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Saddle Fitting: English and Alternative Saddles, both Treed and Treeless

Saddle Functions

A) A saddle provides a stable base of support for the rider, distributing the
rider’s weight across the horse’s back evenly.

B) A saddle provides the horse with a comfortable structure to move freely
under the rider’s weight during chosen activities.

C) A saddle provides a structure for Stirrups.

D) A saddle provides safety and security for the rider.

Traditional Saddle Construction & Design

A) Parts of the Saddle

Gullet Plate & Points

Tree Bars /Rails

Gullet

Panels

Seat

Twist

Pommel

Cantle

Stirrup Bars

Alternative Saddle Choices

A) Alternative Saddle Choices

o Treeless Saddles

o Flexible Panel Saddles

o Half Tree Saddles

o Reinforced Flexible Base Saddles

Getting To Know Your Horse’s Topography

A) Measuring the Horse’s Topography

An Equimeasure is a very handy reusable sheet of high tech plastic that is
heated and then molds to the shape of your horse’s back. The advantage
here is that it is a three dimensional representation. This means that you can
take it to a saddle shop or saddler and actually put the saddle on the
molded sheet to check the fit.

Another way to measure the topography is to trace the topline and cut it out
of cardboard. This will of course be mainly a two dimensional
representation. This method measures fairly accurately the side to side
dimensions of your horse.

Observing Your Horse’s Overall Shape

Areas to Consider:

o How is the barrel sprung?

o Where is the natural girth groove?

o Is the shoulder straight, laid back, flat or bulgy?

o Is the curvature of the topline normal, straight, roached or swayed?

o Assess the horse’s condition. Palpate with a belly lift for soreness, atrophy
of general muscle tone.

o Age / condition, will they change soon?

o Current fitness level versus working level.

o The activity you will be doing together.

o Does the horse have significant seasonal changes?

o Prior injuries.

Finally, observe your horse at liberty in all gaits in order to determine how
the back changes during movement. Realize that adding a rider will alter
this. How much the back is effected depends on the rider’s skill level,
weight and height compatibility with the horse.

Understanding Rider Needs & Fit

The Checklist:

o What model of saddle do I need for my planned activities?

o Seat depth needs to be chosen for individual comfort, skill level, terrain
and safety.

- Does my size match my horse’s size?

- Am I a novice or a skilled rider?

- Is my balance in all transitions good or do I need help from the saddle?

- Is my upper body tall and longer in proportion to my leg length?

- Where will I be riding and what type of activities will I be doing?

- What kind of gaits does my horse have?

- Is my horse quiet and experienced or green and more rambunctious?

o The seat size is determined by both the size of your rear end and the
length of the thigh from hip to knee (also see flap placement).

o Seat width is decided by the distance between your seat bones.

o Seat density – do you prefer a soft, cushy seat or a firmer, more supportive
one?

o The seat contour is determined by the placement and shape of your seat
bones. Flat set bones need a seat that is flat across the top otherwise one or
both seat bones will dangle off the side.

o Twist width is an important area of rider comfort and saddle fit to
consider. It is partially determined by the tree and gullet width that your
horse needs. If you need a narrow twist and have a wide horse, customized
saddles can be made to build a ‘pyramid’ for the rider while allowing the
horse to have the true shape and size needed.

o The flap length is determined by your leg length in the stirrups. The
correct length allows the horse to clearly feel your leg aids and does not
catch your boot or chap top.

o Flap placement needs to accommodate the front edge of your knee, taking
into account the type of knee roll. The knees should fit comfortably in the
knee roll when your stirrups are at ideal lengths.

o Stirrup bar placement is a very important saddle fitting factor that
significantly effects rider balance, comfort and safety. Optimal placement
creates a leg hang that forms a good shoulder, hip and heel alignment.
Some people, due to personal conformation, prior injury or riding a wide
horse, may need to ride with a slightly more forward alignment. Many
saddles have adjustable stirrup bars as a special order option. (Note: For
safely’s sake please ride with the stirrup bar safety catch open and with
safety stirrups. To reduce bulk under the leg run the stirrup leather buckle
down to the top of the stirrup and secure it with specially made keepers)

o Cantle rise – the steeper the rise the more closed the seat will be, thus
restricting freedom of movement for the rider’s pelvis.

o The pommel rise needs to be the proper height to suit your pubic bone
and pelvic structure.

o Skirt contour – If you have flat or hollow inner thighs, a more convex skirt
will probably work best. Foam can be cut and tucked under the skirt to fill
in the area for a quick fix. For those with a more developed inner thigh, a
more concave skirt may be more desirable.

