I like a good neck rein and stop on my barrel horse. As far as a bit I prefer an O-ring snaffle or a hack it's personal preference really. Like Gageholmes said start off slow don't go into at a run first. He's got a good build for it, not a fan of his front feet but that could be just a needed trim or the way he is standing. Love his color. As far as drills or exercises doing some figure 8s around barrels, doing some spirals, serpentines, weaving in and out of poles, barrels, or cones or even doing rollbacks all would be good. Hope this helps I hope you get into barrel racing its really a great sport and a good bonding thing for you and your horse! Good luck!