My husband has been laid off for 12 months so money is really tight. My aunt gave me her old saddle and bridle/reins set up to give my daughter for Christmas. The saddle is too big for now, but her instructor looked at it and says it will be okay in a year or so. The stirrups go quite short, which isn't her problem, but the seat is a little too big still. My 7 year old is built like a 10-11 year old.
The bridle came with a hackamore and leather reins. I have to buy a snaffle bit because her instructor wants all horses to have their own bit, and she doesn't use hackamores on any horse. No problem there; the snaffle is less than $20 at the local feed store.
Depending on what they're doing in her lesson, my daughter will use leather split reins with a knot tied in them, or a rope rein. Because I am not buying much at all for Christmas, and Santa is giving her the bridle, I want her to have the rope reins too. I am waiting on the length that the instructor wants specifically, but I am looking to find the cheapest set of rope reins I can. Any suggestions?
I was somehow able to start a conversation about her dream gear with her and got that she'd like all red stuff, and a dark saddle like my boots (thank God for that because the saddle is a darker leather). My mother in law is buying her a new saddle pad specifically for her lesson horse for her birthday in March, red also of course, but I'm trying to make sure that I can make her Christmas memorable without spending a ton of money. My mother in law is also building a saddle stand (complete with head, mane and tail)
The local farmer's co-op/feed store had rope reins for $25, but no red at the store I looked. There are 2 other stores to look at, but I have to have time without her to look, so I'd prefer online shopping if I can. I've been looking on Craig's list but not having the best luck right now. I always worry on Ebay because you never get to see the stuff before you buy it, and at least through an online retailer you know it's new.
I appreciate all the help I can get. Of course I will post pictures after Christmas.