We’re taught from the beginning with horses that when they lay their ears back it means they are mad. It’s a threat of attack. We need to teach them to respect us if they have their ears back when they are with us.
That can be entirely misleading.
There are many reasons why a horse will carry their ears back. It can be in intense concentration. When a horse is focusing and working hard they will often have their ears flat against their head.
When a horse is in pain they will lay their ears back. This is one of the first signs of pain shown on the pain grimace scale, used to judge a horses discomfort.
An often overlooked reason why horses carry their ears back is temperament. For many horses it is just they way they are. Introverts naturally carry their ears like this. It is a good way to judge temperament when looking at the head. Ears being held back in one picture can just be a moment in time. If they are held slightly back in every picture or every time you see the horse you can bet they will have an introverted temperament.
What else do we expect to see in an introvert? Aside from a low whorl or diagonal doubles, introverts can have a single center whorl. Head shape can be anything, convex, straight, or dished.
An introverted horse is a horse who is content within themselves. They are thinking, processing the information around them. Sometimes people make the mistake of underestimating their intelligence because they don’t respond immediately, which is a major mistake. Introverts can be extremely intelligent, they just don’t run around telling everyone about it like an extrovert does. They have a quiet, droll sense of humor.