In case Bambi wasn't traumatic enough, War Horse opens as our little pony Joey is taken away from his mother and sold to a farm. On the farm, Joey is broken in (gently) by a kind-hearted young boy named Albert Narracott.
Kind hearts don't run in this family, however, and Albert's drunken father sells Joey to the British army to earn money to keep his farm and family alive—and probably to buy a few bottles of booze, too.
In the army now, Joey is paired up with Captain Nicholls, a cavalry man, and sent
to the front lines. Nicholls perishes in battle,
and Joey is transferred to a younger, more inexperienced rider named Trooper Warren.
Warren is a kind, gentle man, but boy does
he stink at riding horses. Joey longs for Albert as he carries Warren into battle. The British lose the battle, and Warren and Joey are captured by the Germans. Not looking good.