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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 ( - 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 ( - 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 ( - 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 ( - 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 ( 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 ( 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.

7 Fun Ways to Work Out With Your Dog

Competitive Dog Jogging
Guest Post by Eva Sykes

Keep your dogs away from developing health problems by ensuring they get their dose of physical activity! Obesity or overweight in dogs can cause them to have joint and heart problems, diabetes, and more. What’s a better way to keep them healthy and moving by doing something fun together, right?!

Here’s a list of fun ways to workout with your dog. Join forces with your loyal companion in achieving that healthy and fit bod!

1. Hiking

Have a spectacular time with your four-legged friend with a breathtaking view! Dogs also love nature and they definitely love exploring. But there are also some considerations you should be aware of to ensure your dog will be able to keep up. This includes their fitness, behavior, age, health, and size.

For your next trip, be sure to pack the essentials for your buddy! Just like humans, they will need some food, water, and their doggy bowl. And one more important thing is to consider all the precautions and safety measures for the both of you!

2. Running

Introduce him or her to a blissful jogging! You might’ve guessed that being on our list. Which really should be! Running is one of the famous and basic ways of staying active and fit. It may also be the easiest way to incorporate your dog into your workout routine.

For starters, you could use a leash and train them to run beside you. This will take a little time - but patience and consistency are key! Also, consider the heat and humidity. Dogs have small amounts of sweat glands, and they get rid of heat through panting and only sweat through their paws.

See Also: Dog Jogging for Beginners, a Competitive Sport

3. Obstacle Course

Level up the workout and fun with some obstacle course! This can create a challenge for both the dog and owner with its various exercise equipment. Some basic obstacle course items include a teeterboard, tire jump, a dog walk and a tunnel - which you can build in your own backyard.

Just keep in mind the safety and well-being of your dog while you set up the course. Unwanted accidents may also occur sometimes which can be treated by their vets. A wise advice, be prepared in advance and don’t put your finances in jeopardy with expensive vet bills! Have your dogs insured and be more financially smarter!

4. Swimming

Enjoy the water and burn some energy with your playful bud in the pool or beach! Some dogs may be scared of the water at first, but they will get used to it after some few tries. And if you really do love swimming, water-loving dog breeds like the Golden Retriever or American Water Spaniel will be your best swimming buddy! Swimming is also beneficial for old dogs suffering from joint problems or hip dysplasia.

For starters, you can have your dogs on a leash and walk by their side in the shallow area. Slowly let them get used to having their feet wet and the rest will follow. What are you waiting for? Chill by your pool or hit up the ocean!

5. Fetching!

Dogs are known to be crazy for retrieving items - be it their favorite toys, a ball or frisbee. Thus, they love fetching! This is a game they seem to not get tired of. And there is a scientific explanation backing this up. Dogs have been with us for centuries and they were used for hunting in the early ages. The behavior of running after something that is moving is still instilled and built-in dogs. This behavior is self-reinforcing to them and makes them feel good!

Dogs aren’t just the one who should enjoy fetching while you just stand and wait for them. Try making this game more active and rigorous by incorporating some of your muscle-building moves like crunches, lunges, and squats while he or she retrieves.

6. Cycling

Another cardio you can do with your dog pal is cycling. It’s a great workout for you and can help build your leg muscles. This is especially great for dogs that are always excited when running! You could bike around at a fast pace and don’t have to worry if they can keep. It’s best to engage in this activity in a safe bike trail or terrain where you can avoid traffic from other vehicles.

7. Seasonal Adventures

Whatever the season is, with the sun showing high up or snow falling, there are always activities you can do outdoors for fun! Go surfing or kayaking with your dog in the summer, snowshoeing, skiing or snowboarding through winter, and a lot more! Dogs are smart, active and trainable - try exploring new sports with them!

See Also: 10 Exercises to do with your Pet this Summer

Winter Archery Photography

March 20th 2018.

While I do teach archery during the winter, not a lot of people sign up for Winter Archery Lessons during that time period. Usually people prebook for the Spring or Summer instead.

When I am at the archery range during the winter I often forget to take out my camera and take some photographs while I am there. I often forget to do that even during the warmer months. Having too much fun perhaps? It is a very enjoyable sport.

Heck, I will sometimes bring my tripod and everything, and I will still forget to set up the camera to make a video or take some photos. Am I just forgetful?

Maybe so.

Still, here is a collection of some of the archery photography I have taken this winter and previous winters. (This is not a complete listing of every photograph. I have many more... Some of which you may be able to see by visiting my Instagram account at .)

Easter Weekend, I forget what year this was...

So how snowy is it in March?

Honestly, not very snowy. Below is a photo of a friend I took on March 10th. As you can see by the lack of snow and his garb, all the snow has already melted and it isn't that cold outside.

March 11th 2018

March 17th 2018

Seriously, all the snow has long since melted.

Tomorrow is March 21st, the first day of Spring.

And right around this time of year is when my email is usually flooded with messages from people asking for archery lessons in the Spring and Summer. So go ahead. Shoot me an email at and schedule your archery lessons in Toronto.