Choosing a Match for Horse & rider

With what you learned in chapters 4 and 5, you should have a fairly clear
picture of what is needed to choose a saddle that matches both you and
your horse. The following is an outline that will help you make a good
choice.

1) What kind of saddle do I want, traditional or alternative?

2) What model is best for my purposes?

o Trail / Endurance

o Dressage

o Hunter for low fences

o Jumper

3) Size and shape gullet plate – make sure to ask the dealer/manufacturer if
the points of the tree are angled in same way your horse’s shoulder is
angled and about the length of the points. Also ask if the tree bars / gullet
widen under the stirrup bars where many horse widens. Then find out if the
gullet plate just widens at the bottom or if the entire shape changes in wider
tree sizes. A wise thing to do here is to request that the measurements and
shape be sent to you so you can see first hand. Also very important for
proper saddle fit is to allow for padding thickness when selecting the tree
size. Determine what numnahs or interface pads you will need when
making this selection. Remember that a gullet needs to be 2 1/2 -3″ fingers
wide throughout for the saddle fitting to accommodate the horse’s spine.
Some horses need even more to prevent impinging on spinal processes
during lateral or circular work. Also note that the gullet width needs to be
approximately 1 finger wider at each side of your horse’s spine throughout.
Special attention should be paid to where your horse’s back widens.

4) The curvature of the bars/rails of the tree also need to match the horse’s
topline curvature.

5) The panel width and pitch needs to match your horses shape and back
width.

6) The length of the area on the horse’s back available for a saddle needs to
match the actual length of the saddle. If you are a small rider on a horse that
needs a longer weight bearing surface, some alternative customized saddles
can be made with longer panels and smaller seat size to match your saddle
fit needs. Or for a short backed horse the opposite can be ordered.

7) Is an extra gusset in either the front or rear required to level the saddle?

8) Choose what flocking material you prefer.

9) Does my horse’s shape and size change enough that I may require in
time a slightly larger tree or an interim alternative option or a saddle that can
be adjusted to our unique saddle fitting needs?

10) The flap length and placement need to accommodate the rider’s leg and
riding activity.

11) The seat size and shape need to match the rider for comfort and safety.

12) The stirrup bar placement should promote appropriate shoulder, hip
and heel alignment for the rider.

13) The twist/skirt/cantle and pommel rise should match the rider’s pelvis
needs.

Assessing Your Horse’s Saddle Fit

1) Placement of the Saddle

On a bare back for clearer viewing, place the saddle approximately 2 fingers
behind the rear edge of the horse’s scapula. There will be a place on most
horses that the saddle will settle into. If you need to readjust the saddle, lift it
off the horse’s back and take it forward rather than dragging it against the lay
of the hair. Finding the ‘sweet spot’ for saddle placement is key in
determining the balance of the saddle in later steps. Saddles with trees must
have the point of the tree behind the scapula in this spot and not just the
flap. If the flap angle confuses you just lift the flap, find the point of the tree
and align it with this area. Some flexible panel and treeless saddles overlap
the scapula and are made to allow the shoulder to slide under the front.
This is not possible in most treed saddles unless the points are specially
angled to allow them to slide; but even they are not over the scapula, but
are just behind it. Also check the gullet plate size and shape to make sure it
conforms to your horse, making sure that you allow for pad width.

The next steps are seen more clearly on a bare back. Pads will be added
later and steps 2-10 are repeated with pads. When horses work, muscles
engorge with blood and enlarge. It is wise therefore to leave expansion
room of about 1/4″ on each side in the gullet plate / shoulder area for the
horse’s comfort and freedom of movement. This is where using an
appropriate interface pad or front shim is a plus. Also young or atrophied
horses are better served with a slightly wider treed that is padded to allow
for growth, muscling and comfort.

2) Panel Contact

Panel contact side to side needs to be a broad, flat area of contact with
beveled edges on both the spine side and the outside. For good saddle
fitting check to make sure that this contact matches the horse. Sometimes
flocking can be adusted and beauty of flocking is that it can be adjusted
somewhat to conform to the horse over time.

