I havn't been practicing too much lately because it has been really muddy outside.
Soooooo, how many days/weeks have you been practicing the barrels with him? I'd like an actual time frame.
I haven't trained other horses to run barrels before but I did my research on it.
What "research" have you done?
You cannot properly learn how to train a barrel horse by reading a book. Or watching a DVD.
No more than I could learn how to fly a plane just by reading a book. Or watching a DVD.
I only say this because a lot of us here on this forum have made mistakes the hard way. I am one of them. I trained my horse to run barrels when I was 14 and I did it completely wrong. And when I finally learned how to do it the right way, I spent YEARS trying to fix the bad habits on my horse.
It is so important to train a barrel horse the RIGHT way from the start; even if you think you'll only be doing small local stuff.
So we want you to learn from OUR mistakes so that you don't have to make the same ones we did. I cannot stress how important it is to work with a barrel trainer who knows what they are doing. It is very easy to ruin a barrel horse when there is speed involved.
I think it's a western curb? It has a curb chain (its not too tight) and it has a shallow port. (if I remember what it's called correctly) my horses are on my grandmas farm so I can't take a picture of it
Can you look on the internet and find a photo of something similar to what you are using?
Is the bit all one solid piece, like this bit for example?
Or do the shanks swivel, like this bit for example?
Ditto to what annoel said above.
He should not be crow hopping no matter what you are doing. It sounds like the crow hopping shouldn't be a pain issue, as he does have regular chiro visits and regular dental work, so we've got to fix the behavioral issue before it gets worse. My horses are allowed to get excited in the proper way, but they are not allowed to crow hop. You do not have control of your horse when they are crow hopping, and that's the whole issue --> You as the rider need to stay 100% in control of your horse.
Can you walk us through step by step what you are doing with him when he crowhops, and what do YOU do as the rider when he crowhops??
Or provide us with a video. It's hard to try to guess what is going on without the details.
But I would go out on a limb and say you are going too fast too soon in teaching him the barrels and your horse is 1) confused 2) frustrated 3) and doesn't know what you want. So he lashes out by crowhopping. That's my guess at this point.