I had to dramatically shorten my mare's tail. We just got her, and it looks like someone braided her tail with bailing wire and left it in. She had a solid mat about two feet long that had wire running all through it, and scratches all over her bum from the wire. We pulled out nearly 18" of wire and tried for over a week to brush the mat out without success. I wanted to wait until fly season was over to cut out the mat, but she got it caught on a tree branch in the pasture and by the time we found her it was hopeless. With her reputation for nastiness, I'm surprised she stood there and let me cut her free without kicking the snot out of me. But then, she hasn't offered to kick or bite anyone since we got her, but the owner warned me she was a problem.