Our POA was really "ear" shy when we got him. I'm assuming they twisted his ears when they were branding him as he has about 5 brands, poor guy. It took a while but after about a year, we are doing great. He didn't enjoy being scratched anywhere so we started with the withers, etc. and once he trusted us, we moved up toward his head. He really likes to be scratched on his jaw and around his eyes and ears after being ridden, then we just worked up to the ears and as long as we move slowly, he's just fine. It does take a while if they've been abused. We're still working on his farrier and vet or anyone with something in their hand that "might" be a brand fears!