But even in the desolation of the trenches, Joey's courage touches the soldiers around him. As the horses are drinking from a stream, Topthorn stumbles and collapses. He is normally a loving husband and father, but when he drinks he abuses his loved ones verbally, and mistreats Joey the horse.
The conflict in this story was uprising fast. Albert subsequently marries his sweetheart, Maisie, but she and Joey never take to each other.
The huge man in charge of the camp orders that he be washed and tended to. War Horse highlights human cruelty and human disdain for both animals and each other whilst also highlighting just how powerful love and courage can be.
Although I had not seen the movie myself, I was able to make an educated argument against it based on the concerns you outlined.