draw/pull in your horns

pull in your horns

or

draw in your horns

If you pull in your horns or draw in your horns, you start behaving more carefully than you did before, especially by spending less money. The world's big spenders have pulled in their horns during the recession. Customers are drawing in their horns at a time of high interest rates. Note: When snails sense danger, they pull in their `horns', which are the stalks that their eyes are on.
See also: horn, pull

draw (or pull) in your horns

become less assertive or ambitious; draw back.
The image here is of a snail drawing in its retractile tentacles when disturbed.
1991 Paul Grescoe Flesh Wound Hollywood's major studios were pulling in their horns in the wake of a disastrous Christmas season.
See also: draw, horn

draw/pull in your ˈhorns

start being more careful in your behaviour, especially by spending less money than before: After making huge losses, the company had to draw in its horns by cancelling some major projects.
See also: draw, horn, pull