I broke my left ankle in college and my husband says I blame all of my riding flaws on my "bad ankle." I'm sorry, but there IS something to be said about barely being able to flex a joint that carries and balances the weight of my body when I'm in the saddle. That being said, THAT'S why I think my right calf burns XC and my left one doesn't. Because my right ankle can flex all the way down, it carries more weight and, consequently, tires more quickly. I also believe this is why Flo more often lands on her left lead after fences.
I played with bridging my reins and was happy with the way Flo slowed and rebalanced when I had my hands planted on her mane with the bridge and brought my upper body back with my leg still asking for energy. When I asked her to rebalance without the bridge, she brought her head up and resisted. With the bridge, my hands were quiet and she actually rounded her neck and brought her back up with out me doing anything but bringing my upper body back and putting my leg on a bit stronger. Cool.