SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A local rider and her horse are a world-class team heading to the Pinto World Championships.

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But getting championship ready wasn’t an easy ride.

Natasha Albert has more belt buckles than your local boot barn, but there is one more that she is bucking for: the championship buckle from the Pinto World Championship Horse Show in Oklahoma.

“He should have been a “toby,” as in Tobiano paint. He was supposed to be two colors but he came out as one,” said Albert.

He should’ve been two colors but came out one, possibly a sign of just how stubborn this horse would become.

Their relationship hasn’t always been easy. A few years ago, Albert could barely pet him much less ride him or think about the world championships.

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Albert says it took about six months for her to get Toby to trust her.

“Maybe I’d get to sit on him, take a few steps but that was it,” said Albert.

Don’t think it’s just because he didn’t like Albert. The first person who tried to ride Toby ended up in the dirt.

“He bucked them off. They thought they could hop on him and manhandle him. He had the opposite idea,” said Albert.

Not many thought Toby would be much of a riding horse, but Albert did. She worked with him every day, and over time, they became quite the team — maybe a world championship team.

“I have a lot of confidence,” said Albert. “We will see how we do.”

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The world championships are in June. You can follow along on their journey on Facebook.