I'm not a fan. To me it seems like trying to reinvent the wheel. Western already has a class that is pretty well the same, horsemanship. Pattern with speed/tempo changes, changes of gait, lead changes, sidepass, etc. It's just done with cones instead of letters for markers.
Some equate it with reining, I disagree. It isn't reining, not by a long shot. It is however some of the basic principles put on a young horse that may be headed towards reining or any other western performance event for that matter. From what I have seen of W. Dressage I would expect any youngster with a good start on them to be able to ace the tests I've looked over.
In its essence it goes against most western teachings. 2 hands with contact in a shanked bit? No thank you. A horse that is ridden in a shanked bit shouldn't require contact to perform as asked, at that point it should be seat primarily and a bit of quiet leg. That isn't to say that western horses aren't taught with contact or schooled that way, of course they are but in a snaffle to prepare them for the next step. Some contact is required to teach many things a good western performance horse should know but not something they will always require, nor should they imo.
I guess for me it boils down to dressage is dressage. Western riding/horsemanship isn't dressage nor is dressage western. I kind of think it is a bit of a slap in the face to those who ride true dressage as well as those that ride western performance horses as it truly is neither. The only benefit I see to this new discipline is a chance to school youngsters before spending big bucks putting them in the show pen in a more advanced western performance discipline.
Opinions aside, if I were a saddle maker I would by all means jump on it. Kevin if people are willing to pay for it, take their money!