She could keep on wearing her current boots- they are workable, just not the traditional western style. The typical Western boot has a taller heel, promoting the safety of the boot. The taller heel is less likely to slide through the stirrup when working.
The main reason people say that Ariat Fatbaby's and the Justin Gypsy's aren't good for riding is because of the tread on the bottom of some of the styles has been know to stick into stirrups. I have seen more than my fair share of people ride in them and not have a problem. One downfall of these two particular brand styles is that certian ones are not made of leather, but a synthetic finish which resembles leather. This finish can be easy scratched and scraped off, and is non-repairable. Depending on how long you have had the boots, sometimes it is covered under warranty. Another downfall- the boots usually cannot have new soles and heels put on them, while most other brands can.
I very very strongly recommend trying the boots on before you buy them. Every brand and style fit diffrent. For example, I wear a size 9 in Tony Lama's and Corral's, but an 8 1/2 in Luccheese and Tin Haul. It all depends on the boot. Round toe tends to run a bit narrower than a square toe as well. It can be hard though, depending on where you live, because some places do not have boot shops. I work at a boot shop in Missouri, and we have 17,000 pairs of boots in stock on the shelves.
Depending on the age of your daughter and how fast she is growing, remember that the amount of money really does directly show the quality of a boot. A $80 pair of Fatbaby's will not be near as high-quality as a $170 pair of American made Tony Lama Americana Series boots- which can be reheeled and resoled as much as desired as long and the leather is still good.
As far as price and comfort, the Ariat, Justin, and Tony Lama brands are probably going to be your best bet. They are durable, comfortable, and most styles can be found under $150. Ariats have the best general comfort, Tony's have great arch support, while Justin's tend to run slighlty wider and have a lower arch.
Last edited by KayceeJo; 03-28-2013 at 01:27 PM.