It seems, based on the research outlined in this book that if you want to be really good at anything - sport, playing the piano, art, riding horses - then over and above some kind of natural ability you need to put in somewhere in the region of 10,000 hours of practise.
That's 20 hours a week for 10 years or so. I started thinking about my equine art, and I think just about squeeze that in - at times I do less, at others maybe I do more, but I am not yet 'consistent'. On that note, this book has given me a good old shunt in the right direction and you should expect a lot more Horse Art to appear on this blog as I work towards more consistent practise, starting with last night and this mornings work.
|In Progress Watercolour Painting (copyright A Cairns)|
Now what does this mean for our collective quests to be better riders? Well for me, it is not good, some of you who are a little younger or have your own horse may fair better.
Let us assume I have a few hundred hours in the bank, between my childhood riding, young adulthood and my return to riding a few years ago, say 500 hours all in. So if I keep going at my current rate of 1 lesson a week and a ride on Merlyn, plus maybe a 2 hour hack a month, then it comes to around 150 hours a year. This leads me to conclude that I should be quite good then at riding if I keep it up for another 63 years or so....I'll be a hundred then! Hilarious....start young, that's what I say.
Ah well, time does fly when you are having fun!