Willie Nelson is one of the top country singers in the US, but he is also a songwriter, producer, poet, author, and activist. With such a long list of titles to his name, we might think that the country icon has done it all. But what most of us might not know is that Willie is also an advocate for the welfare of horses.
His 700-acre property, Luck Ranch, is where over 70 horses reside, most of which were rescued before they could be sent to slaughterhouses. Located in Spicewood, 30 miles from Austin, the ranch has plenty of open space for the horses to freely roam around.
“When you’re here, you’re in Luck, and when you’re not, you’re out of Luck,” Willie likes to say about the ranch.
The animals were rescued over several years, and the singer believes that they are among the “luckiest horses in the world.”
“My horses are probably the luckiest horses in the world. They get hand-fed twice a day, and they were just ready to go to slaughter – is probably the last thing they remembered, so they’re happy horses,” he said.
Willie’s love for horses is manifested both through his actions and music.
In 1989, he released a song titled “A Horse Called Music”, a part of its lyrics say:
“High on a mountain in western Montana
A silhouette moves cross a cinnamon sky
Ridin’ along on a horse he called Music”
In 2015, Willie produced a video titled “The Love of Horses”, which won the People’s Silver Telly Award. It featured the singer meeting with the members of Habitat for Horses, who were pushing for legislation banning the slaughter of horses.
Another song called “Ride Me Back Home”, which is part of his latest album, is also an ode to these beloved animals.
Willie’s devotion to horses has been passed on to his children. Following his dad’s footsteps, Lukas Nelson is a supporter of Saving America’s Horses as well as Habitat for Horses.
Approaching his 87th birthday, Willie is still touring and spends about 200 days on the road. As time-consuming as it is, the singer has accepted that it is his way of life.
“It’s a lot of traveling and being away from home,” Willie said. “But that’s what we do.”
Even though he already has a lot on his plate, the top country singer confirms something that will surely make his fans happy – he won’t be retiring from music soon.
“I retire after every show,” Willie said. “I say, ‘That’s it, I’m not goin’ no more,’ but then we hang out awhile and people [the band] feel like playing, and so we go play again.”
A legendary country singer and advocate for animals in one, it’s no wonder that Willie Nelson remains as one of the most beloved performers in the country. Watch the video below to learn more about his noble cause.