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.


5 thoughts on “10,000 Hours by Denny Emerson

  1. David says:

    I watched Michael Jung’s cross-country ride – that was a fantastic ride.

    The 10,000 hour axiom, that is very true. Regardless of how well a ride goes, whether in practice or in the show ring, you take it apart and see which elements need more work. That is how my daughters approach their training.

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