I read a forum posting recently which stated that Jochen Schleese recommends you have your saddles professionally fitted every season. Debate on this topic got heated. Some people didn’t believe in saddle fitting at all; others felt that a saddle once fitted properly, shouldn’t need to be adjusted that frequently.
The answer is probably somewhere in the middle. If your horse is in consistent work and isn’t at either end of the age spectrum, chances are he or she won’t change shape too dramatically. Generally, the Saddle Dr. visits my barn in the early spring and in the fall, right before our two hunt seasons. So far, that’s worked for me and for Kroni (when I had him) and Freedom. Yes, their saddles sometimes need to be “tweaked” but often I’ve added a shimmed pad if that was necessary and the adjustments have never been drastic.
But that’s not always the case. In my barn is an older horse (I believe she’s 19). Fortune’s saddle was fitted, along with Freedom’s, in late March or early April. As she’s aged her withers have become more pronounced and her saddle needed adjusting. By mid May, it became evident that her saddle no longer fit. It was sliding back and it was starting to rotate over the pommel. The result was a sore back. A month of hunting had changed her shape enough that her saddle no longer was comfortable (Freedom is also leaner and more muscular but his saddle still fits fine).
How often do you have your saddles fitted?