It's a bit complicated so the story is long, I apologize for that, but it wouldn't make sense if I made it shorter.
I have a minimal tobiano filly named Diamond. She is an altogether happy, healthy and sound horse, with a sweet disposition. But she has one of those "quarter horse backs" with strong muscles that make her shoulders broad and round. Her withers are also practically non existent. But the weird thing is that the skin on her back seems to float on a layer of fat (but she is not a fat horse) and slides back and forth when I ride her.
I should include that I consider myself a very good rider. I have been on the back of a horse my entire life, and for the part few years I have been taking english lessons on a big, athletic gelding. I also ride a friends horse bareback all the time, with no balance issues.
But on Diamond, everything is different! I have raised her since she was a tiny baby, and I was the one that tought her how to ride. We always had the problem of the saddle being very slippery and hard to balance. But now that we are getting into more advanced things, I have had to give up the saddle entirely. The saddle kept slipping onto her belly and terrifying her. It was becoming nearly impossible to keep the saddle centered and I was worried for diamonds safety.
So I tried riding bareback, which both of us like. But her back is so slippery that even though I can stick to her back, the skin moves and throws me off balance. Lately all we have been able to do is walk with some trotting, which makes me sad because I don't want us to be limited to this. I am not afraid of falling, because when we ride bareback there is no saddle to slip and the horse and I are both okay with it, but it is hard to concentrate knowing that if Diamond or I move just a little bit to the side I will hit the dirt.
I'm not really sure what to do about this. I am willing to try things, but I have a limited amount of money to work with. I have heard about alliance saddlery and I think they would be a fantastic solution, but they're waaay out of my price range.
I am considering bare back pads. I thought that maybe with the help of a girth I could have that extra bit of grip I need. But I have never tried a bare back pad before and I don't know what they're like. Does anyone know if they could help?
Thank you for any ideas or advice you might have. I really appreciate it!