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stopping by the Hitching Post

Posted by valhikes on 3 May 2023 in English.

Short and easy, 214 uses.

Well, it may contain one or more hitching posts. 1 use. That’ll be the person who wrote it up for the wiki and linked it about for good visibility. Ooh, and it’s rendered on the trail riding map. Perhaps it was made because other resting places are possible, so this becomes a unifying tag to look for if you are looking for a place to rest your horse? Much like a tourism=trail_riding_station seems to be a unifying tag to put on all the different things you can overnight your horse in? (1339 uses for that one, it’s doing a better job. Oh, except that I looked at how it was actually being used and some of it was for staging locations where overnighting would be illegal. So not all correct uses. And I can definitely see where the confusion comes from.) Although if these things are meant to be a unifying device, used in addition to the more specific tags, it probably ought to say that on the wiki page. Is that even how tags are meant to be used? I certainly see the utility.

Perhaps you should just be assuming your zebra/donkey cross or whatever other exotic bit of stock you’ve got =yes? Except if you’re in big horn sheep country, it very well might be that goat=no.
104 uses for all animals, but it isn’t popular enough to get combination details. For the type tag, there are 83 rings and 7 rails, but no posts at all. Nope, the people don’t want it for hitching posts. Well, except for the sorts who get particular about the post being horizontal between two other posts, AKA a rail. Or particular about there being a ring on the post, but the example dog_hitch (not kidding) is also a ring.
Oh, there’s also 2 uses of amenity=horse_hitch.

32 uses although this one got voted on and rejected. However, there was a lovely little wiki page for a moment that included a type of parking that was box, which is to say, a corral as often mapped on USFS maps. I liked it just for that. Oh, I suppose the animal_hitch can be similarly done even though it is a little more than a hitch. (Is it, though? Is it really?) I marked a bunch as trail_riding_stations a while ago, but see above that this may be intended as much more general. They need more tags to truly be marked.

I was marking the picnic table across the wide trail from the hitching post and the map board next to it, so I decided to mark the hitching post too. How could I not when I know all these methods and I know it is there? And which method would I choose? Well, it turned out to be amenity=hitching_post, one and done.

But maybe it should be that animal_hitch that wins out. It feels so awkward at first, but I also like the hierarchical nature of it. (That’s another reason why the horse_parking was just a little bit cool.) (Also, hierarchical sorts of things naturally require more than one tag in total animosity with the desire to just use one tag and be done.)

I’ve been thinking about adding a man_made=corral to those trail_riding_stations I marked. There’s a few uses of it, especially by one user in New Mexico. (More than all the amenity=hitching_post.) My only difficulty is that there’s two very distinct structures that get marked as corrals on USFS maps. The one to corral herd animals in when gathering them up seems like the more natural corral. Then again, the places that actually get a corral place name are more commonly these overnighting spots for horses (and other riding/packing stock). But not exclusively. Really, USFS sees no difference between these two things if you take them by their maps.

Maybe I should be trying to extend this apparently more winning amenity=animal_hitch with the animal_hitch=box that was suggested as a type of horse parking. And while I say more winning, the amenity=hitching_post still has more than twice as many uses. For a total just over 200! Clearly no one really cares.

Location: Arcata, Humboldt County, California, 95521, United States


Comment from valhikes on 4 May 2023 at 13:40

Okay, I don’t like box. It doesn’t feel right.


Yes. That feels right. One can think of a corral as a hitch? Right? Maybe it takes the abstract “horse parking” step in between to make it make sense. Baby steps. A hitch is a place to tether the animal. Which is to say, immobilize it within a small space. It’s just a looser tethering to have a small box of fencing with a gate on one side. Right?

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