Dampeners

    See also my:

    Archery Equipment Checklist

    and

    List of Optional Archery Equipment

    If you have additional questions just let me know. :)

    Thursday Archery Lessons in Toronto

    Regarding Archery Lessons...

    I have been thinking of making some time slots available on Thursdays - 10 AM, 12 PM and 2 PM for teaching archery lessons.

    UPDATE, I may also be available on Fridays too.

    At present I only teach on weekends and watch my infant son on weekdays, but in the near future I may be able to start teaching on Thursdays again, pending availability*.

    * I might not be available on all Thursdays. We shall see.

    Sorry, no evening lessons. Not available.

    Anyone interested in Thursday archery lessons should email cardiotrek@gmail.com and let me know what time slots you are thinking of and how many lessons you are interested in.

    To learn more please read my Archery Lessons page which provides all the necessary info regarding my rates, equipment, etc.

    And now, because I find them interesting and amusing, here are some photos of birds perched on arrows. Tada!


    Owl perched on a cluster of Arrows
    Peach Faced or Rosy Faced Lovebird Parakeet perched on an Arrow

    Fancy Bows for Archery, what difference do they make?




    The images above are from Flatline Bows, which I admit do make some very pretty looking bows.

    Note - Flatline Bows did not pay me any money to write this post or to mention their bows.

    Fancy Bows Vs Beginners

    So here is the thing...

    Beginner archers sometimes decide to buy a more expensive / fancy bow for their first bow. They do this for a variety of reasons:

    1. They are pretty nice to look at. Just like owning a sports car.
    2. They sometimes think that more expensive also means more accurate.
    3. They want to avoid buying a cheap bow, because they feel embarrassed.
    4. They want a fancier bow because it is a status symbol.

    It is a bit like Apple iPhones. Most people who buy them are not buying the iPhone for its operating system or quality, they are buying it because it is a fashion accessory and a status symbol, because there are other companies out there that produce phones that are better.

    Thus the same thing happens with beginner archers. They sometimes buy an expensive / fancy bow, and far too often in my opinion it ends up collecting dust in their closet.

    They bought the fancy bow, but then they discover the poundage was too difficult for them to shoot. They lose interest in archery. They stop coming to the local archery range. The bow and their other archery equipment collects dust in a closet.

    What Should Beginners Buy?

    It is my personal belief that beginner archers should find themselves a decent bow that works, preferably one that is a 3-piece recurve so that they can swap the limbs out whenever they want to switch to a heavier or lighter poundage.

    So for example they could buy a Samick Sage (typically about $150), which is the bow I bought my girlfriend/wife years ago, and she later married me and she is still shooting that bow.

    I have written previously about the Samick Sage multiple times. It is basically the "Ford F-150 of bows". It is an affordable, commonly used bow that is everything you need in a beginner bow.

    Some of my past posts:

    The Bear Takedown Recurve Vs the Samick Sage

    What kind of bow should I purchase?

    Recurve Bow Brands and Models

    The last post talks about different manufacturers who make bows similar, cheaper, more expensive than the Samick Sage. There are lots of manufacturers to choose from too. PSE, Martin and Bear all sell recurves for a variety of price ranges. Just because I recommend the Samick Sage regularly, it doesn't mean it is the only bow I recommend.

    Years ago I also decided to get a Samick, but I opted for a slightly more expensive version: The Samick Red Stag 3-piece recurve. (They also made a 1-piece version and a longbow version of the Red Stag.)

    So someone who still wants a slightly fancier bow could simply go up 1 price margin to the next more expensive model.

    3-Piece Recurves Vs 1-Piece Recurves

    So here is the thing. If you break something on a 3-piece recurve, you just replace that limb or riser with a new one.

    If you break something on a 1-piece recurve, you have to replace the whole bow. (Or be really good at fixing things.)

    I have in my foyer closet a 1-piece recurve (a Stemmler Jaguar) that I found broken at the Toronto Archery Range. The previous owner broke one of the limbs and threw the whole thing in the trash. Me? I looked at it and speculated about whether it could be repaired in some manner.
    • I could cut both limbs off it, add bolts and turn it in a 3-piece recurve.
    • I could cut both limbs off it and add the limbs to a crossbow stock.
    Either way, I will eventually figure out a way to fix it and make it usable.

    But the average person isn't going to go through all that extra trouble.

    So to the average people who are looking to buy their first bow, get a 3-piece recurve.

    Preferably one that is affordable.

