ride herd on (someone or something)

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ride herd on (someone or something)

To closely observe or monitor someone or something to supervise or maintain control. An allusion to a cowboy riding on his horse to keep a herd of cattle in order. We want the groups of students to work independently, but we should have a teacher riding herd on each one to make sure they stay focused. Being a camp counselor is a lot of fun, but having to ride herd on a bunch of kids for two weeks at a time can be exhausting.
See also: herd, on, ride
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

ride herd on someone or something

Fig. to supervise someone or something. (Alludes to a cowboy supervising cattle.) I'm tired of having to ride herd on my kids all the time. My job is to ride herd on this project and make sure everything is done right.
See also: herd, on, ride
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

ride herd on

Keep close watch or tight control over, as in Aunt Martha is always riding herd on her bridge club, making sure they follow the rules . This idiom alludes to the cowboy who rides around a herd of cattle to keep them together. [Late 1800s]
See also: herd, on, ride
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

ride herd on someone/something

AMERICAN
If someone rides herd on other people or their actions, they control them. It's his job to ride herd on organizers to keep them on schedule. Note: People sometimes use over instead of on. The ideal situation is one where everyone feels responsible and no one person has to ride herd over the others. Note: Originally, `riding herd' involved patrolling on horseback around a herd of animals, in order to make sure none of them wandered away.
See also: herd, on, ride, someone, something
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

ride herd on

keep watch over.
Literally, this North American expression means ‘guard or control a herd of cattle by riding round its edge’.
1999 Coloradoan (Fort Collins) That, in turn, would detract from his ability to ride herd on Washington special interests, allowing deficits to grow like mushrooms under a rotten log.
See also: herd, on, ride
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

ride ˈherd on somebody/something

(American English, informal) keep watch or control over somebody/something: Police are riding herd on crowds of youths on the streets.
See also: herd, on, ride, somebody, something
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

ride herd on

To keep watch or control over.
See also: herd, on, ride
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

ride herd on, to

To control, boss. This phrase originally meant to control or guard a herd of cattle by riding on its perimeter. Its figurative use dates from the late nineteenth century, and it remains current. The mystery novelist Ed McBain used it in Long Time No See (1977): “Two men who should be taking care of people getting robbed or mugged, go to waste our time instead of riding herd on a bunch of street hoodlums.”
See also: herd, ride, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
The biggest casualty is Bush's peace plan and his promise to "ride herd" on the Middle-East leaders to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
We have to ride herd on the developer, the architect, and their associates, to ensure they've given us all the necessary information.
Unless you're a big enough builder to have a fulltime IT staff to ride herd on your backups, there's a very good chance it has not been getting done properly, and that could put you out of business if a catastrophe were to strike.
At the root of all of the problems in America's prescription drug culture is the fact that the pharmaceutical companies have seemingly bottomless resources to get their message out and the regulators don't have enough to ride herd. It's time to change that by finding new ways to put out objective information about drugs and rein in the misleading stuff that the drug companies release.
Outsourcing will often mean there is more work for the client, who then often must ride herd over the TPA.
Nor is it surprising that a single individual cannot ride herd on the comings and goings of over 1,100 links.
Webb intends to ride herd on the city's $3 billion debt and to strengthen the tax base by luring more permanent residents to Denver which lost 26,000 in the last decade.
Thirty telecomm staffers, half of them in centrally located Austin, ride herd on the network.
After lunch you may take a longer trail ride or join the hands to "ride herd"--riding through cattle to check for new-borns (in spring), strays, or sick or injured cows.
That official would ride herd on major programs, reporting directly to the secretary of Defense.
Cummings did not so much drive in the parade as ride herd on the other participants, racing up and down the parade route, giving orders to start and stop and making sure each vehicle or participant was in place.
George Lucas has always had such people to ride herd on "Star Wars" and "Indiana Jones." Ditto the Broccolis for their Bonds.
In July, his son, Andy Gaede, and two daughters scrambled to ride herd over an auction and Gaede's final harvest.
My old high school teaching skills came right back, since it was my job to ride herd on a raucously interactive audience that had grown up on midnight art house showings of the movie.
More trained eyeballs to ride herd on copy can't help but reduce the typos, grammatical goofs, misspellings, and wrong addresses that plague papers and turn off readers.