Equine Rescue

Willie Nelson Tired of all the Horses Asses

by R.T. Fitch 

In a recent People.pets article legendary country performer Willie Nelson was quoted  as asking, “Why are there more horses asses than there are horses?”  The celebrity’s frustration is echoed across the country as the federal government’s Bureau of Land Management are rounding up the last remaining wild horses and burros from public land and placing them in holding pens by the thousands.

The ill advised roundup of 2,600 wild horses in Nevada’s Calico mountains  began last month against the advice of a US Federal Judge.  The BLM plans on rounding up, at taxpayers expense, 12,000 additional horses and add them to the pens holding 33,000 horses at this time.  This places more horses in detainment than are free by the BLM’s own accounting.  70 percent of the agency’s $40.6 million budget goes towards holding wild horses in a state of permanent imprisonment.

Some 68 horses call Willie Nelson’s ranch home, over 30 were rescued from slaughter and adopted from Habitat for Horses where Willie sits on the Board of Directors.  Adding to Willie’s voice, in behalf of the horses, are  Willie’s daughter Amy, singer Sheryl Crow, actors Viggo Mortensen, Ed Harris, Bo Derrick as well as the famed Playboy models Shane and Sia Barbi.  All have raised their voices in asking the President for a moratorium on the roundups and written Congress on behalf of the horses.

Equine advocacy groups such as the Equine Welfare Alliance, Habitat for Horses and the Cloud Foundation are outraged that the Calico Roundup is taking place in the dead of winter, a time when wild horses are trying to conserve their energy.  “It is inconceivable that the BLM would consider chasing wild horses down frozen mountain sides with a helicopter in the winter,” stated Habitat for Horses Rep. Terry Fitch before a BLM Advisory meeting last month “It is short of nothing but cruel.”

Emmy award winning cinematographer, Ginger Kathrens of the Cloud foundation is of the opinion that there are other forces at work that are driving the BLM to strip wild horses from public lands, in the case of the Calico herd it may be the Ruby Pipeline natural gas project that coincidently will snake it’s way through the same area that the horses are currently being removed.  Kathren s has brought the issue and plight of our wild horses to many through her PBS Nature series: Cloud, Wild Stallion of the Rockies.

“The bottom line is that this agency (BLM) has got to come clean” Kathrens says. “They have to be made accountable at Congressional hearings.  I think we’re just being hoodwinked while losing something so precious and spectacular.”

Many others agree, The Equine Welfare Alliance and the Cloud Foundation have circulated a petition with tens of thousands of signatures asking the President to put a stop to the roundups while an independent agency attempts to make sense of the BLM’s ever changing numbers.

To date the White House has remained silent on the subject while Willie’s question still goes begging, “Why are there more horses asses than horses.”


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11 replies »

  1. What an excellent pix of Willie; I always admired his head band and braids and songs of course; “on the road again; now he sings; “off the road; just wanna get those wild horses off the road again and onto their lands; get on the lands again;

    my comment is:

    Willie Nelson’s daughter said: “the horses have to run around to stay warm; (and the horses are not staying warm in the pens because they are not running around;

    this is very important: The foals could be suffering from hypthermiaa as I write!


    • Anna, Actually, I think she misspoke. As I understand it, an the winter the horses stay still to conserve calories that they need to keep themselves warm, especially preganat mares..


  2. God bless Willie, his daughter Amy, Sheryl, Viggo, the barbie twins, Ginger, Carol, Ed, Bo, RT, The Cloud Foundation, and the many many people who I have not named here for their continued support of these animals, including the people imvolved in the recent conviction of that self proclaimed cowbow, Pam for one for what was a terribly hard thing for her to do and live with, (I hope he never sees the light of day again and gets what is coming to him (along with his wife), praying for an animal lover cell mate for him. You are all awesome and if anyone can fill in the gaps of names I have not put in here, I know there are many who need our acknowledgement for their diligent hard soul destroying work trying to help our horses. From me THANK YOU, you are my heros, I just wish I could do more.

    Willie that is an amazing photo of you, I would love to know who took it.

    Keep the pressure on guys.


  3. “The ill advised roundup of 2,600 wild horses in Nevada’s Calico mountains began last month against the advice of a US Federal Judge” My question is simple:
    WHERE IS THE JUDGE? Why hasn’t he spoke out about the round-up? Surely he is back from winter break or whatever. Is he to remain silent until ‘we’ go back to court?


  4. PS Thanks Willie and friends!! Maybe its time to start “MUSTANG AID”. If I had the means I would rescue/adopt Mustangs from holding. I have the property and the heart, I just don’t have the money to INSURE THEIR CARE FOR A LIFETIME. How many people would/could adopt if they had a fraction of the money spent by the BLM to keep them in holding? Like adopting children, the government pays people to adopt or foster kids. The children are SO much better off when in homes and loved rather than in state or county run facilities. Just trying to think outside the box…


    • EXCELLENT! I love that name! I’m in the tax prep business and unfortunately I will not be able to go anywhere until after April 15th. BUT my heart will be with all who can attend!


  5. I’m glad that the BLM is not managing my farm herd! I’ve seen video reports of these helicopter round-ups– the animals end up exhausted and lame. They are certainly penning far more animals than can ever be adopted. Is anyone in Washington listening to us? Why is my tax dollar paying for policies I don’t sanction? Thank you Willie– and all the other celebrities that are hearing our pleas. What would Wild Horse Annie say about this? So sad…. we are losing our heritage to oil/mineral/grazing greed.


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