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Amy Bock is a big-city lawyer who lives the country life — for a very unusual reason. During work hours, she’s at the Dallas City Attorney’s Office, where she’s part of the general litigation section handling civil-rights housing cases. After hours, Bock makes the 35-mile drive to Denton County, where she lives in a combination stable-house that was designed and custom-built to fit her lifestyle. Bock, a serious competitor in equestrian events, lives upstairs in the 5,000-square-foot dwelling, and her four horses live downstairs. Rounding out the household are six dogs and three miniature black Angus. The 12-acre property, which includes a riding arena and a lake stocked with catfish and bass, is called Woodbine Farm. It’s the ideal home, Bock says. “This is something I’ve been dreaming about since I was a kid,” she says. When she was growing up in Michigan and Colorado, Bock kept a scrapbook filled with ideas for the perfect home and farm. It would include plenty of room for horses, which have been part of her life since age 12. Bock, 33, bought the Denton County property more than four years ago with plans to build a barn with an apartment above it. Architect Juris Laivins of Dallas ran with that concept and created the design for her unique home. Construction began in January 1997 and was completed in a year. Bock was often busy at work and too far away to visit the site during the day, but her parents, Charles and Nancy, who used to be builders in Michigan, frequently were on hand to help J.C. Development Co., the contractor for the project. The home accommodates woman and beast. The stable and a tack room are downstairs. Stairs in the tack room connect to the second floor, which includes a living room, a dining area, a kitchen, a bathroom and two bedrooms. An office is on the third level, at the peak of the house. As if the fact that the house was built with the horses in mind didn’t let you know how serious Bock is about horses, the numerous ribbons and trophies attest to the fact that a serious rider lives there. There’s no horse smell in the home due to insulation, airflow and good housekeeping, Bock says. A DAY’S WORK Bock moved in 1985 to Dallas, where she attended Southern Methodist University for her undergraduate degree and her J.D. She went to work for Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld as an associate in 1995, then moved to the city attorney’s office in September 2000. Daniel Micciche, hiring partner for Akin Gump’s Dallas office, says the firm used to hold recruiting parties for summer clerks at Bock’s home. Those parties are big draws, he says. “It’s really amazing,” he says of the unique design of the home. Bock begins most days at 6 a.m., feeding her animals and cleaning out stalls. Then she hits the road, arriving at work around 9:15 a.m. At night, she takes care of the animals and spends time training her horses. She turns out the arena lights by 10 p.m. When her workdays stretch into long hours, Bock hires part-time help to feed the animals in the evening. Her parents, who live six miles away during the winter (they stay in Colorado in the summer), also lend a hand. Bock, who used to live in Dallas and commute to the country to ride her horses, now has more time to spend with the animals. She trains for competitions and hopes to ride for the U.S. Equestrian Team one day. Her specialty is dressage, in which the rider guides the horse through a series of complex maneuvers, such as circles and pirouettes. It’s sometimes described as ballet for horses. Bock plans to compete this year with Prestige, nicknamed Scooby Doo, who spent a few months earlier this year training in Florida. In a year and a half, she also will have another horse, Lirico, ready for competition. Bock also used to compete in eventing, a test of all-around training involving cross-country, dressage and show jumping. At higher levels, each event takes place on a different day, requiring more time at a competition. One horse became so advanced in eventing that Bock no longer was able to keep up with the competition schedule and now concentrates on dressage. “I would have had to quit my job to keep competing [in eventing],” she says. Technology keeps her connected to the office and up-to-date with her work. “I spent a few weekends at shows with a laptop last year,” Bock says. “I’d sit in a stall and work. Everybody would go by and roll their eyes. But you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.”

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