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In this psychological thriller, a young boy is marred by his parents' opposing religious views. When his father replaces an image of Jesus with a picture of a horse (Equus is Latin for horse), the boy merges his concepts of God and horse. During his teenage maturation, he is attracted to a girl with whom he works at a stable, but he is unable to act on that attraction one night because "God" is on the other side of the barn door. This prompts him to blind—not kill—the horses. His action prompts a long process of therapy during which he relives the events which lead up to the tragedy.