hold the reins

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hold the reins

To have or be in control, especially of a group, project, or situation. Though my grandfather was the breadwinner, it was my grandmother who truly held the reins in their house. The boss decided she'd hold the reins on this project after the assistant manager bungled the last one so badly.
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References in classic literature ?
Antonia and I sat erect, but I held the reins clumsily, and my eyes were blinded by the wind a good deal of the time.
He held the reins in one hand, yet, with low, steady voice, confident and assuring, held the nervous young animals more by the will and the spirit of him.
Catherine, delighted at so happy an escape, spoke her pleasure aloud with grateful surprise; and her companion immediately made the matter perfectly simple by assuring her that it was entirely owing to the peculiarly judicious manner in which he had then held the reins, and the singular discernment and dexterity with which he had directed his whip.
I just held the rein steady and did not hurry him, and it's my opinion he has not been frightened or ill-used while he was young.
The duchess came out splendidly attired, and Don Quixote, in pure courtesy and politeness, held the rein of her palfrey, though the duke wanted not to allow him; and at last they reached a wood that lay between two high mountains, where, after occupying various posts, ambushes, and paths, and distributing the party in different positions, the hunt began with great noise, shouting, and hallooing, so that, between the baying of the hounds and the blowing of the horns, they could not hear one another.
Margaret James has held the reins at The Blue Bell, on Albert Street, in Amble, Northumberland, for a decade.
With the wind buffeting us, I clung on for dear life as Jim, improbably perching on a folded up blanket, held the reins.
Fortis was dismantled during the 2008 banking crisis to avoid bankruptcy and its Dutch activities, including its share in ABN Amro, were bailed out by the Dutch government, which then merged it back into ABN Amro Bank, and it has held the reins ever since.
He started his managerial career as player-manager with (Saturday's) opponents Mansfield Town and has also held the reins at Chester City, Torquay United and Notts County.
It was at a tough time when he held the reins at the ministry.
Former first teamer Thomas Duffy held the reins with the second string last season but was promoted to the firsts over the summer as Eamonn McCarthy set about bolstering his backroom ahead of their bow in the Northern Ireland Football League's Championship 2.
While anyone, or any organisation, with a heart, should sympathise with the sad loss felt by her family, then, equally, anyone, or any organisation, that advocates justice for Wales and reconciliation for its citizens, should take this unique opportunity to condemn, totally and without mercy, the soulless cruelty vested by her on the workforce, on the aspirations and on the disadvantaged of the Welsh nation while she held the reins of power.
Head coach Giuseppe Sannino - the fourth man to have held the reins this season - is hampered by injuries to striker Abel Hernandez and midfielder Andrea Mantovani while defender ezequiel Munoz serves a onematch ban.
Gregoire succeeds William McCracken, who has held the reins since January 2010 and at the age of 70, is retiring, effective March 31, 2013.
HE'S held the reins for more than three decades in a role that is now as recognisable as the rugby players he leads out.