    And then if you really get into archery as you progress, you can buy more expensive bows later on. In which case then you can start thinking about buying the 1-piece recurves. You can see some of my collection of 1-piece recurves in the photo above behind the the Stemmler Jaguar limb.

    So are fancier bows more accurate?

    Nope.

    They sure do like nice, but no, generally speaking, they are not more accurate. It is the archer that makes the big difference.

    In 29 years of shooting, I have determined cheap brand name bows can go toe to toe with more expensive brand name bows and there is very little difference in their accuracy, and that the major difference lies with the archers themselves. The type of arrow rest being used effects the arrow more than the bow does, so if you are going to invest money in hopes of getting more accuracy, then you should invest in a nicer arrow rest.

    Longer bows are also more forgiving, which is why longbows are considered to be quite accurate. You can sometimes make a mistake with a longbow and still hit the target.

    A shortbow or horsebow is not very forgiving. If you make a mistake, you probably missed the target by a foot or two.

    Same thing goes with compound bows. Yes, more expensive, but the longer compound bows (measured from axle to axle) are often the more forgiving and accurate bows when compared to shorter axle to axle compound bows.

    Some people will spend a tiny fortune having a custom bow made out of exotic woods - Flatline Bows for example exclusively makes custom bows. Having all those expensive exotic woods in the bow doesn't make it any more accurate. It just makes it more expensive.

    You could add diamonds and rubies to a bow too, it won't make it shoot any more accurately.

    Flatline does make some pretty bows... but seeing as I currently need to repair that broken Stemmler, my efforts and money are probably best directed at finishing that project first before going out and buying any more bows.


    PS. I actually have a flatbow for sale if anyone in Toronto is interested. It is an Eastern Woodlands flatbow made by Rudder Bows of California. Barely used. I bought it around the same time I ordered a custom pyramid bow from a local Toronto bowyer, and I very much prefer the custom pyramid bow. I only shot the Eastern Woodlands bow a few times. I am asking $180 for it. Send me an email to learn more: cardiotrek@gmail.com.

    Sample Lesson Plan for Horseback Archery in Toronto

    Okay, so technically nobody in Toronto teaches horseback archery (aka equestrian archery). Indeed it is very difficult to find locations in Ontario that teaches equestrian archery.

    Really to get into equestrian archery a person should really be learning two things independently, and only after completing the first two do you proceed to the third.

    1. How to ride a horse, specifically learning how to ride a horse and guide it with your knees and feet.
    2. How to shoot a horsebow.
    3. Finally learning how to do both at the same time.

    So lets break it down into the different tasks you would need to do.

    #1. Learn how to ride a horse.

    In Toronto there are 2 locations which teach horse riding lessons.

    The Horse Palace / Riding Academy located at Old Fort York (horsepalace.ca) - Teaches English style horse riding. An adult 8 week introductory course will cost between $616 to $854 to $1,088 depending on whether you want group lessons, semi-private lessons or private lessons. The riding lessons are 50 minutes long with a 30 minute lesson on horsegrooming / maintenance.

    Sunnybrook Stables located at Sunnybrook Park (sunnybrookstables.ca) - Teaches English style horse riding. An adult 8 week introductory course will cost between $799 to $1,128 to $1,356 depending on whether you want group lessons, semi-private lessons or private lessons. The riding lessons are 50 minutes long with a 30 minute lesson on horsegrooming / maintenance.

    If you are willing to travel further in the GTA, there are also several other locations to choose from.

    Claireville Ranch located in Brampton (clairevilleranch.com) - Teaches Western horse riding lessons. 8 lessons will cost between $400 to $440 to $520 depending on whether you want group lessons, semi-private lessons or private lessons. The riding lessons are 30 minutes long. Technically they offer 4 lesson packages, but for comparison purposes I doubled it to 8.

    Note - Claireville Ranch also offers weekday ($35) and weekend ($40) trail rides, and breakfast rides ($85) which are more suitable for people who just want to try riding a horse and are not ready to commit to lessons.

    Quarter Valley Riding School located west of Kleinburg ( - Teaches both Western and English style riding lessons. 8 lessons will cost between $400 to $600 to $800 depending on whether you want group lessons, semi-private lessons or private lessons. The riding lessons are 45 minutes long with a 30 minute lesson on horsegrooming / maintenance. QVRS does NOT offer trail rides.

    Pathways on Pleasure Valley located north of Pickering (pleasurevalley.com) - Teaches Western style riding lessons. 10 lessons will cost between $399 to $511 to $611 depending on whether you want group lessons, semi-private lessons or private lessons. They also offer trail rides ($64) and a variety of other package rates.

