First of all thank-you everyone for the kind words and encouragement! (Some how I keep forgetting to mention this!)
Having a donkey is definitely good fun, and driving is even more so. Good to hear others are giving their little guys (and gals) jobs, I certainly think they enjoy getting out and doing something. Franklin does for sure. He's a work in progress, but I think Franklin is an impulse buy that I won't regret.
It has been rainy and unpleasant this weekend, so the trio has been getting some extra 'bonding' time. Franklin hasn't stepped foot outdoors, which is probably a good thing, as I was worried they would chase him out and he'd get drenched. The horses don't mind standing in the rain eating, and spent most of their day that way. Franklin chilled inside, so I gave them hay in the barn so they had a choice to get drenched or not. With the weather like it has been I sometimes wonder what he'd have to go through if he were still at his last owner's tied out to a brush hog and standing in a chicken coop for shelter. Makes me feel good that I can offer one donkey in the world a bit of luxury for a change.
We also managed to get our hands on a pony bit! It is 4 1/2 inches, exactly what I measured him for. It's a loose ring snaffle, not ideal, but far cry from what he had before. For the $8 we spent on it, you'd think it wouldn't have been a hard choice to get him the right bit. But I put it on the second headstall that came with him, that made out of seat belts, (which I admire, it is a pretty decent bridle), and fitted it. It worked well, and he was fairly agreeable. I didn't test drive, but he carried it well. I think it will work.
Now, our next steps would be making improvements on his cart and harness. Even though he isn't long-strided in any way, his cart needs a single tree that will move with him comfortably. I've added padding to his harness from another of our harnesses, but I hope to tailor some to his harness. Shouldn't be particularly difficult to stitch up. Health-wise, I would really love to get his teeth floated. Worst part is, we had ALL of our horse's teeth floated only a few weeks ago. Our vet was a far trek away, so it would be difficult and inconvenient to get her out for one animal. The local vet is not cheap, and kind of a pain. He does a good job, but we got seven horses floated in the time it took for our local vet to do one, and the quality of job was great but the prices were the same for seven vs. one. He isn't in discomfort, so that will be set aside, and for now our short-term health goal is to get a good round of wormer through him.
I have to say, I'm really loving this little guy. Makes me wonder why I didn't get a donkey sooner!