Mike & Joy Meizler

Mike and Joy Meizler specialize in Missouri Foxtrotting gaited trail horses.  They are focusing on making gaited trail horses capable of riding on a loose rein with softness and creating a comfortable ride for both rider and horse. 

     Mike has been breaking and training horses for 31 years. Mike enjoys young horses and creating an atmosphere where the horse understands and learns instead of being bullied into being ridden. Mike uses natural horsemanship methods to create a soft, supple, and reliable trail partner. 

     Mike won a world championship in team sorting on a Missouri Foxtrotter in 2018. He also has horses he has trained winning world championships in halter, in hand trail and performance. Missouri’s Mojo was 2021’s top trail horse of the year. He is one that Mike and Joy raised and trained from their stallion Mr.Missouri.

     Mike is currently the Missouri Foxtrotting horse breed association chairman of trail programs. Mike has chaired the committee for the past three years where he has grown the trail program from 8 to 30 national  rides per year.

     Mike and Joy own Rafter M Training Stables in Thayer, Missouri. Together they have grown a business that is a leading training program in the country. They still break and train gaited trail horses however,  they are now in the business of training people as well.

 Joy is on the board of directors for the Missouri foxtrotting horse breed association in her third year. She heads the youth committee and the promotions, sponsorship and advertising committees. She helps in the training of horses as well as the training of riders. Together, the team work between Mike and Joy creates an easy going learning experience for their customers. Putting the rider in a strong leadership role is key when training customers to understand their equine partners.

     Joy is a level three student of equine body work.  She has been a horse owner of many breeds since childhood. Between the two they have experienced a lifetime of horse ownership, breeds and disciplines. 

     This team had taken the Internet by storm and has created a large following of customers. Mike and Joy have horses they have trained in 26 states. They now do clinics, have an online confidence course as well as host National Trail Rides.

Mike & Joy Meizler

Mike & Joy’s 2023 Presentations

Pre-Ride Gaited Trail Horse Checkout -

When arriving at the trail facility you should be able to saddle up while your horse stands still to be saddled. Your horse should be able to stand still for you to mount.

Happy Horse, Natural Gait and Stopping from Your Seat -

Mike discusses bits and the fact that a horse cannot be happy with a harsh bit and tight curb chain.  As trail horse trainers we believe a happy horse is going to perform out on the trails in a manner that is calm, relaxed, soft and supple.

Pre ride checklist -

A horse is a horse, no matter the breed, gaited or non-gaited. All riding horses should have a solid foundation.  How do you determine if a horse has a good foundation?  Mike takes you through a check list of exercises that will show you if you have areas that need improvement.