I'll see if she thinks this is a solution and report back to you guys. But she's like a heroine addict who has not hit rock bottom... and you suggest methadone. Meh.
My mother is also of the "must-have-a-nice-tail" club. No fake tails for us. For me a good tail is not so much a requirement, but more of a bonus. There is a certain quiet pleasure in hand picking shavings from a tail strand by strand, similar to the quiet zen of cleaning tack. It just isn't as enjoyable with a little wussy tail!