Please respect your instructor's concern for your safety and well-being. They have the right to insist on watching you ride in a more supervised manner until they feel you are ready to do otherwise. If for no other reason, you have to respect it simply because it is THEIR neck on the line in these circumstances. All you can do is show them that your balance is the same, your ability is the same... then I'm sure they will let you go on about your riding business, as usual. Talk to them about this, but be sure to do it in a respectful manner. You are at their barn by their good graces, NOT because you have a right to be there. It is always important to remember this when you are riding at someone else's barn. They are doing you the favor of sharing what they have (horses, horse experience, a farm, riding ring, etc), and you are there because they allow it. ALWAYS be respectful and don't approach them like they owe you something, because they surely don't.
Since surgeries can change the way your body works; your coordination, your balance, your range of motion, etc... they are very justified in seeing that you CAN carry on as you were pre-surgery with ADDED precautions, such as a leader and even sidewalkers! They don't want to see you hurt, and don't want to be responsible for your getting hurt. If you own your own horse on your property, then you can do as you please. However, at someone else's barn, you are at the mercy of their decisions, whether you agree or not. I'd certainly discuss this with them and let them know you'd like to ride like you were, pre-surgery and ask them where do they foresee you going if you start out being led around.
Last edited by sillyhorses; 09-20-2011 at 11:50 AM.