My mare turned six on Monday and I've had her just about one year. She's grown like two inches, in progressive phases of butt-highness followed by looking normal. Her butt and forehead just will not stop growing.
I'm on my third saddle in a year, and the one I bought just six weeks ago is suddenly fitting weird...hoping it's just something flocking can fix.
I am also on my fourth girth (two size changes and one that rubbed,) my third pair of bell boots (one size change and one pair rubbed,) my third bit (all outgrown and the current one is starting to look iffy) and my fourth browband (for forehead-growth reasons, does not count ones I got for decorational purposes.)
She is my first horse and I so underestimated the "new stuff" budget.
I don't know if this is normal or not, but I feel you.
My 6 year old mare changes shape like crazy, too. We also went through three saddles in the past year and then changed again recently, but thankfully I think for #4 we can go back to one of the previous three. Seems like I have to evaluate my saddle fit every time I tack her up.
On the bright side, I now feel that saving all the tack that I ever used on my previous horses is totally reasonable and justified. I've bought a few new things, but for the most part, I've been able to dig through my piles of old tack to find things that will fit.
"In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
I'm starting to think my kid will need a new saddle soon. It fits still but it's not quite perfect. Hoping I can just adjust the flocking to make it work. He's in a med wide... I don't have a wide at home.
We have always bought youngsters to bring along which is why I have purchased saddles with adjustable trees. Even our older horses change shape with the work they are getting. Of course the saddles are pricey and you have to pay the fitter to adjust them, but I think it pays off in the long run.
I hate to be the bearer of bad (?) news, but I just bought my 5th saddle in 6 years for my now 10 year old. That being said - he is VERY particular about saddle fit, so most horses would not take exception to some minor changes in fit, but he will have a total meltdown if his pad is not *exactly* in the right spot. On the upside - he really doesn't care how his bridle, browband, or bit fits at all. I think I could use barbed wire, dental floss, or just about anything and he'd be fine.
Good luck - I feel your pain. I am not looking forward to my DH looking at the credit card bill from the latest saddle.
Why not spend a bit extra money on a saddle where the tree can be adjustable - like a Verhan or Henning - not a Wintec with piecec saddle owner puts in/takes out. rather something the saddler changes - they pull saddle apart, spread/shrink tree and put saddle back together. Means you keep the same saddle forever and occassionally get it adjusted.
For little things (like when my mare developed more muscle on the left than on the right) I purchased a pad where I could add "shims" until her muscling evened out.
Better for me than buying and selling saddle as the horses outline changes.
Second Hastilows. They're really beautifully constructed and a dream to ride in. I've borrowed my friend's several times and it's what I'll be purchasing for my youngster next year when he's ready to start. They're as close to completely adjustable as you can get AND the price is fantastic compared to other saddles of similar quality.
When I bought my Morgan out of a field several years ago he was rangy and had zero muscle. He was a *maybe* MW, for quite some time until we both figured out how to really work over the back and then he exploded.
I was on a saddle fit odyssey anyhow with him as he was hard to fit and had a sensitive back, but he outgrew saddles left and right.
I did end up settling on a treeless in fact. I gravitated to a SBS Flexion with regular panels but plus a suber pad.
I probably have photos someplace of him from just out of the field to going nicely under saddle, but I don't have them handy.
I have noticed over the years that many horses change muscling quickly when training starts. It does seem like three week increments is about where the saddle isn't right. Sometimes I look at my MW saddles, which are currently not in use and think I should sell them, until I remember that those saddles fit a lot of horses and buying new ones is a pain...so I figure I will have another MW horse...those were the most used saddles in my tack room for years.
I spent over five years of swapping back and forth between the MW and XW on my favorite mare, she has consistently stayed happiest in an old XW Albion, but it wasn't doing me any favors with regards to my position.
I finally got a truly custom saddle for us, it is amazing how it feels for me. A Stackhouse! I only just got it a week ago, but wrote about it in my blog.
Young horses outgrow saddles almost as quickly as kids outgrow their clothes, and the more quickly they progress in training, the more likely they are to outgrow their "right now" saddle. A lot of my customers explore changeable-gullet or adjustable tree saddles, and they can be a help, but given that width is only one of the concerns when fitting a saddle (along with tree shape and type, panel configuration and billet placement), those saddles aren't the perfect answer, either.