In the movie, Peter Mullah (family father) suffers from issues with possible alcoholism from his initial subjection to the military and war. The Mullah family is in need of a working horse to aid in plowing of the family fields to plant crops and Peter proceeds to purchase a plow horse in a local town auction. Needing a plow horse, Peter proceeds to purchase a young, untrained horse, after debating with the family landlord during the auction.
Upon purchasing this horse, Peter arrives home and is instantly challenged by his wife, Rosier whom gives her husband one month to train this horse for working in the fields in a direct way. Peter initially has no luck in this instance, when his son, Albert steps in proves the new addition to the Emily farm has the ability to become a valuable working horse. During Albertan quest to train his horse, now named Joey, townsmen and women arrive on the property to ridicule the family as training persists.
Upon need of financial aid for making ends meet, Peter sells Joey to a young military officer preparing to depart for war. The newly proclaimed “War Horse” in then sent to the front lines to aid in fighting the German Army. Over the course of four years and upon the death of the Army Officer, Joey is then used to aid the German Army in moving war equipment. This movie defines he hardships involved in both civilian and military life during times of war.