Famous for albums like Shotgun Willie that rocked the country music scene back in the 70s, Willie Nelson is a true liberal icon of the previous generation. Unlike quite a few others of his generation, with age, he has embraced newer ideologies and is known as one of the pioneers of endorsing environment-friendly biofuels and campaigning extensively for the legalization of marijuana.
Still a prolific musician at the ripe age of 86, Nelson spends a lot of his time touring. When he’s on a break, he spends it at the Luck Ranch, his ranch at Texas, where around 70 horses roam free. The name Luck Ranch might sound like just another cool name for a ranch, but for these horses, it means a lot. After all, these 70 horses were destined for slaughterhouses and found life in this ranch, as mentioned by Nelson to KSAT 12.
The plot is about 700 acres in size, in Spicewood, and is located about 30 miles away from Austin. It has become a haven for the horses that Willie rescued himself.
They get fed by hand, twice every day. According to Nelson, now that these horses are on his ranch, they probably don’t even remember that they were being prepped for the slaughterhouse, once upon a time.
Willie Nelson has been a big fan of the equine race. He has even released a recent song called ‘Ride me back home’ as a tribute to the beautiful beast. One of Nelson’s videos, called ‘The Love of Horses’ had won him the People’s Silver Telly Award in the year 2015.
Lukas, Willie’s son, also works with Saving America’s Horses and Habitat for Horses, alongside Willie.
Despite the number of rescued animals standing at 70 currently, Lukas and Willie plan on increasing it to 90, if not more.
In his old age, it would appear that it is time for the veteran to retire. But, like all well-motivated people living with a purpose, Willie “retires after every show”, only to go on and have another one, later.
A lifelong activist, Nelson has fought for the cause of many people and animals over the years. Back in the 80s, along with the likes of Dylan and Neil Young, he helped raise USD 9 million for farmers in America who were losing their livelihoods due to mortgage debts.
He has been and is the co-chair of the National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) and has his very own brand of weed called Willie’s Reserve.
Besides campaigning for the passing of a law that prevents cruelty to horses, he also campaigned against dairy corporations that used confinement tactics and other cruel tricks on calves. He has also been quite a vocal supporter of the LGBTQ+ movement.
Leading such a full life, it is only natural that he keeps going forward with that signature smile of his. Imagine him retire one day; sitting, watching the sunset, smiling as his rescued horses roam wild and free. Peace.
IMAGE CREDIT: CultureMap Houston