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Available languages — Riding
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Logo. Feature : Riding
[[Image:|240px|link=|One example for Feature : Riding]]
About tagging of ways, points, areas and relations related to horse riding.

This article is dedicated to features related to horse riding.


The following table contains a list of features together with their correct tagging and an exemplary photo. Keys written in italic are proposed and not yet approved. For a detailed description of each feature see the associated article.

Feature Tagging Element Description Photo
Access restriction horse=* NodeWayArea If horses are allowed (horse=yes) or forbidden (horse=no) in a specific area. No Horses.JPG
Bridleway highway=bridleway Way A way intended for use by horsemen. Pedestrians are usually also permitted, cyclists may be permitted depending on local rules/laws. Other vehicles are usually forbidden. Bridleway-reitweg-de.jpg
Feeding station amenity=feeding_place
NodeArea An automated feeding station to provide fodder. Feeding station in an open stable.jpg
Field shelter amenity=shelter

(if necessary)
NodeArea A shelter to provide protection against bad weather conditions. As those shelters are usually not freely accessible the tag access=private might be appropriate. Field shelter.jpg
Manure silo man_made=bunker_silo
NodeArea Bunker silos are open-sided structures which can be used with tractor to empty them. They are used to store Wikipedia-16px.png manure. Manure (DFdB).JPG
Ford ford=yes NodeWay A shallow place with good footing where a river or stream may be crossed by wading or in a vehicle. Ford, Tarras Water - geograph.org.uk - 58597.jpg
Horse boarding amenity=animal_boarding
NodeArea A boarding facility for horses. Horse Boarding Alamo CA.jpg
Horse stile barrier=horse_stile NodeWay A horse stile allows pedestrians and horses to cross a gap through a fence, but prevents or makes it very difficult for motorcycles, riderless horses and other live stock to cross. Horse stile on the Doncaster Greenway - geograph.org.uk - 502599.jpg
Horse walker animal=horse_walker NodeArea A horse walker is used for exercising horses or to cool them down after training (so called hot walker). Horse Roundabout - geograph.org.uk - 1754067.jpg
NodeArea A manger to provide hay as fodder. Verspielter Pfalz Ardenner Tiergarten Worms 2011.JPG
Open stable landuse=animal_keeping
Area A fenced area where horses are kept, but can move freely and food and water is provided. The horses may stay in the open stable the whole time. The fence can be tagged using barrier=fence and fence_type=*. Open stable Velm Neuhaus.jpg
Paddock landuse=animal_keeping
Area A paddock is a fenced area to keep horses but does not allow for grazing. The surface is either very low cut grass or a layer of sand or similar material. In order to keep the surface suitable usually a drainage is necessary. The fence can be tagged using barrier=fence and fence_type=*.
The main difference to a pasture, which is also called paddock in some regions, is that a paddock does not allow grazing and possesses a drainage.
Paddock 2006 by-RaBoe.jpg
Paddock box landuse=animal_keeping

used for the open-air area

see Stable for the building
Area A paddock box is a stall (box) for a horse with a very small adjacent outdoor enclosure which grants access to the open air but does not allow grazing. A paddock box is tagged just like a stable with an adjacent paddock area. Paddock Image Roewer Rueb 02.jpg


and optional
Area Pasture - sometimes also called paddock - is a fenced area mainly used for grazing. The fence can be tagged using barrier=fence and fence_type=*.
If the area is not suitable for grazing, see Paddock.
Untere Hetschmühle, Pferdekoppel.jpg
Race course

for the track

for the whole facility

WayArea A race course for horses. Use the key surface=* to specify the surface of the track. Horse racing in Mauritius.JPG
Riding ground leisure=pitch

additional if within a building
NodeArea A place to exercise horse riding. May also be located in a building. If the whole building is used for this purpose, add the tag building=yes. Otherwise, if only part of the building is used, map this part separately and only apply the tag leisure=pitch and sport=equestrian. Evie Gullis Jumping Her Horse.JPG
Riding stable leisure=horse_riding Area A place where people go in their spare time and practice horse riding. Neuendeich Reitstall v. Rönne 01.jpg
Stable building=stable
if the whole building is used as a stable

if only a part of the building is used as a stable
NodeArea A stable is a building in which horses are kept. It most commonly means a building that is divided into separate stalls for individual animals. If the whole building is used as a stable, use the tag building=stable. Otherwise, if only part of the building is used, map this part separately and only apply the tag building:use=stable. Häststall Elfviks gård dec 2008.jpg
Trail riding station tourism=trail_riding_station
if only used as trail riding station


NodeArea A station that offers temporary accomodation for guest horses and usually also for riders. Willow Prairie Horse Camp, Rogue River NF, Oregon.jpg
Veterinary for horses amenity=veterinary
NodeArea A place where a veterinary treats horses. The size of the facility can be specified as veterinary=practice, veterinary=clinic or veterinary=hospital. LAKa1712Tierarzt.JPG
Watering place amenity=watering_place Node A place where water is contained and animals can drink. Drinking Water For Humans and Animals.jpg

Riding routes

Officially marked riding routes can be mapped using a relation with the type route and the key route=horse. The tag (horse=designated) might be used to specify recommend routes for horse riding, although there is no wide consensus on this.

horse_scale describing the difficulty of the way

horse_scale is a system describing the difficulty of ways for horse riding (similar to sac_scale for hikers or mtbscale for bikes).

The horse_scale tag can be applied to any special part of a way - especially bridges. If you tag a way you should give the whole way the value of the part with highest horse_scale along the way because the most difficult part limits the usability of the way.

The horse=no tag defines that it is legally prohibited to ride a way. Sometimes horse=no is used erroneously to indicate that the way is unsuitable or dangerous to ride. Then it should be substituted by a "horse_scale" tag.

Tag Description
horse_scale=common riding is easy, way is smooth and wide. The default, used to indicate that the way is checked regarding horse issues.
horse_scale=demanding Caution required. Some parts of the way are demanding. Uneven surface. Caution and a skillful horse are required.
horse_scale=difficult Narrow and possibly steep drops to the sides. May have barriers like trees or narrow constrictions. Difficult to pass for big horses. Can usually be passed riding.
horse_scale=critical Very narrow and demanding. Only for trained and experienced horses and riders. Usually passed walking and leading the horse. Bridges should be checked for capacity and condition.
horse_scale=dangerous Difficult, winding and dangerous. Only possible for very experienced horses and riders in good weather, usually leading the horses. Obstacles impassable for average horses.
horse_scale=impossible Completely impassable for horses, deadly peril. Obstacles like ladders or climbing spots with fixed ropes. Too narrow or low for horses. Unstable or narrow bridges, danger of collapse or drop.

The best documentation of this tag is in german language http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Reiten

Historically the values horse=critical and horse=unsuitable were sometimes used to specify a way as problematic or impossible for horsemen. They are deprecated and should not longer be used.

Other useful features

The following features are not directly related to riding but usually also useful when mapping related features:

  • surface=* can be used to specify the surface of ways.
  • smoothness=* specifies the smoothness of the surface of a way, i.e. how even the way is
  • incline=* marks the steepness/slope of a way
  • barrier=* is used to map all kinds of barriers
  • width=* specifies the width of a way
  • trail_visibility=* is used to give a rough estimation how visible a trail is on the ground

See also