Thanks Spastic I was hoping you'd comment on this. :) I've read a lot of your posts and respect your advice.
The other thing I found out is he gets "hot" and "racey" when run flat out for "long periods of time." Now, his owner previous to them barrel raced him extensivly. I'm thinking she must have run him at home as well and got him all hot and heavy on the pattern. I'm used to hot horses, they don't bother me. My first horse was an Arabian, a jumper, and he was as hot as they came (I'm talking never walked always jigged, always tried to canter when you trotted...and this was my first horse ever when I was a teenager LOL). He, too, came to me in a harsh bit (doubel twisted wire) and after a few years of hard, hard, hard work I was finally able to get him to go in a simple D-ring snaffle. So I'm not worried about reschooling him to relax, and what not, it's just the rearing thing. I don't mind a "problem horse" I just worry about them flipping over on top of me, that's all.
Why was your horse rearing when you first got him if I might ask?