I've had two different trainers tell me I should put a running martingale on Excel, but I won't do it. At times, he can become somewhat high-headed in new surroundings, but in no way is it dangerous or even an act of resistance. He does it to take in his surroundings, and after warming up will bring it right back to where it needs to be. I won't use a martingale because it's something I can easily work through without needing to rely on it.
Yes, there is a time and a place for standing, running, German, etc. martingales, but if you don't think you need it, there's your answer.
I don't see running martingales as horrible, they definitely have a place. But like equiniphile said, a horse puts their head up to see things that are far away and I think you should let them do that. It doesnt sound like you need one !
Am I the only one who uses martingales? As a polo player, I guess my face has been saved COUNTLESS times by a martingale and I've seen girls break their noses from not wearing one and having a horse check it's head up... I guess it just depends on what you're doing and your horse's habits.