What about it seemed superficial or forced? The film isn't conventional, it's deliberately old-fashioned, calling back to John Ford and the old epic. It may seem semantical, but it isn't, there's a fine distinction.
On that note, it's a Spielflick, so why were the Germans not speaking German, why were the French not speaking French? And why did they all have such horrible accents? I generally dislike it when films have people who speak one language most of the time in real life end up speaking English for most of their time in the movie. But I understand why it's done, considering the audience is normally mostly English speaking, but I am surprised Spielberg fell into this too. Unless this was intended to be a family film. It's still unfortunate though.
This is the case for nearly every American made film, not just Spielberg's, and I think it's safe to say if he had them speak in their native tongues you'd lose half the audience. This was a big consideration for Schindler's List, but the average individual can't connect as well emotionally to a narrative that isn't in their native tongue, it's an unfortunate truth, it isn't something he 'fell into' it's a fact of how people work. This is a film that relies on the emotional investment of the viewer, any obstruction to that would damage the film, so it damages it less to have them speak in english than it would otherwise.
Additionally, what are you talking about horrible accents, the French, German, and English actors were cast primarily from their native countries, meaning those were there actual accents, so this criticism strikes me as very odd.
Lots of films that focus on animals at least personify the animal to a certain extent, making them seem like they have some sort of connection to humans. They at least show that the animal cares about what the hell is going on. War Horse does not seem to have this.
As someone who has been around animals consistently for most of my life, the behavior of them was spot-on aside of a few admittedly cartoonish moments
I apologize for my bluntness, but this is actually plainly incorrect.
EDIT- oh and about the playing tag comment,