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Public-images-osm logo.svg horse_scale
Old Pack Horse Bridge, Carrbridge - - 37420.jpg
A rating scheme for the difficulty of trails for trail riding Show/edit corresponding data item.
Group: properties
Used on these elements
should not be used on nodesmay be used on waysshould not be used on areasuse on relations unspecified
Useful combination
See also
Status: in use

Some path segments, in particular bridges, can be hard to ride or even dangerous or impossible. horse_scale=* is used to classify the relevant properties of an off-road track. It expresses the difficulty of a road, like sac_scale=* does for hikers.


horse_scale=* is tagged on rideable tracks and paths that have inherent difficulties or dangers. Potential problem areas such as bridges, tunnels and fords can also be clarified.

horse_scale=common is the default and indicates that the way or path is checked regarding horse issues.

When a way on the map looks broad, flat and OK to ride, but has hidden dangers or difficulties, it is recommended to add a note=* with a brief explanation of the problem. Although it isn't displayed on any map, it informs fellow mappers and helps to prevent deletion by someone who isn't familiar enough with the way.

When a short section of a path has a problem that cannot be avoided (e.g. a problematic bridge) you should tag the whole way with the scale of the difficult point, up to the nearest junctions, as you have to pass through the difficult point if you take this way.

horse=no defines that it is legally prohibited to ride a way but sometimes it is used erroneously to indicate that the way is unsuitable or dangerous to ride. This is a tagging error and should then be replaced with horse_scale=*. Conversely, roads where you are legally disallowed to ride should not have a horse_scale=* tag.


Tag Meaning Comment Photo
horse_scale=common No problems Riding is easy, way is smooth and wide. The default, used to indicate that the way is checked regarding horse issues.
Surface grade4.jpg
horse_scale=demanding Be careful Caution required. Some parts of the way are demanding. Uneven surface. Caution and a skilful horse are required.
horse_scale=difficult Difficult trail 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 Only for the experienced 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 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 Impassible; danger to life 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.
Narrow bridge - - 2566344.jpg

You can find the discussion about these tags in the OSM Forum (in German).

Possible tagging mistakes

The tags horse=critical and horse=unsuitable are deprecated. Use horse_scale instead:

If you know places with this tag, verify if it could be tagged with another tag.
Automated edits are strongly discouraged unless you really know what you are doing!
If you know places with this tag, verify if it could be tagged with another tag.
Automated edits are strongly discouraged unless you really know what you are doing!