Okay, so I have a 4 year old paint horse that has known the patterns since she was a two-year old (when I got her) since we couldn't ride yet. I've broken her out myself and 99.9% of the time she behaves better than my 22 year old arthritic thoroughbred. This is her first year "running" running, and we've encountered a few problems.
First off: She knows these patterns and she knows we are going to run, but in barrels and the end poles on our pole patterns she lifts her head up in the latter half of the turn, losing speed, and losing time. She always gets back up to speed, but in order to ever really place she needs to get over that.
I've always run her in a long shanked mechanical hackamore, because she absolutely detests bits, though will work in one. After my last show I decided to try a tie-down to keep her head down, but now in the hackamore she won't turn. So now I've been trying her in a Tom-Thumb, but she won't turn as well as before.
My trainer had said that she has "too much bit" with the hack, so I was thinking trying a Beetle-type hackamore? She usually stops on a dime so I don't think stopping will be a problem, but she did not like the S-bend I tried on her a few weeks ago.