But for anyone in future winters who are reading this, you can also book winter archery lessons if you want to. Or prebook for the summer. Whichever.

The History of the Keto Diet

History of the KETO Diet and How It Is Now Used For Weight Loss Benefits

Guest Post by Contributor.

Today, the KETO diet is not only used to cure diseases, but it is also a highly recommended method for people who want to lose weight. How does this diet help achieve this?

The KETO diet puts the body in a state of Ketosis, which helps one to use fat for energy. Burning fats is effective in improving your health, and also in losing weight.

It has been proven that this diet leads to fewer cravings, improved self-control, and increased energy levels that result in more physical activity; hence making it easy for a person following it to lose weight.

However, getting desirable results from this diet doesn’t come easy, you need to adhere to the diet, exercise routinely, and most importantly, set realistic goals that are easier to track. Pursue this diet to the end, and let everyone around you witness its power! To get started with keto the easy way, you can try some meal plan available at

Now let’s talk about the history of keto diet and what it was about in the beginning.

History of Keto

In the 1920s epilepsy was a major calamity which made scientists work day and night in search of a cure that would save humanity. Back then, this disease was attributed to many causes, attacks from evil spirits being at the helm of the list. People believed so until the legendary Greek physician, Hippocrates outlined its reality as a biological disorder and not a spiritual spell. He suggested fasting as an effective way of countering epilepsy.

Other physicians adopted Hippocrates idea, and fasting was seen as a great way to combat this disease. In fact, two doctors, Marie and Guelpa from Paris used this method to help 20 individuals reduce the effects of epilepsy, and the entire process was recorded in a report published at

After this breakthrough in Paris, doctors from multiple fields drew same conclusions from the patients they helped using this epilepsy treatment method. However, since fasting is just a way of offering temporary solutions, you certainly know it’s highly unsustainable.

The transition from fasting to KETO diet

The origin of the KETO diet is attributed to a suggestion by William Lennox from the Harvard Medical School, who noted that after 2-3 days of fasting, seizures began to drop. He asserted that the alteration came as a result of a change in metabolism (which is a change in body’s fuels in simple terms).

His idea that the body fuelled itself on fat during fasting is seen as one of the most critical steps in the development of the popular KETO diet we know today.

It was in 1921 when DR. Rollin Woodyatt, a renowned endocrinologist discovered that three compounds that were soluble in water, Beta-hydroxybutyric, acetoacetate, and acetone (all known as ketones), were produced by the liver of a fasting individual, or one who followed a diet high in fat and low on carbs. This is what Dr. Russell Wilder called the Ketogenic diet and used it to treat epilepsy in 1921 by proposing that the body could produce the same ketone bodies produced during fasting, except with regular eating.

The Discovery by Dr. Wilder opened doors for more innovation. Dr. Peterman of the Mayo Clinic was the first person to standardize the diet with the following circulations;
  • Eating one gram of proteins per kilogram of bodyweight
  • Consuming 10-15 g of carbohydrates every day
  • Filling the other calories with fat
Surprisingly, these mild alterations to the diet by Dr. Peterman is the ketogenic diet practiced all over the world today.

Since then, this diet became the most critical tool in fighting epilepsy. It became so compelling that medics feared it was a strong competitor of the pharmaceutical industry in 1938. However, the diet faced a major downfall for three decades. This is because people believed that it was only beneficial to epilepsy patients, and could not be of any benefit to them.

In 1994, this diet saw a major comeback when it shocked many by helping a tormented boy who faced seizures for over two years. His father Jim Abrahams discovered the KETO diet and took him to John Hopkins where the diet gave quick results. This was a new beginning, and the diet is still a diet to many across the world.

See Also

Three New Nutritional Diets Worth Trying

3 New Nutritional Diets Worth Trying

Fad diets are a dime a dozen, but some diets are actually worth trying. After all, sometimes a fad diet works for a particular person and they achieve success with it. Does that mean other people shouldn't bother trying that particular diet? No. It just means that some diets work for some people. And lets face it, most dieters fail due to a lack of willpower - not because the diet was necessarily faulty.

Today we will focus on three diets are focused on nutrition.

Wait, aren't all diets focused on nutrition? Nope. Not necessarily. A high protein diet for example might ignore carbs and vegetables and suffer from a shortage of vitamins and minerals, a vegan diet would ignore all animal byproducts, meat, etc and not be getting enough calcium or protein, and a low carbs diet would avoid bread / pasta / etc and the poor dieter ends up feeling exhausted and depressed.

So clearly those types of diets do have something wrong with them, and it is because the dieter isn't getting enough of the things they need. Nutritionally wise everyone should be eating a balanced diet of protein, veggies, carbs, and so forth so that they are getting a good balance of minerals and vitamins and everything else they need.