3) Verticle Whither Clearance for Saddles with Trees

Traditional thought is that verticle whither clearance from the pommel
needs to be not less than 2 1/2 – 3 fingers (2 – 2 1/2 fingers with the rider in
the saddle), with allowance for padding. It is the author’s opinion that when
many broken in treed saddles are level over all pads with the rider on, the
clearance can be as little as 11/2 fingers. If there is doubt observe how well
the horse likes it. For jumping saddles a bit more room is desirable. A newly
flocked saddle can drop 1/2 – 1 finger as it breaks in depending on flocking
density and rider weight, so please allow for this. Some dressage saddles
have such a steep rise to the pommel (high head plate that a 2 – 3 finger
whither clearance alone is not a reliable indicator of balance. For good
saddle fit, basically the whithers need to be vertically free of pressure with
the rider on. Treeless saddles sometimes only have 1- 1 1/2 fingers
clearance depending on the brand.

4) Tree Bar/Rails & Panel Curvature

Tree bar curvature and panel curvature front to back needs to conform to
the moving horse’s shape. With the horse’s back lifted, feel under the panel
for any gaps and note where they are. Sometimes a small amount of
bridging (gap) is advantageous if it coincides with the horse’s back lift. A
large gap from the stirrup bar area to the approximate rear of the flap may
indicate either a tree with bars/rails that are too flat for your horse, panels
that need to be filled in, or a horse with a swayed back that can possibly be
filled in with a center shim until the back can be built up. The determination
of the later is best made in conjunction with a veterinarian or equine body
worker. Avoid trying to fill in a poorly fitting saddle, it rarely works to create
good saddle fit.

Next put one hand on the pommel and the other on the cantle to determine
if the saddle rocks front to back. Sometimes just adding your riding pad will
correct a rocking saddle if the front is a bit too wide. But if this does not
remedy the situation you need to see if the tree bars/rails and panels are too
curved for your horse’s shape or if the panel flocking has a pivot point. A
saddler can often glue a small wedge onto the tree under the front or rear
panels to give a flatter tree shape, or flatten the center of the panels if the
rock is slight. Another reason a saddle may rock is that the tree is just too
wide to remain stable, even with padding. Too much padding also makes
for a laterally unstable saddle.

For good saddle fitting and functioning it is also important to check under
the rear edge of the panels with the rider seated to see if the panels dig in.
For going up and down hills, high level dressage and jumping, more back
edge clearance is necessary. In this case you might need a saddler to bevel
the panels up and away. However if all you do is happily go down the road
and ask for minimal lift, then be honest with yourself and fit for this kind of
activity. Either way it is very important to be aware of what you are asking
your horse to do and fit accordingly.

5) Gullet Width

A gullet width of approximately 2 1/2 – 3 ” fingers throughout is necessary
for the horse’s comfort. The gullet needs to widen where your horse widens
which is usually in the twist / stirrup bar area. The inside edge of the gullet
needs to be approximately 1 finger width away on each side of the spine
front to back.

6) Panel Pitch

Panel pitch determines the lateral stability of the saddle. Panel pitch should
approximate the pitch of the horse’s back

7) Vertical Gullet Clearance (also see (2) in this section)

Vertical gullet clearance should be 2-2 1/2 fingers throughout the saddle,
unless you have a treeless saddle then less is needed for good saddle fit.
Observe your horse carefully for ruffled hairs and breakage in the spine area
after riding in your treeless saddle. Interface pads are a saddle fitting tool that
can be used to create a gullet depending of the thickness of the pad.

8) Saddle Balance

To balance the saddle the deepest part of the seat needs to be in the center
of the saddle. You can check this by placing a large round barreled marker
on the saddle seat. It will settle at the lowest point. Sometimes a small shim
on the front or back or a spot flocking is all that is needed to level the seat.
Also make sure to take the rider’s weight in account. A heavier rider may
need a more densely flocked saddle or added padding to stay level. If a
saddle is very unlevel and you are sure that the tree size is correct, you may
need to ask for a saddle with extra gussets on the front and rear if your horse
is croup / whither high. For young growing horses ask your saddler which
will be the easiest adjustable solution. Sometimes one of the new air pads or
Equalizer pads with shims work well and improve the saddle fit in this
situation.

9) Girth Placement, Size & Shape

The girth optimally lies at the narrowest point on the belly. Use the billet
straps that will allow for this placement. Also select a shape and width of
girth that will give the broadest area for the disbursement of pressure over
the sternum, while still allowing for elbow clearance (see equipment
section). This is why 3 or more billets are a plus.

