Kavalkade has pretty good reins, which have a nice grip
In the case of saddle soap, vegetable oil does do the job. Just don’t be as generous as you would with the actual soap. Good luck!
Thanks Hannah yes I think they did split due to being to dry as I haven't been able to get hold of saddle soap lately !
I prefer leather over all! If you find a nice brand and you oil them fairly often, they shouldn’t split. Leather splits for two reasons:1) the leather dries and splits. Which sounds like what happened to you. And 2) the reins were cheap and the leather simply couldn’t hold up to its environment.