Go check out the medal ceremony for the 2012 London Olympic dressage competition. Why? We'll tell you when you get back.
So did you notice something? Even though the horses did half the work, the riders are the ones getting the medals. What gives?
In War Horse, soldiers look up to Joey and Topthorn as true heroes of war and bestow upon them their military's highest honors. They celebrate the horse just as much—maybe even more—than their riders. And we're glad they do, since the horses in the novel are galloping through gunshots and barbed wire, instead of just dancing around a field. No disrespect to a gold medal, but being a decorated war veteran is pretty darn fancy.