10) Possible Saddle Asymmetries

Finally check the saddle for any manufacturing asymmetries, flocking
unevenness, etc, both top and bottom.

11) Saddle Fitting with Pads & Rider

Now repeat steps 2-9 with all the pads on, the rider in the seat and a with
helper on the ground. Special attention also needs to be paid when doing
step 2, with the helper running a hand down the front of the gullet plate to
make sure that there is a comfortable amount of room for muscle expansion
on both sides while the horse is standing or at a walk

12) Break In Period

Allow for a gradual break in during the first few test rides. Thirty minutes or
less seems to work well, gradually increasing the ride by fifteen minutes
every fourth ride until you get to your normal ride duration. Your horse will
thank you for this.

13) Pads & Interface Pads

All pads need to be 1 – 1 1/2″ longer on both ends of the saddle. All edges,
seams and bindings also need to be clear of the saddle edges. Contour pads
are a saddle fit plus as they avoid spine pressure. If you are using an
interface pad make sure the gullet on your saddle and the gullet in the pad
match and the panels do not not just ‘sit’ on the edge of either.

14) Using Mounting Blocks

Mounting from a mounting block whenever possible will save both your
saddle and your horse’s spine from misalignments. Also get in the habit of
mounting alternatively from either side even when using a block.

For more saddle fitting information go to http://www.kaarenjordan.com

Using Wedge Wire As an Architectural Feature of Buildings and Bridges

Architecture requires a great deal of work and processing. Developing any kind of structure, whether it be a building or a bridge, there are all kinds of requirements to be considered and thought out, including how the design of the structure in question works practically and aesthetically.

Bridges are used in different ways and so require different designs; a footbridge across a small river, for example, will be much less complex than a bridge crossing a large body of water. Larger bridges need to be able to support people and vehicles of varying sizes whilst consistently enabling safe passage; for example, if it rains it’s important that the bridge doesn’t become too wet, as it will become too slippery to cross safely.

It’s vital that manufacturers are able to work with clients to develop high quality structures and substructures for optimal safety, security and practicality. Carbis Filtration has worked on several projects using high strength and quality wedge wire screens as an architectural feature.

What is Wedge Wire?

Wedge Wire is a welded steel structure that is primarily used for filtration, separation and retention.

Wedge Wire is made up of surface profiles and support profiles. The surface profiles are usually v-shaped to allow for filtrate flow through, and are welded onto support profiles

For the purposes of proper filtration, Wedge Wire’s determines the direction of the flow through its design. This is determined specifically by the direction of the surface profiles in relation to the support profiles, and standard wedge wire screens either direct flow-out-to-in or flow-in-to-out, known as FOTI and FITO respectively.

Wedge wire filters have a lot of advantages from an architectural perspective. For one, the material is very strong, making it ideal for use in the construction. Wedge wire screens are self-supporting as each intersection has been welded,
The design of such screens also minimises clogging, which is ideal for bridges that have to deal with debris, rain, spillages and so on.

Who Develops Wedge Wire?

As well as selling process filtration equipment and vessel internals, manufacturers like Carbis Filtration have developed bespoke architectural wedgewire screens to be used in a number of high profile projects, including:
• Thompson Street Foot Bridge
• Dublin Airport
• Kings Cross Underground London
• Arsenal Emirates Stadium

Carbis’ engineers work with the client from concept to the end, helping them to develop the design and meet whatever requirements the client has. This level of flexibility makes them a popular choice of manufacturer as there is plenty of scope for adjustment to meet the various needs of different organisations. For example, their alloy welding service enables them to cut metal into whatever shape is required.

Carbis’ wedge wire screens are usually constructed in stainless steel for the purposes of durability, but the will produce them in other alloy metals is requested. The screens were developed to cope under the pressures of external forces, from the weather to the strain of pedestrians and traffic. What’s more, their products are manufactured in accordance with the BSEN ISO 9001 quality accreditation. If you’re in need of a manufacturer for a construction project, they’re easily one of the best around.

