tighten the reins

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tighten the reins

To begin doing something more carefully or cautiously; to regain or tighten control of someone or something. This thesis you're planning is becoming unfocused. I think you should tighten the reins a bit. I wish those parents would tighten the rein on their kids, the little devils are tearing the place apart!
See also: reins, tighten
References in classic literature ?
He went off with the noisy group of Rogojin's friends towards the Voznesensky, while the prince's route lay towards the Litaynaya.
He ended by indicating the stone in the yard off the Voznesensky Prospect under which the purse and the trinkets were found.
While British officials tightened the reins on Late Loyalists, they increasingly imitated US frontier policy, pressuring the Native peoples of Upper Canada to adopt a sedentary lifestyle as Christian farmers and recruiting tens of thousands of English, Welsh, Irish, and Scottish settlers to build a loyal and peaceable province.
Where have you tightened the reins to the point of suffocation?
According to the Fund, the authorities tightened the reins on the policy of public debt management and improved the access to foreign funding.
We can't know for sure what was in Gemme's mind when he tightened the reins on Gunnerson.
Eugene's system of open school choice and alternative schools has been a hallmark of the district since the 1970s, although the board has closed several alternative schools and tightened the reins on cross-neighborhood transfers in recent years.
Their banks have likely tightened the reins on available credit and taken a more conservative posture.
In addition, he said a lot of people here were able to refinance their adjustable rate mortgages before the banks tightened the reins because housing prices stayed strong here.
Lenders have also tightened the reins further with an annual cap on how much new land the company can buy.
The FSA became wary of the situation and tightened the reins, causing market conditions to deteriorate.
It has, however, tightened the reins at various times, such as during the Tibet protests last March.
If City Hall had actually tightened the reins on spending when the recession hit, there would be no financial crisis at all.
And, in recent years, the military has quietly tightened the reins on FOLA releases by rewriting regulations regarding releasable information.