Morganshow, I understand that you ARE young and all you want is to have fun, but you need to teach your horse (and yourself) the basics.
If being in an arena gives you too much temptation to jump and run barrels, take Rowdy out onto a trail. It gets you out of the environment, but you can still work out there. Practice halting (with your hands DOWN please!), practice transitions, do everything that you SHOULD do in an arena but in a different environment.
I know you didn't want critique, but please, please, PLEASE get that bit out of his mouth! It is COMPLETELY un-necessary, and something like a double-jointed snaffle would be much nicer for him.
Please listen to the advice, people aren't deliberately picking on you, they are just sharing their concern about your safety and that of your horse.