i have been training him for about 2 months but then he got sore so I had to start again so about 4 in total
It sounds like you may be progressing too fast. Example being, I had my horse Red on the pattern for well over 2 months (closer to 3 or 4) before I even asked him to try to lope it. He just wasn't ready to go faster yet.
If you go faster than your horse is ready for, it causes confusion. If he's confused and doesn't know what you want, he gets frustrated. When he gets frustrated, he starts doing things like throwing his head in the air, and blowing by (or into) barrels.
You need to slow your pattern down to a trot, or even a walk, and show this horse what you want him to do.
I use a tie down on all my horses because it helps them balance properally
Yes, a tie down can be used to help a horse balance themselves. Are you *sure* that your horse needs it though? There are times when a tie down can restrict and inhibit a horse, instead of help.
I'm glad you didn't answer "to keep his head from flying up in the air" because that is not what a tie down is for.
Im not sure what the bits called it was custom made by dave elliot for him
Is there something similar on his website that looks like the bit you have? Elliott Bit and Spur - Hand Crafted Spurs, Bits & Buckles by Master Bit and Spur Maker Dave Elliott
Once we see a video, we'll be able to help you with other things you may have going on.
In the meantime, it wouldn't hurt for you to do a little researching and learning on your own. Dena Kirkpatrick has a bunch of free videos on YouTube. One of them is here and you can find the rest.
Sherry Cervi also has a few:
As does Fallon Taylor:
Also be sure to check out the barrel racing "sticky" on this forum, started by DrumRunner. Barrel Racing Exercises and Drills.