Horse News

Everything You Wanted to Know about “War Horse” but were Afraid to Ask

By R.T. Fitch ~ Author/President of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Links, Reviews and Stories on Equine Epic

As of late it has been a difficult ride for the horses of the United States of American, both domestic and wild.  From the gaff of language being stripped from an Ag bill that defunded horse slaughter plant inspections and then signed by the President to the rapid, cruel and possibly unlawful trapping and removal of protected wild horses and burros from public lands by Obama’s BLM; things have been bleak and looked like they were heading south, until…enter stage left, Steven Spielberg with his latest epic film War Horse.  If ever the American public needed to be informed on the plight of the American horse it is now and Mr. Spielberg just opened up that conversation on Christmas Day.

Although I have yet to see the film, myself, I am certain that the story telling of Spielberg will shine a positive note on the heart and spirit of our equine companions.  As crooked politicians on the take plan on killing our horses for their meat and the BLM Chopper Pilots run our wild ponies into the dust this film will help to ignite a flame in the heart of the American public and shine a bright light of honesty and decency on the horse eaters and pony trappers of the world.  A conversation of awareness has begun and it is up to us to fan the flame of advocacy and inform, enrich and coach those who are unaware of the anti-horse forces that move amongst us.  The tide may have shifted.

To help fuel your interest and promote your insight we have been collecting links to stories, reviews and informative articles that center on the story of the movie War Horse and those who star in it.

Below you will find a wealth of links that we have carefully tucked away for your perusal so sit back, enjoy and click away.  By the time you finish the tour you may find that you know more about the movie than those who have already seen it.  Enjoy and keep the faith.

Horses Get Star Treatment on War Horse Set

‘War Horse‘: The Reviews Are In!

War Horse: Michael Morpurgo talks to CBC Books

War Horse Video Movie Review

“War Horse”: Spielberg’s almost-great World War I epic


War Horse Film: Happy Holidays from the Three (of Many) Kings of War Horse

Spielberg’s ‘War Horse‘ is sentimental but strong

‘War Horse‘: Stage vs. Screen – Blog – The Film Experience

Equine actors steal spotlight in larger-than-life ‘War Horse’

‘War Horse‘ star Tom Hiddleston on a wild ride for Spielberg as his career

War Horse set during World War I era of hunger and suffering

American Humane Association praises Steven Spielberg’s ‘War Horse

‘War Horse‘ – News –

‘War Horse‘ offers old-school polish and emotion, critics say

Movie review: ‘War Horse‘ a simple story told well

Review | War Horse « Spinoff Online – TV, Film and Entertainment

An Amazing Animal: ‘War Horse‘ – PopMatters

Shop the Movie: War Horse

Innocence Is Trampled, But a Bond Endures

‘War Horse‘ Director Steven Spielberg Says Animal Safety Was A

The Equine Stars Of Spielberg’s War Horse – ArtsJournal: Daily Arts

Steven Spielberg And His Cast On John Ford, Their Equine Co-Stars And Whether

War Horse: Film Review

36 replies »

  1. I look forward to viewing this film. BUT………(and this really frosts me)

    Dreamworks allowed a film preview in DC cohosted by the Maryland Jockey Club (don’t have a real problem with them) AND (get this) the American Horse Council. AHC SUPPORTS HORSE SLAUGHTER!!!!!!!!

    Recently (because they looked so bad), they have been speaking humane care, BUT………they still support HCHS.

    Dreamworks needs an equine welfare education….asap.


    • Only wish the auction and where the horses were going after purchased (to slaughter) would have been more played up as it was only briefly mentioned because of the bidder who was the town butcher. But during the whole film one gets the message of us just how disposal horses are. The book being told by the horse told more of the horrors these horses faced and more about the close relationships they formed that was cut short in the movie. But I highly recommend the movie even for men.


  2. War Horse is wonderful film but it’s not a true story as it’s based on a children’s novel. I am certain much of the film is true and/or possible.
    If you want to know the truth about horses and other species in many wars please read Animals in War by Jilly Cooper. So many animals gave their lives over war it’s a shame we just don’t stop wars altogether.


