I bathe whenever I get the 'clean freak' bug...that may be once a month, or once a week...Lol!
I always hose a horse down when he get's sweaty from a work...that can wind up every day...but I don't always apply shampoo...a hose gets rid of alot of grime, and gets rid of the sweat, which is what I want.
Ricci is mostly white, but I find she usually stays pretty clean. I only give two or three baths a year. Usually, I give a bath when it's warm enough to take a blanket off in the spring, mid-summer, and just before I need to re-blanket in the fall.
I find if you bathe too often, the skin will become dry and the hair will become dull. After rides, I take a sponge and wipe down sweat marks, and hose her legs if they need it, but that's it.
Soda gets a bath a couple times a summer, I think only once last year. I do sponge/rinse him off if he gets really sweaty during a ride.
Flame gets a bath every couple of weeks when it's really hot. She's 30, has that "old animal" skin (kinda greasy), and it can get really bad when its hot. I'll sometimes rinse her off between baths, but not usually as she doesn't get ridden.
Horses love being dirty - Who am I to take that away :]
Two thumbs up to wild_spot. I love this!
I tend to give a good bath some time early summer to get all the winter grungies off. Other than that the only bathes that are given are for horse shows, and since I have not been to one in a while there have been no other baths.
Since you have a white horse you can use Quic Silver! Well, for shows and stuff anyways theres no use using it at home if he's just going to get dirty again. Just groom and groom and groom, I only bathe when Im going to a show or a clinic. Otherwise I just groom and hope he looks decent. Haha.
I have a paint with a lot of white on hime and I hose him off with EQ solutions after I ride hime which is almost ever day. It is a natural cleaner which does not strip the oils out if his coat. I do bath his legs with shampoo whenever they get really dirty or if he gets that waxy stuff on his legs. The only other time I bath with soap is before a horse show.
I have a Paint with lots of white(like the above poster) but she's only a yearling so I use Vetrolin Green-Spot Remover on her and don't give her many baths. I gets rid of the worst of her stains and anything else I'm not going to worry about cause she's just a baby and she likes getting dirty and I'm a farm girl so I understand lol. =)
Ugh I know how you feel! It seems like the lighter colored the horse, the dirtier they tend to get! I don't bathe my horses unless it's for a show, or if they have rolled in mud and it's too hard to brush off. It isn't good to bathe a horse a lot, they have natural oils on their skin to keep the skin moisturized. If you bathe them all the time, the skin will get dry.
I hose my horses off after every ride in the summer (it gets very hot here and they are drenched) and I bathe before shows (which can be once a week, or sometimes more frequently). I've heard of people saying that bathing can dry out a horse's skin/coat but I had a paint that I showed for 2 weeks that I shampood every day (Suave) and he NEVER got dried out. Healthy skin, shiny shiny coat. I know it makes sense and it happens to dogs and humans, but I've never seen a horse that got dried out from over bathing. Not saying it doesn't happen, but it's probably on a horse to horse basis and not as common as people would think.
I have never bathed Caleb...he might get a bath this summer, if the drought warnings and water restrictions are lifted.
As far as keeping horses clean, I cannot advocate enough the benefit of corn starch. Perfectly natural, easy to use and the more you use it, the better it works. It really helps if you put it on before a ride, and brush it out after.
If you have access to hot water, hot toweling is a good option if there's not enough time for a full bath, or the weather is too cold. Also an excellent option for horses who are afraid of hoses.
Also baby powder is wonderful for drying up sweat and keeping saddle pads, girths and whatever else fresh. I go through it like a baby drinks milk. I even use it in my hair on hot days after rides, probably looks a little funny, but it feels nice after wearing a stuffy helmet for 2+ hours.
Oh and grape-seed oil is a wonderful, wonderful, help for dry, flaky skin/hair and it's very light and easy to rub in, so it doesn't attract a lot of dirt compared to other types.