Last night I went to see this film with some of the women I teach horse riding to . I was wondering before I went should I bring the tissues but no they were not needed. While it is a beautifully shot and lovely story it was a mix between Black Beauty and at the end Gone With The Wind.
We see throughout the film the bond people build with the horse and what impact he has on their lives which is beautiful , strong and a little heart breaking at times. War Horse travels from his home to France he is then taken by the Germans, then he is found by a young French girl , the Germans get him back again and then for a finish the British army get him back.
He leaves his owner in England and after all his travels they meet each other again on the battlefield where they are both injured. But with all good tales they arrived home to Devon safe and sound :). While this is not a film I would watch again or buy the DVD I am glad I went to see it and it did get my mind thinking .
On my way home I started to think a little about the horse in the story and began to wonder what it must have been like for the horses which were used during World War One. Now I don’t think I could send any of my horses out to war because I couldn’t bare them to suffer the way those horses did. I know I should feel just as bad for the terrible loss of human life but something about the way a horse will look you in the eye and you can nearly feel how they are feeling or they way they will give you every last drop of power and strength in their body without ever really asking us much in return.
They must have wondered at the sounds and smells around them or the confusion of battle and still they did their best to serve their masters. During WW1 soldiers used both horses and mules. They pulled guns , ambulances and carried ammunition , food and supplies for place to place.
A lot of their time they were in wet and muddy conditions and suffered terrible injuries and illness from machine guns , gas and bombs and from lack of food and bad conditions. Horses were expected to carry their rider who’s average weight was twelve stone and also carry an extra nine stone in equipment so they had to be strong and healthy at the start but they normally didn’t survive long. At one stage the British Army needed 15,000 horses per month to keep them going that was how many they were losing.
During WW1 there was about 800,000 horses used , during some battles over 100 horses were killed and when the war was over those that survived were sent to french butchers with only a few making it all the way home . These brave horses gave all they could including their lives for their soldiers during the war they are a strong , brave and noble animal who we owe a lot to 🙂 all mine got a hug this morning .