Well, after several horse friends looking at Ringo and a number of different opinions, I decided to call the vet out yesterday.
Poor Ringo could barely walk and I felt very anxious. Crazy how I can barely function when faced with a health issue! I'm very good at fretting and I try to slow down my quivery energy, breathe deeply and ask myself "why?" Anyway, not the time to psycho- analyze myself ... it's the donkey who needs care!
The vet is wonderful and she checked all his joints (we had been thinking it was a tendon or ligament injury) and determined that he indeed has a hoof abscess. She popped it at the coronary band and now I have to soak all the pus out twice a day. Ringo is terrified of standing in water and so far I have tried a pail, a feed tub and a Ziploc bag reinforced with duct tape. no go ... I am trying to work in baby steps, asking him to target each new thing, the having him stand in "it" without water, adding water, etc. As soon as he feels the water, though, he heads for the hills. That means, if I am in his stall with him, I get squished against the wall (dangerous!) and run over (dangerous!)
So all I have managed to do is wrap a warm compress around his hoof. 1/2 cup Epsom salts to 1 cup warm water. He will stand with his knee bent and rest on mine as I squat beside him but this is supposed to be for 20 minutes at a time and I'm ... um, er ... not that young anymore!
The ferrier should be in here in about half and hour ...