I had a similar situation happen to me years ago after we had moved to a new stable. Out of the blue my horse became dramatically shy of her ears for no apparent reason, she never minded having her ears messed with before. Then one day I saw the barn owner walk past her stall and grab for her ears as he walked by and naturally she threw her head up and ran out into her run. He knew I saw what he did and tried to explained that he was “helping” me get her over her ear shying. Which did not exist prior to his “help” which I never asked for. I train and handle my own horses, so I put a stop to it and the ear shying was gone in a couple of days, no reoccurrence. Some good intentioned people, or people lacking good horse sense, can inadvertently cause a behavior issue. I am not saying this is your situation, but it does happen.