have a tight rein on (someone or something)(redirected from had a tight rein on them)
have a tight rein on (someone or something)
To maintain strict or tight control over someone or something; to not allow someone or something very much independence or autonomy. Ever since George lost most of their life savings in a drunken poker match, Dana 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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.