#1. The Ketogenic Diet

The Ketogenic Diet dates back to the 1920s and is a bit unusual. It is a high-fat, moderate protein, and low carbohydrate diet. It is usually used to treat children with epilepsy, but it also has benefits for the average dieter because of several factors:

  • While it is a low carb diet, because it is a high fat diet the person doesn't end up feeling sluggish and depressed because the extra fat provides all the energy they need.
  • Since there is so few carbs in the diet the liver converts fats into fatty acids and ketone bodies (which in turn lower the number and severity of epileptic seizures in children).

The Ketogenic Diet was popular back in the 1920s, but because it also caused constipation it fell out of favour - however in recent years the diet has made a comeback, with advocates working more vegetables into their diet that prevent constipation - things like dates, prunes, raisins, berries, popcorn, beans, dried apricots, figs, broccoli, plums, pears, apples, nuts all act as laxatives to prevent constipation.

Who doesn't like dried apricots?
So really this is more like the "Ketogenic Diet 2.0" as you basically do the Ketogenic Diet, but with added benefit of eating dried apricots / etc to keep yourself regular.

The Classic Ketogenic Diet for children was created by paediatrician Mynie Peterman and had the following rules:
  1. A ratio of one gram of protein per kilogram of body weight in children;
  2. 10–15 g of carbohydrates per day;
  3. The remainder of one's daily calories came from fatty sources.
The modern Ketogenic Diet amends the 3rd rule by adding various foods to prevent constipation - preferably foods that are both high in fat and also act as a laxative. Some of the food will contain some carbs, but it is really about seeking more nutritional balance and a happy colon.

Want to learn more about the Ketogenic Diet? Read

#2. The Atkins Nutritional Diet 2.0

Created by Dr Robert Atkins.

You have probably heard of the Atkins Diet before, because it is (was) a popular fad diet during the 2003 to 2005 period. In July 2005, the Atkins Nutritional company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after a series of sales declines. The company does still exist, but it is no longer as popular as it once was.

Like the Classic Ketogenic Diet from the 1920s, the Atkins Diet had some problems... and it was frankly very similar to Ketogenic Diet. It was also a high-fat and low carbs diet, but it was nowhere near as balanced as the Ketogenic Diet.

Instead it advised people to consume only 950 calories per day... where normally people should be consuming approx. 1800 to 2200 calories per day depending on their body size, level of exercise, etc.

Also keeping in mind that anything below 1400 calories is widely considered to be a "crash diet" or a "near starvation diet".

Dr Atkins believe that embracing the starvation diet was beneficial and that such a low carb diet helped burn fat because "burning fat takes more calories so you expend more calories" during the fat burning process than if you were burning carbs instead.

So while a crash / starvation diet is good for losing weight, it also saps people's willpower very quickly and makes people depressed. And even if they do lose the weight, many people would later quit the diet and regain the weight because it was like leaving a long fast and their body desperately craved more food.

So clearly the original Atkins Diet wasn't that good of an idea.

Enter the Atkins Nutritional Diet 2.0... and its own set of rules:
  1. High Fat
  2. Low Carbs
  3. 1400 to 1800 calories per day
Gone is the crash diet approach, but it keeps the high fat and low carbs routine. And like before, dieters still need to be counting calories if they are seeking to lose weight by keeping it between 1400 to 1800 calories. Add in lots of protein, and it basically a modified Ketogenic Diet.

#3. The Canadian Food Guide Diet

If you grew up in Canada, you probably have seen this (or a version of it) before. It is basically a government endorsed diet for Canadians, following the principles of food portions and good nutrition.

The food guide calls for Canadians to eat the following per day depending upon their needs:

5 to 12 servings of grain products, wherein 1 slice of bread is equivalent to 1 serving.

5 to 10 servings of vegetables or fruit, wherein 1 apple is equivalent to 1 serving.

2 to 4 servings of milk products for adults per day, wherein 1 serving is equivalent to 1 glass of milk.

2 to 3 servings of meat / protein products per day, wherein 1 serving is roughly equal to roughly 1.5 eggs (it really depends on the size of the egg honestly.)

So basically a person doesn't need to track calories at all in this diet. They only need to track what they are eating in terms of number of servings.

A person seeking to lose weight and eat healthy could simply have, for example:

Breakfast - 2 slices of toast, 1 large egg, 1 apple and a glass of milk.

Lunch - A ham and cheese sandwich composed of 2 slices of bread with 1 serving of ham and 1 serving of cheese. Plus 1 serving of carrot sticks.

Afternoon Snack - 1 serving of grapes.

Supper - 1 serving of pasta, 1 serving of meatballs, 1 serving of cheese grated onto the pasta, plus 2 servings of different veggies: Broccoli and peas for example.


So if you have been paying attention, that is 5 grain servings, 5 fruits/veggies, 3 milk products and 3 protein.

Everything a person needs for a balanced diet, while still being able to have energy, lose weight, and enjoy a rare treat - and it can be customized to suit the person's individual needs.

So how many Canadians actually follow this diet?

Almost none of us. But we probably should be following it. Tracking servings is certainly easier than tracking calories.

Looking to sign up for archery lessons, boxing lessons, swimming lessons, ice skating lessons or personal training sessions? Start by emailing and lets talk fitness!


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