    Note - Pathways offers 10 lessons as opposed to 8 lessons like various other locations offer. They also offer 6 lesson packages too.

    Other Locations

    According to my research there is also a "King Equestrian Club" in Mississauga, but they don't have a website and their Facebook page is defunct/useless.

    There is also the Community Association for Riders with Disabilities (CARD) located near York University.

    The York Equestrian Riding School north of Markham (yorkequestrianridingschool.com) doesn't list prices on their website, but does offer group lessons, private lessons, and an introductory 4 lesson package.

    The Stonewood Riding Academy north of Pickering (stonewoodacademy.com) offers a 10-month program which includes 10 lessons and a host of benefits, with a total cost of $2,429.50. They also offer half hour and full hour lessons for $73.45 or $113. During the summer (only) they offer "pay as you go" group lessons that are $67.80 each, so 8 of those would be $542.40. Their website suggests that they are geared more towards competitive riders who are into horse jumping etc.

    #2. Time to learn how to shoot a Horsebow.

    So assuming you've already completed step 1, now is your chance to learn how to use a shortbow or horsebow. 10 weekday lessons is $520 and 10 weekend lessons is $780.

    The following would be a 10 week lesson plan:

    Lesson 1 - Safety Lecture, Eye Dominance Test, Proper Form, Field Archery Lesson with a Traditional Recurve Bow (it is easily to learn a recurve bow first before switching to a horsebow).

    Lesson 2 - Target Archery with a Traditional Recurve Bow, Lecture on Arrowheads.

    Lesson 3 - Long Distance Field Archery with a Traditional Recurve Bow, Lecture on Arrow Spine.

    Lesson 4 - Field Archery with Horsebow, Lecture on the Horseman's Release, Lecture on Bowstring Waxing.

    Lesson 5 - Target Archery with Horsebow, Lecture on Gap Shooting, Moving Target Lesson.

    Lesson 6 - Field Archery with Horsebow (emphasis on learning how to Gap Shoot while doing Field Archery), Lecture on how to Adjust Braceheight.

    Lesson 7 - Target Archery with Horsebow, Moving while Shooting Lesson.

    Lesson 8 - Target Archery with Horsebow, Shooting while Kneeling Lesson and/or Speed Shooting Lesson.

    Lesson 9 - Field Archery with Horsebow, Moving while Shooting Lesson.

    Lesson 10 - Field Archery with Horsebow, Moving while Shooting at a Moving Target.

    If there are additional topics you want to cover during the 10 lessons just ask and we can devote some time to teaching that topic. eg. If the student wants to learn how to shoot with a thumb-ring, that is something we can do.

    By the end of 10 lessons the goal is for the student to reach the point where they can be in motion while shooting and be able to shoot at a moving target that is also moving. They can shoot at stationary targets, shoot at targets placed at random distances, shoot while standing, sitting or kneeling, to reach a pinnacle of versatility.

    #3. Go buy a horse and begin Equestrian Archery.

    After this point you shouldn't really need an instructor any more. What you will need is to be able to afford your own horse and the cost of stabling for it.

    $400 for either 8 or 10 lessons at either Claireville Ranch or Pathways + $520/$780 for weekday/weekend archery lessons, and you are looking at a rate of $920 to $1,180 to learn both how to ride and how to shoot a horsebow.

    Completing both and you really just need to find a place where you can do both. You would need to find a stables that would allow you to practice equestrian archery on their property, buy a horse (some people also share horses and cost of stabling, sort of like a timeshare), and then you also need money for vets... horses get expensive when you consider the cost of vet bills and everything else they need.

    But if it is your dream and you really love doing it, then just do it. You cannot take $$ with you when you die anyway.

    Speaking for myself, I want to buy a farm, build a stables, buy horses, hire a horse riding instructor, and open a private archery range that also offers horse riding lessons and archery lessons. That is my dream and I plan on fulfilling it.

    There are a few places in Canada which already offer equestrian archery lessons, but honestly I really think people should learn how to do archery and horse riding separately before learning to combine the two skills, this way you are learning both in a safe manner and are not trying to learn everything all at once. Even when I do eventually open my own archery range / riding school people will need to go through the separate courses before reaching the point where we let them ride and shoot simultaneously, not just for safety reasons but also because we want students to learn how to do these things properly and not haphazardly.

    Archers after all are the very epitome of perfectionists. If we are going to do something, we should learn to do it perfectly.



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