10 Key Steps for Safe, Effective Simulation Training

There are 10 key steps for creating realistic, scenario-based, decision-making simulations. They are:
1. Needs Assessment

2. Levels of Simulation

3. Creating the Simulation Format

4. Designing the Simulation

5. Training & Controlling Demonstrators

6. Providing the Training

7. Equipment & Safety Procedures

8. Creating Multidimensional Scenarios

9. Creating Multiple-Use Scenarios

10. Debrief

Step 1: Needs Assessment

Instructors must begin the development of a simulation-training program with a needs assessment. On what do their officers need to spend their simulation training time? Although shootouts with heavily armed bank robbers need to be addressed, officers must train for all use-of-force levels. In fact, in a recent series of statewide instructor updates conducted in Wisconsin, Bob Willis, a nationally recognized trainer, found the most glaring need of the 1,800 instructors was communication skills. Train for the needs of your officers – not just the high-risk fun stuff.

Step 2: Levels of Simulation

All too often instructors go too fast, too soon in their simulation training. You can’t teach officers new skills and then, with little or no practice, expect them to do well in high-level, high-stress, decision-making scenarios. After introducing the new skills, instructors should use seven levels of simulation to prepare their officers for high-level, decision-making simulations. These levels include:

1. Shadow training

2. Prop training

3. Partner training

4. Dynamic movement training

5. Relative positioning training

6. Environmental-factors training

7. High-level simulations

Step 3: Creating the Simulation Format

Next, an instructor must work from a written simulation worksheet to provide the necessary documentation of what officers were trained to do. Besides the individual officer-evaluation form, these simulation worksheets should consist of a title page listing scenario type, objectives, overview and equipment; a page for student instructions; a page for role player instructions; and a page with a diagram of the scenario. These worksheets are essential for documenting training and can help you defend against failure-to-train allegations.

Step 4: Designing the Simulation

After the needs assessment, the instructor will begin designing the simulation, which consists of:

1. Developing the simulation

2. Choreographing the simulation

3. Rehearsing the simulation

4. Implementing the simulation

5. Debriefing the simulation

6. Evaluating the simulation

Carefully design, choreograph and rehearse your simulations, or they can lead to training injuries, the adoption of poor tactics and liability exposure.

Step 5: Training & Controlling Demonstrators

The most important component of successful, meaningful simulation training remains the development of well-trained, fully controlled demonstrators. Instructors must assign these demonstrators roles that are specific, limited and carefully supervised to prevent a deviation-from-role that can lead to poor training and injuries. Tell demonstrators specifically and in writing what they can do and, equally important, what they can’t do.

Remember: If you use officers for role players (and most of us do), they love to win. With adrenalin dumping, it’s hard for an untrained, unsupervised role player to remember that the ultimate goal of the demonstrator is eventually to lose (i.e., be controlled by the officer in the simulation). Yes, demonstrators need to be challenging and realistic, but if the trainee performs effective tactics, the demonstrator should give realistic responses and allow the technique to succeed.

Step 6: Providing the Training

Once the simulation is designed and practiced with demonstrators who understand their roles, the instructor can begin the simulation training. Follow this checklist:

1. Conduct an initial wellness check

2. Explain the training safety rules

3. Conduct a physical warm-up

4. Explain the simulation drill’s format

5. Conduct the simulation drill

6. Conduct a debriefing session

7. Conduct a current wellness check

Finally, instructors should make their training a positive learning experience. Properly explain what you expect of the student, conduct a fair, winnable scenario and properly debrief the student.

Step 7: Equipment & Safety Procedures

Although simulation training helps prepare our officers to survive and win encounters on the street, it must be conducted safely – there are no acceptable casualties in corrections, especially in corrections training. Wellness checks, training safety rules and safety procedures make this happen.

Simulation safety begins with the development of appropriate safety procedures, the development and use of safety officers, and the enforcement of stringent safety procedures. Many equipment manufacturers have developed safety procedures to use in conjunction with their equipment. Instructors should always follow these guidelines to prevent unnecessary liability.

Instructors must keep their officers safe from live-fire training accidents.

Step 8: Creating Multidimensional Scenarios

One of the most critical issues facing instructors of corrections tactics training is the difficulty in finding the time to focus on multi-dimensional scenarios that allow their officers to train for the full range of corrections responses. Most simulations now focus on using one of the use-of-force options (i.e., verbal, empty hand control, intermediate weapons or firearms). This creates two challenges: 1) Training officers to respond effectively to the approach, intervention and follow-through phases of any encounter, and 2) preventing officers from getting caught in a single force option loop, unable to move up or down the available force options.

To address the first issue, instruct officers to finish their simulation training with at least one full-length scenario that takes them from initial contact to debriefing the subject at the end of the incident. Address the second issue by teaching the officers transition drills that take them from verbal to empty hand tactics, empty hand to aerosol spray, baton to firearm, etc.

