One of the things I wondered while reading Water for Elephants was "what's a bull hook?" In the story the equestrian (and elephant) trainer uses a bull hook to control/direct/instruct/punish the elephant.
I've never heard of a bull hook and couldn't picture what it looked like. So hear's a picture:
The trainer sticks the hook in the leg, neck, head, etc. Since the book is set in 1931, a lot of inhumane treatment happens to both the animals and the people. Some of it is just out of ignorance because back then people just didn't know better. But apparently, the bull hook is still used: