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The Kamagata Teito, a sickle-shaped Japanese hoof knife, is used to trim the hoof wall as well as sole and frog.
The sole is cupped starting from the left side of the hoof and continuing on around to the right heel. The inner edge of hoof wall and white line are trimmed with these cuts. Next the wall is leveled, starting in front of the left heel and working around the toe to the right heel. The left heel is then leveled. Some Japanese farriers trim the toe, and then work back from toe to heel on each side. Finally, the frog is trimmed.
The razor-sharp blade is kept in a leather sheath when not in use. This protects the farrier as well as the blade.
The Kamagata Teito blade, like a Japanese sword, is a little thicker than our Western hoof knives and it is not meant to be flexible. The blades of both Japanese swords and hoof knives are made by forge welding a fairly high carbon steel cutting edge to a mild steel blade and handle tang. The cutting edge is hardened but not tempered like Western knives. This produces a very hard cutting edge that would be brittle without the protection of the softer, tough companion metal.
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