10,000 Hours by Denny Emerson

Any time we watch “mastery”, and I just watched Michael Jung’s dressage test from yesterday at Rolex as an example, as is this photo of Steinkraus, I am reminded of Malcolm Gladwell’s “10,000 Hour Rule.”

Ten thousand hours of practice is one hour every day for 29 years, never missing a single day.Or two hours a day, every single day, for fourteen and a half years, and so on.

So, if someone wants to get to be supremely good at something, start now for years from now.


Photo from Tamarack Hill Farm Facebook page

Each tiny step of progress is built upon the tiny pieces already mastered, like building blocks. The impatient “non-learners” will struggle to avoid that unpleasant reality, The learners are different from the non learners in ways that the non learners will never comprehend, and the non learners will manage to find hundreds of excuses, and find ways to cast wide nets of blame for their inadequacies.

The learners will be too busy in the struggle to improve to spend time on the blame game.

This is true for all kinds of situations. Imagine someone saying, “I want to be a veterinarian, but I don’t want the tedium of having to absorb 12 years of school and high school, 4 years of college, and 4 more years of vet school. 20 years? You want me to study for 20 years?”


You can check out Michael Jung’s ride on his super mare yesterday here or catch the livestream today here.


Back in Business

She’s baaack. 7 weeks after the pasture incident, Nibbles is back in business. She still short strides a tiny bit on that left hind but she is by no means lame. Health care team and Trainer Elise gave us the green light to get back to work. At this stage, we would do more harm than good by letting her sit and her muscles atrophy. The verdict is that she really strained a combination of things in her back end. Trainer Elise came by and got on her for the first time before she left for Vienna. She was a bit silly on the lunge but all business when she threw a leg over.

Elise up for the first ride “back”

We’ll be taking it relatively slow as we get back to riding. My goal is to use poles and gentle hill work to help with her strength. I worked a lot of overtime last week (to the tune of about 70 hours) so she only got ridden two days. I popped on her yesterday in the 80 degrees weather which meant we got to ride in the outdoor arena for the first time. Nibbles goes a lot nicer outside than in. She’s just less fussy in the contact and relaxes a lot sooner. I’m hoping we can continue the outdoor trend.

At the risk of jinxing things, I want to brag on Miss Thing a little. My first ride back after almost two months and Nibbles’ second, I planned to just putz around. Of course, she just so much darn fun that we ended up with a full WTC ride. Besides getting a little zoomy in the trot near the end, she was foot perfect. The outdoor arena for her third ride back so far isn’t fenced in yet and is surrounded by woods and a giant field. It’s also full of a lot of nice jumps. Nibbles was even more rideable out there than inside.

I mentioned it was 80 degrees yesterday. A week ago, we had a snow storm. I’d love to just get a little of real spring before we jump straight into summer in northern Indiana. The warm weather did mean I could finally start the process of scrubbing all the winter nasties off of Nibbles. I’ve been able to wash her legs and her tail but this was my first crack at a full body scrub down. She was pretty pleased about this until I insisted she let me spray her face. I’m evil, I tell you.