Then it’s a 20-minute ride on flat ground back to the stables.
Love and horses
Miguel Alcantar, 26, took his wife on a ride this past Valentine’s Day.
"We left the kids at home with Grandma, and we enjoyed some beers at Viva. The ambiance was really nice,” Alcantar said. "It was also great to take a day off from the boys.”
The Griffith Park stable offers daily horse rentals by the hour, but the sunset dinner ride is an old tradition. A version of it has been around for nearly 50 years, something Schad continued when she bought the rental location six years ago.
"It was important to keep it going,” Schad said. "People love it, and you can tell how relaxed they are when they return.”
Horses for hire include two brown and white Belgian draft horses, brothers Rocky and Rollin, who stand 18 hands high, or about six feet at the shoulders.
They’ve been working in Griffith Park for the past six months and have become popular even though Schad charges more to ride them than any of the other horses — $95 instead of $65. The breed is known for pulling power and size, typically weighing in around 2,000 pounds.
The ride isn’t just for couples. Schad often has family groups going for rides to celebrate birthdays.
"I loved the view. Everything was really neat,” said Kara Waldron, 12. "My friends wanted to go with me, and so did my mom. It was fun.”