have a tight rein on (someone or something)

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have a tight rein on (someone or something)

To maintain strict or tight control over someone; to not allow someone very much independence or autonomy. Ever since George lost most of their life savings in a drunken poker match, his husband has had a tight rein on the family finances. The boss has had a tight rein on her assistant ever since she first hired him.
See also: have, on, rein, tight