First and foremost, do you ride english or western?
If you ride english, then I can help.
I really don't see the need for a martingale. If you think about it, a martingale is only covering up the underlying problem, that being how your horse throws up his head when you seek contact on the reins.
Firstly, we need to identify the problem. Does your tack fit properly? Has your horse had his teeth and overall health checked lately? Has he ever had his back checked over for pulled muscles ect.? Has he/she ever been jabbed or mis-treated in or around the mouth area?
These are just some of the causes of a horse resisting contact. My advice to you is to get him/her checked over. That way you can put all of the above questions aside.
After you have done that, I suggest you try and ride with contact at all times. I mean a light contact, not a jaw-breaking one. While you have a contact, use your lower leg to encourage him to get into a soft a responsive outline by squeezing his sides ever so lightly.
He may not respond to these aids immeadiatley, but give him time and he will work out what you are asking of him.
Just remember to be consistant, that's the only way he is going to learn. But once again, just make sure that this isn't caused by any physical or phsycological problems first. Basically, get him checked over by a vet.