  3. How many times have advocates posted about the unique bond and intellect of equines only to be rebutted by stupid Ag Hags and HCHS trolls that cattle can do the same?


    That’s right….that’s why we have the history in film and books about cattle???? Stupid, mean, ugly people.


    • And what about the U.S. funerals for fallen soldiers, dignitaries, presidents? Six horses carry the cart w/casket (cassions) followed by the “riderless horse” with boots backwards. Only a noble, dignified, majestic animal, THE HORSE, would be chosen for this major honor!!!! And…in ALL countries, it is THE HORSE that carry the carriage with the dead! In honor & beauty. Amen~


      • Thank you for reminding me about the horse drawn casket that pulled JFK to Arlington. I was very young at the time but have vivid memories of being on my dads shoulders and seeing the horses. I didn’t understand all the emotions at the time–but I understood the horses.


  4. The film War Horse was awesome ~ it put an emotional slant on a horse’s life beyond a lovely scenic pasture. When panning over an ‘after battle scene’, the gasps heard in the audience when viewing the aftermath let me know people care. And without giving away too much of the story, anytime it appeared that a horse was mistreated or hurt, the audience responded. I think the film will open doors, and allow us to educate the public. Let’s get the message out there.


  5. I can only pray this brings new found awarness in this Nation for the real problems that exists for our horses, the evil we fight & the need for our citizens to rise up and stop the dirty boys in D.C.


  6. I haven’t seen War Horse yet, because I seldom see anything on opening weekend. I hate theaters packed with people who talk through a film, ringing cell-phone and loud conversations, screaming babies, etc.

    I often go to Rotten Tomatoes to find out what critics and audiences think of a film. To my surprise, 75% 0f the notoriously nit-picky critics proclaimed it “ripe”, as did 73% of movegoers polled. I want to include this RT review by Mark, particularly because of the closing sentences:

    “Scoff if you must at the notion that an equine can symbolize an angel of our better natures. It’s clear Spielberg whole-heartedly believes it, and War Horse is all the better for that dedication to the ideal.”


  7. This is a great opportunity to educate. The link is to a flyer that we should print out and give to people or put on windshields of those attending the movie. The best tool that horse slaughter advocates has in the ignorance of the public. Let’s use this opportunity to shine a light on the ugliness and cruelty of slaughter!

    Click to access WH-flyer.pdf


    • Be careful of putting flyers on cars. In my County you are liable for cleanup if people toss the flyers on the ground.

      And some have their security set so high that if you get close to the car the alarm will sound.

      Just a thought…


  8. Please Horse Lovers everywhere. Make handouts to educate the public and hand them out to those just coming out of seeing War Horse at theaters. ONE: Make one sheet with HOW TO TAKE ACTION with phone numbers to White House: 202-456-1111 as well as the switchboard 202-456-1414 (great number in case first number is busy). TWO: make it clear HOW to find the contact information for their own Senators and House Reps. and what bills they MUST mention and what the bill WILL DO for horses. THREE: Ask them to get children and teachers involved…postcards and YouTube videos with a message to the President from the classroom!! Take your handouts to work, book club, or any other place you frequent! TAKE ACTION and teach others how to do the same! 🙂


  9. The ballcaps given to the crew had a picture of a horse on it. That horse is Jaguar Hope an ottb. Jag was adopted by ABR member Wendy. When she first turned Jag out in a paddock he was running around with his tail flagging. She got a picture of that, commissioned someone to paint it. It was seen by someone to do with the film.

    While Jag doesn’t appear in the movie he exists on the ballcap.

    Jaf was fatally injured in a paddock accident and had to be put down. I think Wendy had him two years or less.

    There is video of him rolling, jumping, passing gas, and rearing. It’s a fun video. Jag was personality plus.

    While its sad outcome for Jag he lives on through his roundabout roll through this movie.


