To sit up, instead of pulling yourself upright with your back, think about pressing yourself upright with your stomach. Try it in a chair so you get the feel. Exaggerate it so you feel the muscles until you know what you're feeling for. Sit in a chair and press your chest to your knees with your back, then use your stomach to push yourself up (be sure not to use your shoulders and back).
I don't know what your horse or tack situation is but you could get a Thinline pad to help. They are pricey but you can get like new and irregular ones for very reasonable prices on eBay
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