Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Tampa Bay area, FL
What bit do you currently ride in? Using an o-ring will prevent him from being able to grab onto the bit, because it slides and doesn't provide something solid.
Also, how are you asking to stop? With OTTB's if you use constant pressure, they will lean into it and go faster--it may feel like he's grabbing onto the bit but he's just being top heavy. If you do a lot of half halts, that should partially relieve the problem. Also remember that OTTBs take a lot of cues from how you sit in your saddle. If you shift your weight back into the cantle of the saddle and sit really deep and low, bringing your heels forward (but keeping them down) they will slow up very nicely.
I also agree that he might not be ready for you to be on his back yet. How long has he been off the track, and what kind of retraining has he had? When I piled on too much too soon onto my guy, he reverted back to what he knew how to do, which was run very fast. You'll need to take more care than usual rehabbing him and bringing him back into work.