Willie Nelson Rescues 70 Horses From Slaughter, Now They Roam Free on His Ranch

Over 70 horses bound for slaughter now roam free on Willie Nelson’s ranch in Texas


Country music icon Willie Nelson has rescued over 75 horses  in the last decade.

Old race horses, show horses and work horses and even federally protected wild horses are often unwittingly sold to people who sell them to inhumane slaughterhouses for human consumption in other countries.

RELATED: Bureau of Land Management Votes to Slaughter 44,000 Wild Horses to Make Room for Beef Cattle

All of Nelson’s horses were unwanted for various reasons and probably bound for a similar fate. Nelson claims over half of them were already en route to a slaughterhouse when they were rescued by Habitat for Horses, the organization he adopts from.

After rehabilitating them, they now roam free on his ranch in Austin, Texas, which he calls Luck Ranch.

Explaining the name to KSAT.com, he says:

“When you’re here, you’re in Luck, and when you’re not, you’re out of Luck.”

“My horses are probably the luckiest horses in the world,” Nelson added.

“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.”


Nelson, 87 and still touring, has written a song about the plight of horses, both wild and domestic, in America, for his upcoming album to be released this summer:

Here are the lyrics:

We rode into battle barebacked and saddled
You took the wound in your side
You pulled the sleds and you pulled the wagons
You gave ’em somewhere to hide
Now they don’t need you and there’s no one to feed you
And there’s fences where you used to roam
I wish I could gather up all of your brothers
And you would just ride me back home

Ride me back home to a much better place
Blue skies and sunshine and plenty of space
Somewhere where they would just leave you alone
Somewhere that you could call home
And you would just ride me back home

I got a small place up in the foothills
Where green grass is precious as gold
I paid a fortune for what little I got here
But you know that I’d sell my soul
To have all the mountains, the rivers and valleys
The places where you need to roam
And I would just gather up all of your brothers
And you would just ride me back home