The mechanical bull, also known as a rodeo bull is a machine that replicates the sensation of riding a bucking animal, such as a rodeo bull or sheep. It is usually powered by a variable-speed electric motor. Padded flooring is often installed around the equipment in order to reduce the likelihood of injury to those thrown off it.
A "quick stop" motor allows the operator to safely control the ride and ensure safety for the rider; this feature allows the operator to stop the ride prior to a rider being thrown. The trained operator at the variable speed control box regulates the unit's Buck-and-Spin speed, as well as spin direction. The equipment has the capability of starting rides very slowly and speed can be advanced according to a rider's ability. It can go slowly and simply spin for beginners and run at greater speed for experts.