These multi-dimensional scenarios will assist officers in preventing the gridlock that often occurs when facing stressful situations because no bridges have been built between the multiple techniques and tactics officers are trained to use.

Step 9: Creating Multiple-Use Scenarios

Another challenge facing trainers: Over time, their scenarios are soon burned by their officers letting other officers know the scenario prior to taking the class. To combat this, create scenarios with multiple outcomes. Of course, over time even a scenario with a couple of different outcomes can be compromised.

To limit the number of scenarios needed to keep your officers honest, develop a subject-resistance matrix that gives all role players five separate roles, including:

1. Compliant

2. Shell-shocked

3. Physically resisting

4. Presenting a deadly threat

5. Fleeing

Once you define each one of the roles, you can easily change scenarios by switching the role player’s role. This effectively gives you five versions of each scenario when using one role player.

It gets even more fun when you add a second role player, which allows 25 separate scenario versions. This adds an exciting, time-saving dimension to your scenario training because now, instead of creating a whole series of scenarios on a certain topic (e.g., domestic disturbances), you can create one scenario with 25 separate responses. So what if the officers know we are working on domestic disturbances? They don’t know what version they will have to respond to.

Even more important, they will start to place the subjects that they deal with in these five separate categories and learn preplanned tactics for dealing with them more effectively. As an added bonus, officers start transferring these multiple lessons-learned in training scenarios to the real world. They begin to think about multiple endings for those routine dispatches and start to ask, “What’s different this time?”

Step 10: The Debrief

The last step consists of debriefing the officer’s responses in these decision- making, scenario-based simulations. Debriefing is a critical tool in changing and improving an officer’s future performance, but it’s often not done or done badly.

Debrief in a positive manner. The old way of reading the officer the riot act, telling them everything they did wrong and putting them back into line is both destructive and counterproductive. Instead, conduct debriefing in a team-building atmosphere that includes the following components:

• Are you OK?

• How do you think you did?

• Positive comment, if possible

• What would you do differently?

• Role player, and/or peer jury comments

• Instructor summation

In addition to this team debriefing or as a part of it, review a videotape of the incident. Because articulation (having the officer explain why they did the right thing) is an important part of the training process, include it at this point. Many training facilities add report writing and even courtroom testimony to this section.

Take officers out of the scenario and, prior to debriefing, instruct them to make an immediate verbal report to their supervisor – kind of like the real world. Finally, if the officer did not complete the scenario in a satisfactory manner, provide remedial training to bring them up to a satisfactory performance level. Document this remedial training.

Go beyond merely asking your officers what they did; ask why they did it. Make sure you listen to your officers’ perceptions and reasons for responding as they did prior to telling them what you think they should have done.

Several years ago, we designed a scenario that tested officers’ ability to use their firearm to stop a threat. Two officers responded to a domestic disturbance involving two brothers fighting. Upon the officers’ arrival, one brother was straddling the other on the floor while hitting him on the head multiple times with a steel pipe. The assaultive brother refused to stop. We interpreted this scenario as a clear shoot situation, but we were shocked that less than 20 percent of the officers fired their firearms. They used a whole range of other force options.

When we asked them why they didn’t shoot the assaultive brother, we received numerous answers, including:

• The subject wasn’t attacking them

• This was a domestic

• They weren’t sure what was going on

• They could have unintentionally shot the apparent victim

• The subject was turned away from them

• The baton was in the their hand

• Liability concerns

Some of their perceptions and tactical responses were very enlightening. Several ways they stopped the threat were especially interesting, including striking the assaultive brother on the back of the neck with a baton, which we thought was an innovative way to end the assault without potentially shooting the brother on the ground. This led us to ask officers in future classes what they saw and why they responded the way they did before giving our “right” answer to the scenario.

Conclusion

Document your scenarios and evaluations of the officers’ performance in the training, along with any remedial training given to each officer as a result.

Conduct safe simulation training. Ask yourself this question before an investigator puts it to you during a formal inquiry: “What would other well-trained, experienced instructors have done to keep themselves and their officers safe in this type of training simulation?”

What’s the difference between a tragedy and negligence?

Repetition.

Too many repetitions of needless, preventable training injuries and death have occurred. A developing standard-of-care exists and, as a trainer, you will be held accountable.

We need to conduct decision-making scenario training, but we must do it right.