About Us

C.J. Weldon

PhoenixCJSmileCynthia (C.J.) Weldon is the head trainer and barn manager at Heldergate.  She oversees nutrition, care and management of the horses, and implements all training programs at Heldergate.  C.J. holds a Riding Master VI, as well as a Farrier Science degree from Meredith Manor International School of Horsemanship, and has ridden and trained all over the world.  Highlights include transporting horses internationally, riding in Lithuania and France, training for Col. John Russell in San Antonio, and establishing several riding programs and equestrian facilities in Rhode Island and Virginia, one of which she designed herself and helped to build.

A native of South Africa, C.J. grew up in Zimbabwe under the influence of the British riding system.  Upon moving to the US at 17, C.J. set her sights on attending Meredith Manor, where she was invited to stayed on as faculty upon graduating.

C.J. offers training sessions and riding lessons in all English riding disciplines, though her specialties include dressage, show-jumping and combined training.  She specializes in working with difficult horses, overcoming confidence issues in both humans and horses, helping horse and/or rider attain the next level in riding/training, and tailoring her communication to riders at all levels.

C.J. is on site daily unless away competing or with students.  She offers daily training or lesson openings between 8:30 AM and 6 PM.

In her spare time, C.J. enjoys reading, creative writing, and playing therapist to several of her riding students and boarders!  She also enjoys motivating her clients and friends to read about the political situation in Zimbabwe and to raise awareness of the plight of its people under the current regime (hint-hint).

Olivia Exum

OliviaBondBlizzardShow Olivia Exum is the assistant trainer and barn manager at Heldergate.  She is on site between 4 and 6 pm daily, and all day on weekends.  She cares for Heldergate horses, teaches lessons and handles administrative duties.

A teacher by day, Olivia specializes in theoretical bases, goal-setting and strategy.  She believes successful riding comes from successful communication between horse and rider and between rider and trainer.

Olivia has ridden and trained in the U.S. in Charlottesville, Virginia Beach and South Florida, and under the Spanish system at La Hípica in Valencia, Spain.  She offers lessons in dressage, show-jumping and hunters, and is available for training rides, as well.  She also sponsors the Goochland High School Equestrian Club and coaches several of its members who ride.



Todos los servicios que ofrecemos están disponibles en español también.