  10. I received two tickets to go to the theater to see War Horse. In an article in our Sunday Los Angeles Times, Steven Spielberg mentions that there is only nine and one half minutes of war footage. I love these animals but do not want to see horses laying dead or dying in nine and one-half minutes of war footage. I have heard that tears will be evident by those seeing the film. From all indications, the end has a happy ending but it’s that middle of the film where a boy is forced by his dad to give up his horse (a horrible act by a dad) and the middle time of what I believe is four years before they are reunited. I’m still debating on whether to see the film or not. There is too much cruelty going on against these beautiful animals with the BLM and the killer buyers right now and that by tv and newspapers should be evident to all to see and read. Recently the L.A> Times did an article on horses going to auction and interviewed the sanctuary I have been helping after I called them and kept calling for over a year. Unfortunately, not much was mentioned that all rescues and sanctuaries need donations at this time and they are all full up because of the horses being discarded by their lousy owners. I’m wondering just how many are using the economy as their reasons for dumping their horses. I’m sure that that is the reason for many but it could also be the excuse anyone would use for dumping a horse they no longer wanted. I hope this movie will just be the start to a WAR against all who abuse and neglect these beautiful animals and to those that easily send their four legged family members to auction not caring where they end up.


  11. I read some of the articles. One in particular asked if children should see the movie and the age was limited to 12 and above. I think this too might be a little young to handle some of the misery for the horses. However, I did add a comment regarding the future and threat to American horses. I did not want to include all the cruelty, but told them they could find out more about. I indicated that if certain Legislators had their way horse slaughterhouses would once again open in this country. My last sentence was, If you love horses as much as thousands of other Americans, please contact President Obama asking him to sign an Executive Order saving the lives of thousands of American horses, ponies, burros and other eqines. I have been told the movie is out standing and that Steven Spielberg has out done himself with this movie.
    This just might be the miracle that we have been waiting for. Its time to expose the truth and the greed.


  12. Tried to wrangle the family to see it yesterday and no luck. I am the only horse lover or animal lover in the family. Going to try again today for the matinee. Can’t wait to see it.


  13. Three parts: The best thing about the movie is bringing awareness about horses. Why is this so important? Well, there is the inhumane treatment of horses, i.e., abandonment, over-breeding, terrifying slaughter-houses. The next best part is that it shows a teeny bit of the horrific facts about WWI. And finally, the Oscar should go to Spielberg!!!


  14. Spielberg has made a great movie and will make a great deal of money.Wouldn’t it be wonderful and he played it forward by speaking out about the shipping anf slaughter of these noble creatures.His wife is a horsewomen and he is a big DEmocrat donor.You would hope he would help the cause.


  15. Steven Spielberg’s daughter Destry does the Children’s Hunters. Her parents bought her a super famous and absolutely gorgeous grey horse named Rumba. You can
    go on YouTube and search her name to see her ride.


  16. This includes some of what’s in Spielberg’s comments about the safety of the horses. I guess you could consider it a War Horse “spoiler”, but maybe not. I haven’t seen it yet, but know quite a bit about modern film production because my son is into computer animation, special effects, sound, shot set-up, green screen, etc. It goes into more detail about the technical side of the production for all the animals. Kind of long, but I hope those in doubt about going to see the film will find it both informative and comforting:


    • I have serious problems with the American Humane Association. While they are mostly involved with animals used in all forms of media, they take some nasty positions on other topics…they remind me of PeTA in reverse; they didn’t do a very good job on the most recent version of Flicka with the country singer (MaGraw?).

      But I appreciate the reference re computer stuff.


  17. From the Ghostdancer tribe,


  18. I interviewed an ‘occupier’ about how he felt about 5 million dollars a year of his taxes being allocated for horse slaughter.
    His reply?
    “It’s sadistic,that’s what it is.
    They (meaning those in power) are sadistic.
    They do everything they can to goad the American public.
    They want bloodshed.
    They love it. War. Cruelty. They crave it.
    It’s like pitting pitbulls together.
    They are sick. That’s what they are but the American public just doesn’t get it yet.”


  19. War Horse is getting Great Reviews, both in the media and in-person exit interviews of attendees, and from theater staff who have all heard attendees’ exit comments.
    I was at major suburban theater in Denver area last night & was chicken to go see it – so I went to We Bought a Zoo instead (also very good)

    However, my 43 year old daughter and her Russian husband went to War Horse and both proclaimed it, as did Joe Camp, “An Epic Film”.. and not all that sad.

