No not really, though agreed ^^ the operator really can have an influence.
The mechanical bull can't arch its back and hump and/or twist like a horse, and mechanical bull operators tend to like to get the bull doing a spin/dive thats a common move for bulls, less common move for horses.
Both have left me sitting in the mid-air plenty of times though
Depends on the horse. The bull at Gilley's in Pasadena Texas way back before the article appeared in a literary magazine and the movie "Urban Cowboy" was made, was one where we could determine the level of bucking. (We spent 3 weeks out in Houston at a conference, and each night required dancing the texas two step and riding the bull at Gilley's.)
That mechanical bull was not as rough as a TB mare, but was about the level of a big warmblood floating buck.
Oh yeah, and it depended on what we were drinking. Back then, women got free shots of whiskey. That did affect how long we stayed on and how fast we were willing to set the bucking meter.
The good thing about the mechanic bull was the big foam cushions for landing.
Not really but every time I've rode one the controllers have always asked if I rode horses lol. Now my daughter at 10 rode one in the mountains in an Indian town. Controller asked if she rode because she took her up to med high before she could dump her. Lol. She said kids usually don't get off low before they fall.
Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole
There's a local bar that has a mechanical bull, I couldn't stay on it, I found it really wide and it was made of smooth plastic (slippery!)
And I was kind of drunk lol
But I would say its very different, my horse has been known to act like a bronc at times and I can sit that, most of the time
I think riders have an advantage, but as others said it is stiffer and spinnier than your average horse. And very slippery.
In practice, though, it's really about entertaining the crowd, which is the operator's job. When I have gone they will let attactive women in minimal clothing bounce around a long time before giving them much challenge, and spin off lesser eye candy pretty quickly.
I say its completely a different experience. Plus getting on from a soft surface is a pain too (especially if the bull is facing up).
The farm I used to live at had a costume party for halloween in their indoor. They rented a bull.. so fun! Most of the people who rode the bull had horse exp. Some stayed on for a while while others got dumped fast. The operator was pretty fair too.