First off, howdy and welcome to the forum.
Where the horse's ears point will often just be wherever is most comfortable for him and will also depend on their individual temperament. I've ridden lots of horses that had their ears pricked up and looking forward, lots that would keep their ears pointed backward toward me, and even some that would just let their ears flop around out to the sides LOL.
I've never found that it had any bearing at all on their responsiveness to my cues. Some horses will point their ears back when you cue, others won't. I am much less concerned with what their ears are doing than what their body is doing. If the horse is listening and responding well, then his ears can do pretty much whatever they want to as far as I'm concerned.
My only exception to that is when they are pinned flat. I generally don't allow that on a horse I'm riding because it's a sign of aggression and aggression in a saddle horse is almost always a bad thing.