    Advocates, this is a excellent opportunity to reach a pre-screened general public with our message – both for the WH & B issue and the Anti-slaughter issue.

    America’s Wild Horse Advocates (AWHA), Las Vegas will be in front of five(5) free-standing Las Vegas theaters passing out educational info this upcoming Sat., Sun. and Mon (New Year’s Weekend) – 12 noon until 8 PM.
    Please join us.


  20. Really want to help the wild horses? Then put your money where your mouth is and join the Beff Boycott.
    To: National Cattleman’s Beef Association.
    1301 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
    Suite 300
    Washington, D.C. 20004
    (202) 348-0607
    Send e-mail:
    To the National Cattlemans Beef Association,
    We .the undersigned , are commited to joining onto this beef boycott in order to support all the wildlife throughout America that is being killed because of the all out attempt to kill ,maime,poison all competive lifeforms on public lands that threaten livestock either through competitive grazing or predatorship of livestock.
    The removal of wild horses from their lawful designated Herd Management Areas, as well as the natural predators that keep their populations under control is no longer acceptable to me as a consummer and therefore I commit to boycotting all forms of beef (except small ranchers who keep their herds (and are certified of doing so) within their privately owned properties).
    As your foundation states below you are suppose to be committed to Environmental Stewartship.
    This is clearly not being done and as a result Americans must use whatever non-violent means to stop the distruction of our wildlife populations now being witnessed from the removal of bison ,wild horses and burros to every other life form that competes with grazing or livestock encroachments.
    Your organizations do this through heavy lobbying reaping a favortism of our public representatives of which we the public cannot compete with.
    We commit to the keeping of this boycott until our wild horses are returned to their rightful HMAs and predators that keep their numbers controlled are allowed to dwell amoungest them as is required under The National Environmental Protection Act and The Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act.
    Therefore be it known to all concern I sign my name and honor to this petition.
    I withhold the right to privacy in regards to my address for fear of reprecussions it may bring forh from any angry members of your organization but I want it to be known that I shall boycott all forms of beef except that stated above until a visable change is made and our wildlife is allowed to return to their rightful places upon our public lands and your commitment to your pledge below is fulfilled.


  21. Great article, and lots of good links! I would like to point out that the Broadway play was the inspiration for Steven Spielberg to make the movie. Most notable however, is the fact that Monty Roberts was asked to teach the puppeteers how to make the horse move more realistically. This little-known fact has been regretfully left out of moslet of the articles about the movie. Not to undermine Mr Spielberg’s efforts, of course, but I would have liked to see Mr Roberts get some credit as well.


  22. I saw War Horse on Christmas Day. I waited 6 months to see this film and it surpassed all my hopes for it. I knew I would need kleenex and yes I was tearing in many parts of the film. But more from the overpowering drama of the story. You do not see horses being killed in the battles scenes. You see the aftermath which is just as powerful. This film shows something beyond the terrible cost of any war… it shows a compassion that shines a light through the chaos. That on both sides there were men of humanity and goodness, who saw these war horses for the magnificent animals they were and if they could help them, they did… both Germans and English. I love this film. It was not meant to be a statement against slaughter….but a tribute to the majesty and heroism of horses fighting side by side with man. I just hope it does bring attention to our cause as these kind of great films can do so well.


  23. this film is an excellent way for people to develop more empathy toward the plight of horses, be it our wild mustangs or the horse slaughter issues.

    as we exited the movie, there was not a dry eye to be seen anywhere.

    hearts open, minds open, we enlist more people into our compassionate community


    • Re: ….. this film is an excellent way for people to develop more empathy toward the plight of horses, be it our wild mustangs or the horse slaughter issues.

      You are absolutely right Karen – Thank you.


  24. I haven’t seen “War Horse” yet, but I can’t wait till I do! I’ve heard nothing but good about it. The only problem with this movie sending any message, or bringing awareness to the public, might be that many people will say it was a really good movie, but, “it’s only a movie, it’s not real”, then turn a deaf ear as if that makes everything just go away. My hope is that it really touches more people that actually care & will try to do something to help. I wish everyone here, &, of course, all our equines, a truly “Happy New Year!”


Care to make a comment?

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.