Foxtrotter Trail Horse
November 20, 2022

About Mike and Joy Meizler

We have a passion for Missouri Fox Trotting horses. Fox Trotters are a very versatile breed that make excellent trail horses for any age rider. We believe that the techniques we use provide horses with respect, the desire to please and the desire for humans to be their leader. We will provide you with the tools you need for a safe, reliable trail horse. Whether you purchase one of the many horse we offer, or if you would like to be able to pick up the tips and methods we use, this is your site. We strive to provide quality, solid trail horses.

How we arrived here today

Mike is a professional trainer that has more than 30 years experience in training horses. Granted the early years was not the type of training that he does now! Matter of fact the differences are staggering. In his teens Mike rode and showed Tennessee Walking horses for Claude Laffone in Houston Missouri. This was as most kids are “let me on and we’ll see what this one will do!” Mike also team roped, worked as a cowboy on a working ranch which he loved. The love of horses and the desire to continue with this avenue took a couple of unexpected turns.

Mike had the opportunity to work for a many time World Champion Quarter Horse Pleasure trainer. Mike was riding the young horses and following the guidance of the trainer. There were many times that he was doing things that really didn’t make a lot of sense to the cowboy rough rider, however these things began to make him wonder and examine the horses movements differently than her ever had in his life. Before it was get on and let’s go, you have heard the phrase “this horse just needs wet saddle blankets”. This catch phrase soon became known to be incorrect. In fact most problems are taken care of BEFORE you even get on your horse. Mike began to study and when I say study I mean study everyone and everything available. Before he knew it he became a horseman, no longer a cowboy trainer.

My experience starts with showing horses from the ripe old age of 5. My grandfather loved Shetland ponies, he had a team of 8 that pulled a stage coach. We had many ponies so, I grew up showing Shetlands then graduated to Hackney ponies. I won a state championship at the age of 10. I graduated to horses as a teenager and have had horses and shown gaited horses ever since. During my horse career I have ridden many types of gaited horses and shown several breeds.

Mike and I met and married then we had a decision to make. Which breed we wanted to live our lives riding and training. The decision was easy to select the Missouri Foxtrotting horse. Fox Trotters have qualities that make it a better all around versatile horse than a lot of other gaited trail or show horses. We trail ride, show in the performance arena where we have standing at stud the 2017 4 year old World Champion Stallion. We also sort with our Fox Trotters as well as show in the Versatility arena where this year’s 2017 in hand trail horse World Champion was trained by Mike and the same horse won the first Missouri Foxtrotting Sorting at the World Show and Celebration.

Mike and I chose the quiet little town of Thayer Missouri situated on the state line between Arkansas and Missouri. Our facility has 30 ac and a wonderful indoor training facility. This past year we have added an obstacle course and have plans for a larger course. We hope that you find our home as lovely as we do if you decide to come and visit.

The perfect Trail horse

We have had so many horses come to us that have “holes” in their training. Most people say to us “It just needs some riding”. No, it needed to have been started correctly. Things can be corrected but the goal is to start a horse correctly and not have to re train the horses brain. The Missouri Foxtrot Breed is absolutely the all around horse that you are looking for if you want an athletic horse that has endurance, as well as balance, a smooth ride and a good brain. Whether you want to trail ride, show, work cattle or have a horse you can saddle up and just ride around, the Missouri Fox trotter horse has what it takes.

Tips and techniques

We hope to show you some tips and techniques to help you on your horse journey. Whether it’s tack, feeding, shoeing, problems with your horses gait or movements or solving problems with your horses behavior or if you are looking for a place to have your horse trained we want to help. If you are looking for the perfect trail horse we will have horses for you to come and ride and fit the horse to the rider. We hope you will come back to our site often and see what is new and we will have event information as well. Remember that even though you are not a horse trainer by trade every time you saddle up you are teaching your horse for the good or bad. Let’s make it for the good every time!

All the best,

Mike and Joy Meizler

10 thoughts on “About Mike and Joy Meizler

  1. I am one of those people who got a on Plane and went to see first hand what wonderful horses are at Joy and Mikes Ranch. I have never regretted going to feel first hand what they had done with him. Truly the work begins on the ground, with love and patience. Never pushing or demanding, just going with the flow where the horse needs to be at the time of lesson. Love my horse and what they have accomplished with him in a timely manner, no pressure at all, just good understanding of what my horse needed at the time. Truly great trainers and super people. Would not even think about going anywhere else to purchase another horse. BEST OF THE BEST!!! Thanks for my wonderful “Cookie”. Love ya

  2. Hi, I just came across your site by accident and was intrigued. My husband and I will be looking for a trainer in the future for our yearling filly. She is not a papered MFT but her daddy is! Her mother is a gaited horse that we rescued. We were told she was a MFT. Anyway we are starting the search for a Good trainer! Would love to come and see you sometime!

    1. Please do! You can also reach us by our facebook page foxtrotter trail horse. Please like us on facebook and you will see our daily posts and can message us and we will respond faster! Sorry for the delay!

  3. I made my first visit (hopefully not my last) to Rafter M stables. My cousin drove 5 miles to my house in Sullivan and then we drove another 2 hours to Thayer. She was there to look at Kid Rock, and I immediately was distracted by a little bay named Hooch. After I loved on Hooch and got in trouble by my cousin, I started my filming of Kid Rock. Mike and Brian have alot of pride in their work and their horses. It has been a while since I have been around people that want to not only start a good horse but try to add as much as possible to have a well rounded horse. They have the foundation that they teach the horse. I feel like they really want to see people and their horses have a good relationship and enjoyment of riding. I met Joy and I loved sharing the ideas and thoughts about different horses. Not every horse can be handled the same and they get this. Kid Rock is no longer available, my cousin will be his new owner. He should be a wonderful horse for her.
    Now I have to discuss the Rafter M stallion, Mo. I deal with horses with emotional problems, the ones people no longer want or can handle. I have had 2 stallions in my life. An Arabian and a miniature. The Arabian you could not tell was a stallion, but as soon as I gained his trust he became a gelding. The miniature was a holy TERROR, all 35″. Needless to say Mo is a credit to the Foxtrotter breed and ideal stallion material. You would think he was a gelding. His manners were impeccable, and a gentleness about him that you would want in a horse. Kudos to Mike and Joy for raising this beautiful boy and doing what they do best. This is the first time I have so enjoyed myself at a training facility. If only there were more breeders and trainers like this. I have seen and still have the results of poor breeding and training. All 9 of my horses have their own stories. Thank you again for a wonderful day and meeting your horses.

  4. Im in the market for a gaited gelding, Im an older lady rider, and am selling my draft cross, for a gaited smoother ride. But being new to the market I need to know where to go and find one of these beauties. Im looking for a gelding about 15,2h and or around that size. Im located in Mi so I would need him delivered. I would like some one that I can trust if I cant travel, but will for sure try. I would like a young one that I can bond with, and love.we bought 96 acres in KY but are still in MI until we get our house built.I really love this breed and have heard alot of beautiful things. I would love some starter info and saddle info for these horses what is the best fitting one! things to look for health issues ect. thank you so much Debra McDernott

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