I saw a horse at the track with extremely floppy ears, but I couldn't find a whole lot of information about it online. I read somewhere that it can be caused by a deaf horse not swiveling their ears to listen to things, and therefore losing muscle mass. Is that true? Does it usually make them flop this much?
It looked like he could move them a little bit from side to side, but I don't think he could pick them up at all.
I've heard of horses having floppy ears after an injury destroyed the nerves in the ear, but what are the chances that both ears would be injured in the same way?
I read an article in a magazine once about a Mustang they named Eeyore, who had floppy ears similar to this. It was a deformity that he was born with, and because he couldn't communicate with other horses, or rather the other horses couldn't read his body language, he became very aggressive towards them.
I think he even got shot by someone (he had bullet fragments in his tongue) because he attacked the horse they were riding. Eeyore ended up getting rounded up and getting a good home and training though, so all ended well.
I would guess that it was either some kind of genetic deformity or a birth defect. It is also possible that it was an injury suffered as a foal. I can't really see them letting a deaf horse run but IDK, they might.