Some horses get strong in the ring. Moving up to a bit for a strong horse doesn't mean you are covering up training issues, IMHO.
I have ridden a lot of strong barrel horses, and I take them with the same light as jumpers. For my barrel racers I give them the option of staying in a smooth snaffle until they prove otherwise. Even then they are always trained in a snaffle and ran in a harder bit.
I will alternate the following: Sweet Six, Jr. Cowhorse, Smooth draw gag, Billy Allen shank, Light twisted dogbone combination bit. There are a couple other bits I will try as an "Out there" option, but those are my main ones.
When I had a brief exploration into the endlish world, the horse I rode was a schoolmaster and he was also strong. He showed in a kimberwicke. I did not show him very much before I went back to my western reiners, cowhorses, and barrel horses.
Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.