The Face of Malibu by Johanna Spinks

Georgia King

Georgia King’s life has been all about horses. She is in her 70s, but her horses have kept her young. She has been a trainer, a judge, jumper and so much more. She’s won countless awards and trophies. She was born in New York and attended high school there, but knew her life was going to be with horses. She briefly worked at an office job and compared it to “being in prison.”

Living in different states throughout her life, it was horses that brought King to Malibu. The late actor George C. Scott hired her to care for his horses and King never looked back. She has now been living in Malibu for 26 years. In the ‘80s, she spent a year in Africa, visiting five different countries, training horses and teaching riding.

The Malibu Times got a chance to sit down with the woman who calls the one year spent in Africa the highlight of her life.


How old were you when you first rode a horse? What was the experience like?

The first time I rode a horse was on a little pony ride. But when I was in high school in New York, there was a woman who lived nearby who had horses. I would go to her on Saturdays and she would let me ride. I learned a lot about horses there. I was very lucky because she was kind enough to help a kid who was crazy about horses.


How did your love for horses evolve?

 I was born with it. I lived in the city and there was no opportunity for horses there. My family didn’t care too much for them either. If I saw policemen on horses, I would stare at them. I remember there used to be ice wagons and vegetable wagons and horses pulled them. I loved the horses! When I was young, I didn’t have a choice, I was in boarding school. Once I got out of high school I knew my life was going to be with horses.


What is something that the general public doesn’t know about horses?

People don’t understand that horses being so big, they are also very timid. They deal with life differently. People think that they are big and brave but they are not. Horses get scared and they get away and run away as quick as they can when something scares them. That’s their defense. They are different from dogs. They have different levels in their personalities. Some are more timid than others.


You have received many awards and trophies. Which one is the most dear to you and why?

 The Dolphin Award. I was so honored to be with that group of people who are more deserving than me. It was a very nice surprise to me. I kept saying to myself, ‘Why am I here with these people? They did so much more for Malibu.’ I kept thinking about so many other people who should be there.


How was your experience judging horse shows? What do you miss most about it?

I most enjoyed the pleasure the riders got out of their horses when they did a good job. All the horses want to do is to please and we have to set it up for them. So it was important to look into why a horse didn’t do well. I miss keeping in contact with the people I met during the shows. The shows take away from what the horse really is.


What does an average day in the life of Georgia King look like?

 Right now, I get up and get to my own horses around 8 in the morning and take care of them and feed them in my retreat. Then I go to Sycamore Farms and spend the afternoon there. I ride over there and take care of the horses. I get home around 7:30 p.m. It’s a long day but I’m doing what I love. I do this every day except for Friday. Friday is my day off.


Do you have any regrets in life?

 I wish I had the knowledge that I have now when I was a kid. I would have evolved more things in my life. I also would have appreciated things more.


What is your favorite thing about Malibu? If you could change one thing about Malibu what would it be and why?

There’s a lot of things. I love the mountains and the weather for sure. I enjoy Legacy Park. What I would change is that I would like to have the speed limit enforced. Everybody drives too fast.


How was it having your portrait painted by Johanna Spinks?

Magical. To see the canvas with nothing on it and then to see the end result is magical. She was wonderful.