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Not horse=designated

In a recent edit, Richard B stated "Yes is the most common combination of tags here. Usually these are not actually implied however - they are stated"

Do you seriously tag every bridleway as horse=yes+foot=yes+ bicycle=yes+motorcar=no? If so, what's the point of even having this shorthand tag?
Aside from the extra tagging: All bridleways are designated for horses. That's part of the definition of a bridleway. So it really needs to imply horse=designated rather than just horse=yes. --Hawke 00:36, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
There are permissive bridleways (where the landowner has given temporary permission for use), and the distinction needs to be made clear in the database. In the UK, there are similar numbers of "horse=yes" and "horse=permissive" tags attached to bridleways. I would say, in terms of how the tags are actually used, that, yes, we do imply "motorcar=no" - but we don't actually imply much else. Perhaps "key:horse, key=foot, key=bicycle" should really come under the "useful combinations" heading, rather than "implies". Oh, and I'm still not sure what extra info we gain by having "designated", rather than "yes" - especially if we already know that it's a bridleway. Richard B 01:48, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
Obviously the distinction needs to be made clear. However, I think for the permissive bridleways, it's fine to over-ride the default horse=designated with a horse=permissive -- but that would have to be done if the defaults were horse=yes anyway. Better to have a default which can be overridden where necessary, than to have to tag every single way.
For the UK, as I understand it, designated can be taken to be equivalent to "yes".
For the cases of cycleway, footway, and bridleway, access=designated gains very little. And in the UK, it seems that those three are far and away the dominant types of path. However, for the rest of the world (and for other path uses in the UK), access=Designated gains the following:
  1. More flexibility in describing what a particular route is intended for. The alternative would be to create a highway=FOOway for every single mode of transportation, or to treat highway=footway as a sort of "base" to add/remove permissions from -- but then you get the combination of highway=footway+foot=no which is silly and misleading.
  2. The ability to assign multiple preferred uses for a path. highway=cycleway, highway=footway, and highway=bridleway each provide a single preferred use. It would be possible to create something like highway=cycleandfootway, highway=cyclehorseandfootway, highway=horseandfootway, highway=skateboardandsnowmobileway, etc. -- but again, that's just silly and unwieldy.
  3. The ability to give equal preference to multiple uses. Some would argue that highway=footway+bicycle=yes is exactly equivalent to highway=cycleway+foot=yes. But just by giving it a name like that, you imply that the others are somehow "second-class uses" (like bicycles in the UK actually are when riding on a bridleway).
a concrete example:
This trail clearly does not fit into any of the the cycleway/footway/bridleway slots. How would you suggest that it be tagged?

Non-English places

Since a Bridleway is an English legal concept, it should not be used in other countries, for example Scotland. Should tracks and paths not be tagged according to physical characteristics primarily, then with legal designation as secondary tags?

Probably. You may wish to use highway=path.
In my opinion highway=bridleway is usable in other countries, for any designated horse riding paths. Depending on local legislation, a bicycle=no and a foot=no or foot=destination might be needed for all such "bridleways". Alv 05:50, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

Not a 'track'?

Your picture pretty much looks like a normal agricultural track, usable by tractors and alike... In Germany most people will tag this as "highway=track, tracktype=grade3, surface=gravel, horse=official" (last one because of the sign) and some people will add bicycle=yes and lots of stuff.

I would tag 'bridleway' in case of a more natural loooking way, which can be used by riders, pedestrians and (some, probably hardcore) bicyclists, but which isn't usable for normal motorized vehicles at all, and should clearly *not* be routed for vehicles. Since there is no other single tag which expresses this, and the concept of "all user without motor permitted; motorized vehicles can't come through furthermore' isn't that uncommon, bridleway isn't that bad.

More often than not, at least in the place where I live (Germany), ways which can't be used by motorized vehicles are used rarely to some extend, and public use often is object of dispute with huntsmen or certain kind of conservationists who want to keep people out of them. In case this way has a longterm tradition of usage or is mapped in official mapworks, I would tag 'bridleway' -- even if there is no rider sign for it. --Taunide 12:01, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

I agree to Taunide. I would tag this way as highway=track, tracktype=grade2 or 3, surface=gravel, smoothness=intermediate (or good) and with a horse-route. Or is this a official sign? Then bicycle=yes or designated.
Better pictures are Picture1 Picture 2
--MasiMaster (talk) 13:45, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
So why not just use (the physical) 'track' for anything non-road big enough for a 4-wheel vehicle and 'path' for anything smaller? Access may then be defined for types of user. One current problem I find is that, often, mappers did not change the default accesses when adding bridleways and there were many cases of 'foot=NotSpecified'. Also, when using GraphHopper for cycle planning, it ignores bridleways, even when 'bicycles' was set to 'yes'. Consider that, for footpaths, 'highway=footway' could simply be 'highway=path', since the foot use will be defined by 'designation=PublicFootpath' and access tags. To say it another way, Footpath, Bridleway, and Cycleway are all 'uses' of routes - they could be replaced by Track and Path with suitable tags to define uses. --Iwhs (talk) 13:44, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
I've changed the picture: no discussion, sorry. Do revert if it's unhelpful. Eteb3 (talk) 07:08, 30 September 2019 (UTC)

Horserace training course

Horseracing is popular in Sweden. Many horse trainers have a small farm with a designated training track for the horses. I have mapped these tracks as bridleway. These tracks are not used for riding, though, but for driving horses with at light cart (sulky). Is it correct to use bridleway in this context? --jorchr 19:41, 22 June 2011 (BST)

I would say no. The highway=bridleway tag was originally created for public rights of way in the England and Wales called Bridleways. These allow horse, bike and foot traffic and vary in their construction from narrow paths to wide tracks. A horse training track is more likely to fit somewhere in the sport=* key, with some extra tagging to indicate it's private land. Jonathan Bennett 11:00, 23 June 2011 (BST)
From Key:sport: "A sport=* should normally also be associated with a suitable physical feature where it is performed; often this is leisure=pitch or leisure=track ...", in this case probably leisure=track + sport=horse_racing. --Hufkratzer (talk) 12:34, 22 July 2022 (UTC)

England and Wales: Public bridleways

Suggested new wording

Many bridleways in England and Wales are rights of way, legally designated as "Public bridleways". This gives a right to travel on foot or horseback. Cyclists are also permitted (by Countryside Act of 1968) unless subject to orders made by local authority. (Usually bridleways are signed "no cycles" where this is the case: a reasonable default assumption is that cycles are permitted where not explicitly prohibited.) There is no obligation to ensure suitability for use by bicycle.

Bridleways which are public bridleways should have (at least) two tags: highway=bridleway to indicate the physical feature, and designation=public_bridleway to indicate the legal right of way.

Other ways (e.g. tracks and service roads) may also be signed as "Public Bridleways": use the highway tag that best matches the physical feature, and add the designation tag as above.